Friday, 30 January 2015

Ooh, you are offal, but I like you!

MIGHTY ORGAN: Lamb's liver.

Sorry for the title of this post, it reflects my unhealthy addiction to puns. Some of you may realise that it is a play on a catchphrase from British comic Dick Emery.

He died more than 30 years ago, but his popular TV show seemed to form a permanent backdrop to my childhood and beyond. The show aired irregularly from 1963 to 1981, which is testament to Emery's comedic staying power - or maybe there was nothing else good on the box.

Strange to think that Emery's cast of characters took us through the Swinging Sixties in to the industrial unrest of the 70s and sputtered to a halt in the 1980s by which time Mrs Thatcher was in power, smacking people's heads together.

The catchphrase to which this title refers was in fact "Ooh you are AWFUL, but I like you!" It was said by Emery, who was dressed up as a busty blonde called Mandy. After uttering the phrase she shoved a hapless interviewer in the shoulder and then wobbled off down the street. I don't recall ever thinking it was funny, it was just there.

I'm afraid this post has meandered a long way from what I intended and there is a reason I gave it this title, which is that tonight we are going to eat steak and kidney pie. Yes, kidneys...offal...making one of the tastiest pies known to humankind.

Some of you may not be that impressed, but our butcher does not routinely stock ox kidneys, the type you want for steak and kidney pie, so we had to wait for them to arrive in a special delivery from the mainland. There were a few hitches along the way so my anticipation is now at fever pitch. Mrs C has already made the filling for the pie, which I have tasted. It is glorious.

Leaving aside vegetarians, there are some people for whom the idea of  eating offal can bring on a case of the dry heaves. Sorry if that is the case for you, but I am of the opinion that if you are going to eat animals, you should try to eat as much of what they provide as you can. Just eating fillet steak is all very well, but it does mean there is a lot left over of a beef animal.

On that basis while we were in the butchers picking up our ration of kidneys we also bought some liver. Lightly fried with some onions and green peppers, to which you add some paprika, seasoning, red wine, let it reduce, add a  bit of sour cream (I use yoghurt) and there you have a yummy dish - unless, that is, you think offal is awful.

A bit tricky coming up with some music to go with a post about offal, but I've plumped for Timmy Thomas performing Why can't we live together?  because - brace yourselves - he played the organ. You're right, that's an offal joke.

* Top picture by Beck (originally posted to Flickr as Lambs Liver) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Was it the organ or the dancing woman that inspired you to post this video? I agree that if we are going to eat animals we should eat/use everything. I will pass on the steak and kidney pie. My latest somewhat unusual gastronomic adventure was haggis. Your pie does sound better than the haggis :p

    1. Haggis, one of those things it's best not to know too much about before you tuck in, and it's nowhere near as bad as it ought to be. The pie was delicious. As for the video, what can I say? To be honest the dancing woman does seem a bit irrelevant. Someone suggested to me I should have put "50 ways to love your liver" by Paul Simon.


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