Venison Liver a la Hermes Diaktoros …

20 Jun

Have you ever done this thing where you read in a novel what somebody is eating and you immediately want to have that for yourself? That you were licking lips while you heard the descriptions, and your stomach started to rumble.

I did.

Hermes Diaktoros is a Greek detective, written by Anne Zouroudi*, who solves crimes in a variety of settings around the Aegean. If you’ve not read them, DO. They are really good. I’m saving at the moment to get the newest one on my kindle. But, this is not a book reviewing place.

The description I’m talking about comes from The Whispers of Nemesis, where Hermes and a taxi-driver called Hassan are sharing a plate of goat liver:

It was, as Hassan had said, a fresh, well-flavoured mouthful: a touch of pink at the centre, the onions soft and flavoursome, the whole made interesting with a scattering of thyme.

Not only is it interesting to me as it shows a Greek take on liver and onions. It also talks about liver cooked in a sensitive way. And thyme is my favourite herb.

I didn’t have any goat liver, but I did get some venison liver a while ago, and was inspired to try and feel a bit Greek (but without the murders) in Beeston.

I floured the liver, pan fried it for a couple of minutes each side and served it on top of two potato farls (a lot of my family is Irish too), a bit of Greek salad and LOADS of fresh thyme. It was super tasty.

Have cooked something from a novel? What are your favourite food novels?

I’ve not read any James Joyce (the shame) but I know he’s all over the offal. I know this because my very supportive godmother posted this:

“Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls”

Then there was an interessting discussion about how offal because part of national cuisine, when a country has a high level of meat export. In this case, beef and lamb cuts exported to the British Army from Ireland. Just leaving the trotters and chitterlings behind.

Who says offal isn’t political?

*she is a second cousin of the Barnsdale branch of our family. That’s by the by.

8 Responses to “Venison Liver a la Hermes Diaktoros …”

  1. Carol Anne @ Rock Salt June 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I read a couple of novels about a Greek detective, he was always cooking and eating, but I don’t think it was these ones… Aha, found it – they were by George Pelecanos. Anyway the main guy in those made calamari in one of the books and I’ve always meant to try it – good on you for actually doing it.

    • offallygood June 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

      more than one greek detective? heresy! it felt really good to be like “I am inspired and thus I am fed”.

  2. Juls June 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I remember the very first food description I read in a book that made me want to eat that very food NOW. I was about six and reading Roald Dahl’s “Danny, Champion of the World’ and in it is described a cold meat pie given to Danny as a gift.
    “Very carefully, I now began to unwrap the greaseproof paper from around the doctor’s present, and when I had finished, I saw before me the most enormous and beautiful pie in the world. It was covered all over, top, sides, and bottom, with a rich golden pastry. I took a knife from beside the sink and cut out a wedge. I started to eat it in my fingers, standing up. It was a cold meat pie. The meat was pink and tender with no fat or gristle in it, and there were hard-boiled eggs buried like treasures in several different places. The taste was absolutely fabulous. When I had finished the first slice, I cut another and ate that too. God bless Doctor Spencer, I thought. And God bless Mrs. Spencer as well.”
    I never wanted a meat pie more in my life as I did that moment.

    • offallygood June 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      God yeah. The power of reading about food when you’re a child. Did you read that latest Roald Dahl biography? it talked about how he loved fine dining and would give his children oysters from being very small. I had a cassette tape of Brambly Hedge ( at Christmas which talked about things like buttercup wine and crumbly cheese. So vivid. Brian Jacques (of the Redwall books) was a master of describing feasts too. Hats off to the childrens writers! Who has written about food writing in fiction/children’s books?

      • Juls June 21, 2012 at 5:20 am #

        It’s certainly a subject that needs to be explored!

  3. Androula's Kitchen June 21, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I loved the Zen novels about an Italian detective( what is it with detective stories?) by Michael Dibden, he obviously loved food and describes preparing meals and the ingredients. Also Joanna Harris of course author of “Chocolat”, she can make your mouth water.

    • offallygood September 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Absolutely! I had a casette tape when I was little that was called ‘Brambly Hedge’ and all the characters were mice and they seemed to spend all day eating cheese and apple pie. You could taste it!


  1. Venison Liver and Holistic Cauliflower « offallygood - September 15, 2012

    […] from Round Green Farm at the Kirkstall Farmers Market and it is SUPER TASTY. I’ve eaten it before and always look out for it. The simplest way to cook it is to flour it all over and then fry for […]

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