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Sep 7, 2009 12:36 PM

Beef Liver - Do you choose to eat it?

So after reading the book Julie and Julia, I was left with a pretty intense craving for some good old infamous liver. I went out last Friday night and bought a package (love how inexpensive it is!) and did up some pan-fried liver with onion gravy. Low and behold, however, I was still left with about 4 more servings of the raw stuff in the fridge! I get bored with eating the same thing daily, so I wanted to test out some different preparations. Now, usually google is pretty good at inspiring some ideas, but I found there to be little to no material on creative ways to prepare liver! I ended up finding one recipe that had it sauteed in tomato sauce. So I twisted up that idea by making a sauce with some vodka sauce and my leftover onion gravy. Turned out pretty delicious.

STILL! I was left with MORE liver. So I actually ended up breading and frying up the remainder, melting some cheese onto the top, and threw the leftover tomato sauce over top of that. I put it all into some bread and had myself a little liver parm sandwich...

Needless to say, I am definitely liver'd out for now. There's only so much you can eat before the "interesting" texture starts getting to you.

Now, I ask all of you: Do you eat liver? And if so, what are some interesting ways that you choose to prepare it?

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  1. A long time ago, a classically trained chef worked at one of the placed I was associated with. Once he prepared calf's liver for me, which to this day is the best way I have ever had it prepared.

    It was dusted in seasoned flour, pan sauteed medium-rare. He made a sauce/pan gravy reduction consisting of heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. He topped the dish with frizzled onions. The only thing missing was bacon.

    I've also had sweetbreads prepared in a similar manner @ French restaurants, so it must be a classic recipe/dish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      Medium rare is also my preferred way of eating liver (beef, chicken, calf, pork etc.) It seems to help to minimize the mushiness associated with it. This classic French way of preparation, with or without the cream and onions, is also the way I am almost never tired of, when the craving for veal or chicken liver hits.

      For the bigger ones such as beef and pork, one very simple way that impressed me more than 10 years ago and that I have adopted to since, is preparing them as though you would for stir-fried meat slices Chinese style. You cut the liver into thin slices of 5mm each, marinate them in soy sauce, sherry, a tiny bit of sugar and cornstarch, and then sear very briefly in a hot pan with oil, so that the inside is still pink. It goes very well with fried onions and rice.

      Edit: Oh, I (again) neglected to notice that the thread has been resurrected from more than a year ago, and the OP must have long finished the excess liver by now.

    2. I love liver, but mainly chicken and calf liver done in the classic ways (sauteed with onions and sometimes bacon, or in the case of chicken livers chopped with onions, eggs and schmalz as a spread... or added whole to a tomato based sauce for Spaghetti a la Caruso).
      I have also used pork liver is making traditional Hungarian hurka (a sausage made with offals and rice).

      I don't have an aversion to strongly flavored foods, but beef liver is just too intense and overbearing for me. Maybe I just haven' found the right recipe for making it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Professor

        I love liver, and prefer the strong taste of beef liver to calve's liver, and don't really like the mushiness of chicken livers.
        That said, My chopped liver is made with 60% chicken liver and 40 calves' liver.

        I often will slice beef liver about 1/2" thick and cokk on the BBQ grill like a steak until med-rare. I serve it with baked potato and broccoli.

        I also love liver, broiled and chopped/dice fine, mixed with mashed potato and used as the filling in a knish.

        Also, finely dice satueed liver and onions make a great filling for ravioli or kreplach, Better if fried like a pierogi, than just boiled.

        1. re: bagelman01

          I too find calve's liver too mild when making traditional fried liver, onions, and bacon, but I do like chicken livers as well (add a little soy but otherwise same method as with beef). I use a 50/50 chicken/beef liver for chopped liver. I think a small amount of minced sauteed beef liver is good in spaghetti sauce along with the usual ground beef and Italian sausage.

      2. The absolute best liver and onions that I've ever had was at the Union House restaurant in Framingham, MA. some years ago when I was up there for a training class at Honeywell. It was cut thick, about 1/2 - 3/8 inch, sauteed in butter with a splash of white wine, and the onions were also cut thick and lightly cooked in the same sauce. It was simple and absolutely wonderful! I shoulda had seconds.

        1. Just remembered reading that pureed raw liver goes into the ground beef in White Castle slyder copycat recipes, which contributes a certain smoothness to the texture of the burger. I must try that in ordinary homemade burgers and in meatball/meatloaf mixture.

          There's always the classic German dish, Leberkloesschen (liver dumplings). But I must admit that when I buy a pound of liver I generally just divide the remaining raw liver into portions and freeze for future frying.

          1. Homemade pate!

            As an aside, do you have any advice on cleaning it? None of the cookbooks or web guides I've found tell you what to do with the white membrane and gobby looking bits in the centre - they all start by saying "slice the liver".

            1 Reply
            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              You trim out the membrane and the cross-section of blood vessel in the center. No reason you couldn't give those to your dog or cat.