Liver, you like it or you hate it. I don't like red meat but I love a well cooked and seasoned liver, especially cooked the Moroccan way or nicely grilled over charcoal.
We grew up eating offal and what other people label as bizzare food. Like any old civilization, we practically eat the whole lamb/calf.
I'm starting this series about offal with the most famous offal skewers across Morocco. Sometimes, they come mixed with kidney and heart. The butchers will usually propose these two every time we ask for liver.
It's always advisable to buy fresh liver (no more than 48 hours) which has the least sinuses and vains possible.
There are 2 options to go about this recipe. Either you slice the liver into 1.5 cm steaks and pre-grill them for 1 min on each side just to "smell" the heat as we say. The heart and kidney can also be cut through and given 2 minutes from each side following the same logic. Offal get cut into cubes as the recipe below will explain and marinate before barbecuing them again.
|Liver kebabs/skewers served in a fast food joint in Morocco. If you are in a hurry, |
you can also order a sandwich with salad and kebabs on the go with harissa
|A hot Moroccan mint tea alongside liver kebab is a must, a mix of salt, cumin and cayenne is also a must|
Prep: 10 min - cooking: 5 - 10 min
- 500 g of fresh young calf liver
- 200 g of calf's heat or/and kidney (optional)
- 80 g of suet around the kidney
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of ground cumin (optional)
- 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
- A mix of ground cumin, cayenne powder and salt
Remove the transparent membrane surrounding the liver. Cut then liver into 1.5 cm thick filets then into 2 to 3 cm cubes. Cut the kidney and heart into similar cubes. All the cubes should have the same size so they cook at the same time.
Cut the fat/suet into small cubes or bits as we are going to place them between each couple of liver cubes. They're not to be eaten but they help with the grilling as they add moist and flavor.
Marinate the cubes for at least an hour to overnight.
|Buy a good liver, peel it, marinate it and thread it in skewers. Easy!|
Thread the cubes of liver, alternating with the suet. Do not leave any empty space in between but do not overload the skewers either. We usually have 6 to 8 cubes in each skewer.
In separate skewers, thread heart and kidney cubes, alternating each couples with suet bits.
|Grilling liver, heart and kidney skewers over a traditional brasero|
Place the heart/kidney kebabs first as they take double the time than liver. Make sure the flame does not reach the skewers. Keep rotating them so they cook from all sides.
Make sure all kebabs are grilled but remain soft from the inside. Avoid serving a rubbery heart or kidney kebab.
As for the liver kebabs, they should be grilled through but the inside should remain soft (cooked but juicy).
No one likes an over-grilled and gritty liver but no one like am uncooked liver either.
Serve hot from the grill, generously sprinkled with cumin and cayenne powder.
Make sure you have a hot Moroccan tea and a good sandwich bread (baguette) to go with it..
We also like to serve fresh tomato/onion/cucumber salad on the side of these grilled kebabs.
The same recipe can be followed to make Moroccan kidney (peel the kidney)and heart skewers/kebabs.