Steaks Stuffed with Chicken Livers

An ideal dish to serve at a dinner party, Steaks Stuffed with Chicken Livers may be accompanied by boiled new potatoes and Broccoli with Almonds.

4 fillet steaks

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 ½ oz. cup plus

1 tablespoon butter

6 spring onions , trimmed and finely chopped

6 oz. chicken livers, cleaned and chopped

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry

1 tablespoon double cream

4 slices bread, cut to the same size as the steaks, fried and kept warm 4 watercress sprigs

Using a sharp knife, carefully make a lengthways cut to form a pocket in each steak. Sprinkle the steaks with half the salt and half the pepper. Set aside.

In a small frying-pan, melt 1 ounce of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the spring onions to the pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the livers, sage and sherry and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until the livers are lightly browned and tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Transfer the chicken liver mixture to an electric blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Alternatively, with the back of a spoon, rub the chicken liver mixture through a strainer into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper and the cream. Carefully place equal quantities of the sniffing in the pockets in the steaks.

Seal each pocket with a cocktail stick and set aside.

In a frying-pan large enough to hold all the steaks in one layer, melt the remaining butter over moderately high heat.

When the foam subsides, add the steaks and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to low and cook them for a further 2 minutes on each side. This will produce rare steaks – double the time for well-done steaks.

Remove the steaks from the frying-pan and place each one on a piece of fried bread. Transfer the steaks and fried bread to a warmed serving dish and remove the cocktail sticks.

Garnish with the watercress and serve immediately.

Steaks Stuffed with Chicken Livers is a really impressive dinner party dish which tastes excellent served with new potatoes and broccoli.

Pork

Pork is the fresh meat from a pig, as opposed to ham and bacon which are cured before cooking. Before the advent of cold storage, pork was a very seasonal meat, but now it may be bought all the year round.

Pork that has been frozen should be cooked as soon as it is completely thawed. Ideally it should be thawed out overnight in the refrigerator, not in a warm place.

When buying good-quality pork the points to look for are fine-textured, firm, pink-coloured, smooth flesh, with no gristle (this only develops in older animals). The flesh should be ‘marbled’ with small specks of fat and the fat under the skin should be firm and white. The skin should be fine and springy to the touch (coarse, thick skin indicates an older animal) and the bones should be pinkish in colour.

All pork should be thoroughly cooked and never served underdone. This is because pork sometimes harbours a parasite which is dangerous to man.

Roast Loin of Pork with the skin scored into diamond shapes to produce crunchy crackling. The pork is served with fried pineapple rings.

Thorough cooking destroys the parasite. To test pork to see if it is cooked, pierce the flesh with a sharp knife; if the juices that run out are clear then the pork is cooked.

The amount of pork you buy depends on family requirements, but an approximate, if generous guide, is 6 to 8 ounces of boned meat or 8 to 12 ounces of meat with bone per person.

Pork is a rich meat which requires tart and refreshing accompaniments. Fruit such as apples, pineapples, apricots, and cranberries are ideal. Savoury, well spiced stuffings also help to moderate the richness of the meat.

The prime cuts of pork are the leg, which is sometimes divided into fillet and knuckle; loin, the best and most expensive joint from which loin chops are cut and which is sometimes divided into hind and fore loin; blade or blade bone, which is a joint cut from the top part of the foreleg.

The medium cuts are the hand and spring; belly; spare ribs from which cutlets and neck chops are cut; and chump chops.

Fillet is a fatless cut which is removed from either side of the backbone. The head is also cooked, usually whole, but sometimes split in half.

The leg, loin, blade, hand and spring, spare ribs, chops and head are all suitable for roasting. The only extra fat needed for roasting pork is 1 tablespoon of oil to grease the tin. To prepare a pork loin for roasting ask the butcher to chine it – this makes carving and serving simple. For a special occasion, two loins may be chined, bent outwards to form a ‘crown’ and the centre filled with a traditional stuffing – this is called CROWN ROAST OF PORK.

Pork may be roasted quickly or by the slow method. To roast pork, preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190CC). Allow 30 to 35 minutes per pound plus 30 minutes over; for joints without bone, i.e. boned and rolled, allow 40 minutes per pound plus 40 minutes over; for boned, rolled and stuffed joints allow 40 to 45 minutes per pound plus 40 to 45 minutes over.

If a meat thermometer is used the internal temperature for cooked pork should be 180°F.

If you wish to make crackling of the skin, it must be scored into parallel, thin slices

½ inch apart, with a sharp knife. The butcher will do this if asked. Rub

1 tablespoon of coarse salt into the cuts in the skin and brush the skin with

1 table-spoon of vegetable oil. Increase the temperature to hot

425°F (Gas MARK 7, 220°C) for the last

20 minutes of the cooking time. Crackling tends to soften if the meat is kept warm.

Accompaniments for roast pork are thin brown gravy and apple sauce. However, cranberry sauce, fried apple rings and redcurrant jelly are also popular. Boned joints may be stuffed with a sage and onion stuffing, or with a dried or fresh fruit stuffing.

Roast pork is excellent cold, served with salads.

Pork is not usually braised, since it pro-duces a lot of fat during cooking. If you i Spare Rib Chops, 2 Spare Rib, 3 Chump Chops, 4 Loin, 5 Loin Chops, 6 Leg, 7 Blade, 8 Hand and Spring, 9 Fillet, 10

Knuckle, 11 Belly, 12 Fillet End of Leg. wish to braise pork, use spare ribs or cutlets or neck chops. Allow 25 to 30 minutes per pound for spare ribs and 20 to 25 minutes for the chops.

Although the cuts suggested for braising may be used in casseroles and stews, they give out so much fat that they should be cooked a day in advance, so that the stew may be cooled and the fat removed and discarded. However fillet, which has no fat, is ideal for casseroles and should be cooked for 45 to 55 minutes depending on the size of the meat cubes.

All cuts of pork may be boiled for serving cold, although salt belly of pork is the cut most often boiled. Allow 30 minutes to the pound and 30 minutes over.

To fry pork chops, in a large frying-pan, melt a mixture of butter and oil, (1 ounce of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil will be enough for 4 to 6 chops) over moderate heat. Add the chops, fry them for 5 minutes on each side or until they are well browned all over. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops. Test the chops by piercing them with a sharp knife; if the juices run clear, the chops are done. To grill pork chops. Preheat the grill to moderate. Trim the chops of excess fat, season them and lay them on the grill rack. Place the pan beneath the heat and cook the chops for 15 to 20 minutes on each side – depending on the thickness of the chops.

If fillet pieces are to be grilled , brush them with melted butter frequently throughout the cooking time.

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