Liver casserole

This dish is food that’s eaten in my native Finland any time of the year, and in my family also as part of the Christmas meal. I always thought this food to be something of an acquired taste, and every time I used to host a party I would tell the British guests that I will not be offended if they don’t like it and finish it. As it’s turned out, it has actually always been one of the dishes people love. It’s not the most beautiful food in terms of presentation (I admit it does look more like dog food), but sometimes the taste can speak for itself instead. This dish is normally served with lingonberries, or lingonberry jam. I would say the closest substitute to lingonberries would be cranberries, which are probably more widely available.

3 dl pudding rice
1 litre water
3 tsp salt
8 dl milk
2 eggs
2 onions
1tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1tsp dried marjoram
3 tbsp dark syrup (I had to replace this with 2 tbsp treacle due to availability of the syrup I normally use, and it worked fine)
1 1/2 dl raisins
500g beef liver (Pork is fine too. Beef liver will give smoother flavour, pork stronger)

1. Boil the rice in the salted water for about half an hour. You may want to stir it from time to time so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

2. Peel and chop the onions, and place in a blender. Roughly chop the liver pieces, and check for any sinewy parts you may want to discard. Place in the blender together with the onions. Blend until the liver doesn’t have firm texture anymore. The onions can still be in small pieces.

3. Once the rice is cooked, add the cold milk, and all other ingredients. At this stage the mixture will be very liquid, but when it’s cooked it will become firm.

4. Pour the mixture in a buttered oven dish, and add some small pieces of butter on top. Cook for about on hour 180°C / 355°F.