A beautiful thing to behold, a fresh and healthy stags liver. Deepest glistening garnet, like the plumpest rosiest cheek of silk, its one of the most tactile things I know and I can barely keep my hands off it. Its little wonder some Scottish gillies savour it in its rawest form, still warm from the beast, wise fellows. For those of you that prefer your meat warmed by the pan rather than life itself, the capers and lemon balance the richness in this dish, and celery just works so well with any kind of offal. The liver would sit very happily on some well buttered wet polenta, or equally potato puree.
1. Sauté three sticks of celery, sliced, in a good knob of butter with a pinch of salt over a low heat until it begins to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Take a few slices of liver of around a centimetre and a half thickness and dust with a little flour seasoned with a pinch of salt, pepper and half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
3. Heat a pan to a medium heat with another good knob of butter and fry the liver on one side for one minute, then turn over and fry for a further minute. Add a handful of drained capers, the zest of one lemon and juice of half of it to the pan, then add the sautéed celery and a handful of roughly chopped celery leaves. Toss this all together over the heat for a further thirty seconds then remove from the pan and allow to rest for a minute.
4. Before serving, drizzle with a little lemon oil, a squeeze of the other half of lemon and a small sprinkling of sea salt.