Lamb or Goat Liver Dirty Rice

Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo

A crave-able, delicious recipe, using grass fed lamb liver. Skeptical? You won’t be after you’re first bite of lamb or goat dirty rice, our take on the classic Southern dish, and one of our favorite ways to use lamb offal. If you didn’t know it contained liver, or whatever other offal you’d like to use, you’d probably have trouble picking out the flavors out from the toasted rice cooked in lamb broth, and savory creole spices.

Traditionally, dirty rice is made with chicken offal, but here we use lamb, and, although the flavor is somewhat stronger than chicken, it still melts away into the flavors of the dish. You might think our lamb dirty rice here as a side dish, or the foundation of a dinner or brunch entree, topped with a few sauteed vegetables, braised, and then browned lamb belly, and, or course, a fried egg. It’s also great made ahead, and reheated at a moments notice.

Besides being a great foundation to all kinds of dishes, adding liver also adds nutrients to a dish, particularly iron. For people that need more iron in their diet, it’s hard to find a better source than liver.

Our dirty rice features an easy-to-make creole spice mixture, designed by Chef Alan, but feel free to use your own favorite blend.

Grass Fed Lamb Liver Dirty Rice

This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef. 

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Lamb or Goat Liver Dirty Rice

Slightly spicy, rich dirty rice made with lamb or goat liver
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Goat, Lamb, Offal, Rice
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lamb  or goat liver
  • 1 1/2 cups raw basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil or lard
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 small bell pepper any color but green minced
  • 2 stalks of celery minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch green onions/scallions sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning see recipe below depending on your heat tolerance (optional)

Instructions

  • Puree the liver in a food processor and reserve. Toast the rice until light golden in an oven, or in a pan on the stove using medium heat (optional). Cook the rice with 2.5 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of oil or lard, and 1 teaspoon of salt. From here the rice can be made ahead of time, up to 2 days, and it will perform better if it isn't freshly cooked, which can make it sticky.
  • To make the lamb liver dirty rice, in a wide pan big enough to fit the rice, like a cast iron skillet, sweat the celery, onion, garlic, and peppers for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the lamb liver, Cajun seasoning, 1.5 teaspoons of the salt and stir.
  • Cook until the liver is completely cooked and the pan threatens to dry out, then add the cooked rice, stir to combine well with the lamb and vegetable mixture, then double check the seasoning for salt or spiciness adjust as needed, then fold in the green onions and parsley at the last minute and serve immediately. The dirty rice re-heats very well, and is great with a fried egg. If the rice seems dry, add a bit more fat to taste.

Notes

Ground hearts and kidneys also make a fine dirty rice.

Homemade creole spice mixture
Homemade creole spice mixture

Creole or Cajun Spice Blend

A traditional blackening-style spice blend

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and store until needed.

Trinity of onions, peppers and celery
Onions, peppers, and celery is a classic building block of Southern Cuisine called the trinity.

Grass Fed Lamb Liver Dirty Rice
Lamb dirty rice

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