This is my version of Iscas, the favourite way of preparing liver in Lisbon. Rather than calves’ liver, which does not lend itself well to a marinade, use best-quality lamb’s liver. The secret is to cook it very quickly so that it does not toughen.


  • lb / 680 g lamb’s liver
  • 3 tbsp good white wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 mild onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Remove any piping from the liver and cut first into slices and then into strips about the length and thickness of your little finger. Place in a bowl. Mix the wine with the olive oil, and pour this over the liver. Add the onion, and leave to marinate overnight.

Heat a flameproof casserole with a lid, and preferably with handles, on the hob. Drain the liver, reserving the marinade. Put the liver in the hot casserole, perhaps doing it in two or three batches to avoid crowding the pan, which would lower the temperature and the meat would steam instead of searing. Put the lid on, and shake the casserole vigorously. Return it to the heat to cook for not more than 3–4 minutes. Remove the liver and keep it warm. Proceed until you have cooked all the liver. When you have removed the last of the liver from the casserole, pour in the reserved marinade, boil until reduced by half, then season it and pour it over the liver. Serve immediately.