Love changes everything

I hope my title doesn’t deceive you, I’m writing about a recipe which I found in a book published over forty years ago, a recipe called Love in Disguise. Maybe it could be something sweet like strawberries concealed in a chocolate fondant? Or cherries steeped brandy in a Black Forest style something or another? Or tomatoes – they were once called love apples weren’t they? Or a sweet sour something or another? Or oysters? Sweetmeats? Sweetbreads?  Well, if anyone thought the recipe involved sweetbreads they might be closer, because in fact meat is one of the ingredients

The recipe is in a book of traditional recipes but it was published in 1975 with the anticipation that those who bought the book would indeed cook the recipes. In the meat section there are some intriguing ideas which I don’t think anyone but a person interested in old recipes would tackle… pigs’ kidney stuffing, rabbit paste, haslett? And quite a few  liver recipes – liver puffs, smothered liver hot-pot, liver ragout – and kidneys too!

So, Love in Disguise… sheep’s hearts… I can’t see many people in my house eating it but I do remember having heart at home and at school… In case I get inspired, here is the recipe:

Love in Disguise

  • 3 sheep’s hearts washed, cleaned and dried
  • 3 rashers of bacon
  • 1 beaten egg yolk
  • 1 oz vermicelli, broken up, cooked, drained and left to cool and dry slightly
  • dry breadcrumbs (panko would be great)


  • 2 oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp suet or butter
  • pinch of dry or ½tsp made mustard
  • 2 oz minced ham or bacon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp marjoram or other sweet herb
  • zest of a lemon
  • seasoning
  1. combine the stuffing ingredients and mix thoroughly rubbing in the butter if used, adding a little water as necessary
  2. stuff the hearts , wrap round with the bacon and skewer
  3. arrange in baking dish, cover with foil and cook  at gas mark 5, 375º F, 190º C for 1½ hours
  4. take from the oven and remove from dish
  5. dip in or brush with egg yolk then roll in the breadcrumbs and vermicelli pieces
  6. return to the oven so the coating crisps up and browns

There is a serving suggestion of tomato sauce made from grated apple and onion, butter, sugar, seasoning and tomato purée simmered together for 15-20 mins and thickened with cornflour… hmmm, I think I would use my own recipe which would have tinned tomatoes, chopped onions, red peppers, garlic and herbs…

On the facing page to the Love in Disguise recipe there is one for golden potato bake which I also think would go well – layers of potatoes, onion sauce and with cheese sprinkled on the top, cooked in the oven at gas mark 5, 375º F, 190º C for 1½ hours – the same as the meat!!


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