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Liver.... oh no? Oh yes!!

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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 April 2012 at 11:02

Calve liver

My supermarket had calve liver in, so that's what was on my menu yesterday. I wrote "my" menu, not for everyone, so all the more for just me... yeah, it's liver.

Some prefer raw unauthorized liver with fave beans and a bottle of chianti, many wouldn't even think of eating liver. This is calve liver and it became such a real de-luxe product over here; I paid 20 €/kilo for it. That's way over 10 $ per lb in your US money. I like liver once in a while and I have good reasons to do so; my vitamine B12 level is chronically too low and this is the best source for it. People lacking iron, like many young and less young women do, should simply eat more liver. There are dozens of possibilities to cook it, however there's one rule; do not overcook it or it will have a grainy texture. Just, just done is a must and preferrably a little pink, that is, if you don't mind. Here's what I made;

Tomato sauce: In fact this recipe is simpler than it looks and you could make it even a lot simpler by using passata to make a tomato sauce. I made the sauce properly from scratch with onion, fresh peeled tomato, a little sugar, dash of white wine, thyme, garlic, a bit of chickenstock; in fact I broke a corner from a Knorr bouillon cube and threw that in, nicely crumbled, always works to crank up the bland taste of non-summery tomatoes. The sauce is not mixed, I prefer that chunky rustic look.

When the tomatoes were cooked, I sliced a red and a green bell pepper in it. The remaining heat in the sauce is enough to soften them since I always peel these. Most people do not digest the peels of these peppers! When peeled, they almost don't need to cook and your estomach will thank you for it.

Liver; Cut the liver in strips or chunks, roll in plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in a very hot pan in sunflower oil for approx. 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile cut some sage leaves and sprinkle over. I used frozen leaves, the dried ones in the picture went back where they came from. Sage and liver is such a good match!

Assembling the dish; cook pasta; I used penne but any of your preferences will do, mix with the sauce and plate the pasta. Sprinkle some parmezan over it. Top with the liver, a "thread" of olive oil and some black pepper. I feel a lot healthier already, or was it the wine? Ah well.

 

Chicken liver

Quite a while ago, in a thread on CT about rice and risotto, chickenliver and rice came up, I think it was Siduri who mentioned it. I then suggested to make a risotto and I posted a recipe as I would make it, but I never made it myself. A long time after that I found some nice chickenlivers and decided to make that recipe. So, I'm calling this recipe "Risotto Siduri" since she inspired me for this recipe.

Stock; I used chickenstock that I heated to just not boiling, added a piece of cooked beetroot chopped in small chunks, the stalks from the parcely I'm using later on, a sage leaf and since beetroot can be a little sweet, a good dash of fresh lemonjuice. Tasting helps as always to find the exact balance. After a while, remove the parcely and the sage, plunge the handmixer in and mix the beetroot in the stock as finely as you can. Parcely and sage can go back in. You now have a delicious red stock.

Chickenliver; simply switch your mind to zen-mode and remove all things that shouldn't be there. Pour some icecold milk over them and let rest in your fridge for an hour or so; this eleminates any funky taste and more important, bloodresidu. Yep, it's liver...

Strain, dry and cut the liver in bitesize chunks. They are ready to panfry.

Risotto; sweat a chopped shallot in olive oil and a bit of butter. Add rice (I used arborio) and let it coat with oil until it gets very hot. Only then pour in some RED wine, yes, red wine this time. Stir gently and let the rice cook until the wine has disappeared. Then add the stock, a ladle at a time, keep stirring the rice until each ladle of stock you add has gone. Repeat until the rice is as good as done. Add a bit of butter and a small hand of grated parmezan cheese and a small hand of very finely chopped parcely, season well. Stir well, cover and let rest.

Panfrying the livers; Put a bit of oil and butter in a very hot non-stick pan. Put the livers in quickly, one at a time (meaning; don't wack all the livers in the pan in one go). Do not touch them, a few pieces may literally "sauter" (=french for jump) in your pan. Let them in for a minute or so, then turn and do the same. Sprinkle with 2 finely cut sage leaves. Pour a good dash of Madeira wine in and let reduce a bit, add a tbsp of very cold butter, this will make the jus a little thicker and stick to the meat.

You could use a not too sweet Marsala instead of Madeira, but the Madeira is fabulous in this!

Serve rice as shown with the livers on top. In case you wonder; the 3 leaves on top are a kind of sorrel (zurkel in dutch). We call them "bloodsorrel" as translated from dutch (bloedzurkel).

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 12:38
Liver is good food! No squeamishness from me on anything with liver in it. Good post! 
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Boilermaker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 13:11
Looks good to me, I like liver.  Yum!
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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2012 at 21:04
Wow 20 Euro's per poundShocked  That's a shocker. Here it's less than 5 Euros.

Having said that, As someone who isn't a big fan of liver, your pictures look fantastic and actually make me want to try those dishes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addtotaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2012 at 03:01
I LOVE liver. When I was tiny I refused to eat it now it's in my top 10 favourites. This all looks really really yummy. 
Check out some more recipes and reviews - www.addtotaste.co.za
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Hoser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2012 at 03:16
I love liver as well, but should avoid it due to the cholesterol levels it contains...my favorite is good old pan seared calves liver smothered in bacon and onions. 
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2012 at 21:20
Looking at this again those two dishes are to die for.  Can you come to Georgia, here in the States, and make those for me?  You've made liver look delectable.  Damn, I'll bet you could make cat turds into a five star dish with your preparation and your wonderful pasta and risotto accompaniments.  Bravo!

Also, your photography is top notch.
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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 June 2012 at 04:23
Georgia? Makes me think of the music of Tony Joe White, Andy. Loved his music since ever.
Thanks for the compliments. It's a fact; put food in an elegant way on a plate and many will even try things they would never consider eating.
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