Liver, heart, gizzard- all the makings of Jerusalem classic for Jerusalem Day. The mo’arav yerushalmi is a classic sandwich that is available all over the new city of Jerusalem, especially in the small eateries around the Machane Yehuda markets that serve as the primary outdoor markets of the Jewish side of town off of Derech Yaffo (literally the way to Jaffa- which it still is from the center old city).
Of course this tasty combination of chicken organ meat is not really a Jerusalem dish. It is in fact a corruption of the English mixed grill brought to the Yishuv (pre-1948 Jewish proto state) by the British army that occupied a good chunk of the near east under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations mandate system. The British version consists mostly of lamb parts, the Israeli version features either chicken or turkey organs with a dash of ground lamb or lamb fat for flavor.
Properly served it comes on a baguette (a result of Israel’s Francophillia in the 60’s) or pita with hummus, salad, a dash of schoug and of course french fries (called tcheeps in Hebrew, after the English chip).
Jerusalem Mixed Grill
Equal parts fresh chicken livers, gizzards and hearts (at least 8oz each).
1 medium onion
Cumin, salt, pepper to taste
1 strong beer (stouts work well)
The secret to doing this dish well is braising the tough stuff- namely the hearts and gizzards which are as tough a shoe leather to start. So, in a hot pan sear the hearts and gizzards in olive oil. Transfer to a large pot (or do this in a dutch oven) and add cumin, salt and pepper. Slowly add the beer, bring to a low simmer and then leave on lowest heat for two hours or until the hearts and gizzards a tender to the tooth.
Chop onion and fry in a heavy pan with olive oil. Remove onion and cook livers (which should be rinsed, cut apart and dried on a paper towel). After 3 minutes one each side add the hearts, gizzards and onions back into the pan. Serve after everything is heated evenly.
3 responses to “Jerusalem Mixed Grill”
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This is indeed some of the most tasty food in Israel. A bit rich but a fine treat.