This traditional recipe for lambs' hearts was originally called Love in Disguise, one of the many fancy names given to offal dishes to mask their origins. The fresh, zesty stuffing ingredients complement the meaty taste of their casings.
4 lambs' hearts
40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter
1 small onion, skinned and chopped
50 g (2 oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
15 ml (l tbsp) chopped fresh sage or 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
30 ml (2 tbsp) plain flour
450 ml (3/4 pint) chicken stock
45 ml (3 tbsp) dry sherry
chopped fresh sage and grated lemon rind, to garnish
1. Wash the hearts thoroughly under running cold water. Trim and remove any ducts.
2. Melt 15 g (1/2 oz) of the butter in a large frying pan and lightly fry the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, sage and nutmeg. Season to taste. Bind with the egg yolk and mix well.
3. Fill the hearts with the stuffing and sew up neatly with strong cotton or fine string. Coat them in the flour.
4. Heat the remaining butter in a flameproof casserole and brown the hearts well. Pour over the stock and sherry, season well and bring to the boil.
5. Cover and bake at 150°C (300°F) mark 2 for about 2 hours or until tender.
6. Serve the hearts sliced and pour the skimmed juices over. Garnish with the sage and lemon rind. Accompany with mashed potatoes and red cabbage with pears.