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Quick veal liver with onion sauce recipe

Quick veal liver with onion sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Veal

I grew up eating veal liver, which is very tender and tasty. My mum used to make it at least once a month! This quick dish is easy to prepare and delicious to eat.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 40g butter
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 thin slices veal liver
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sliced lemon to garnish

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add onion. Cook until the onion is just soft.
  2. Place the liver in the pan, then add the wine. Cook for no longer than 5 minutes. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Decorate with some slices of lemon. Serve with the onion sauce.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

The Nasty Bits: Calf's Liver with Onions Recipe

Although I've been gnawing on chicken feet for most of my life, my love affair with viscera began in earnest in college. I was the student who, between mouthfuls of potato chips, voiced nitpicky objections to the argument. Due to an unlucky incident involving yours truly and a bowl of tikka masala, my Introduction to Western Philosophy professor instated a no-snacking-policy in the classroom, curry or otherwise. For the rest of the semester, I toiled through the class without the aid of food. This was unfortunate, because the further we moved into Greek philosophy, the hungrier for offal I became.

More Bits

The ancient Greeks tell all sorts of delectable tales about the liver. Most famously, Prometheus, immortal son of the Titans, thief of fire, is punished by being chained to a rock while eagles devour his liver. The crux of the tale rests on his immortality: Overnight, the liver of our hero regenerates so that he is forced to suffer the same fate for eternity. What most don't read about Prometheus, however, is that he's deceived Zeus once before. As my professor recounted during one especially trying seminar, Prometheus tricks Zeus by placing before him two offerings—the first, a selection of meats placed within the stomach of an ox, and the second, a collection of the ox's bones hidden within layers of glistening fat. The significance of the tale is no longer clear to me, but I do remember that with all the talk of liver, tripe, and fat, I walked out of the seminar ravenous for innards.

Thankfully, we're never more than a few minutes away to a perfectly cooked piece of liver. Tripe may take a long while to stew liver, on the other hand, is the ultimate quick-cooking offal. Poultry livers are good and well, but there's nothing quite like the flabby, glistening, massive presence of a calf's liver. Sweet and rich, a fresh piece of calf's liver is incomparably delicious, possessing the tenderness of a poultry liver coupled with the more assertive, feral taste that comes with eating a larger animal.

More so than Plato, calf's liver with onions defined my college years - I cooked it for myself before big exams as a stress-buster, after the exams to celebrate, and sometimes in between on rainy days.

One of my favorite calf's liver recipes comes from The River Cottage Meatbook, in which the pan is deglazed with balsamic vinegar after the liver has been seared. A well-aged balsamic pairs nicely, but recently I've been using an aged fig vinegar, a sweeter and much fruitier alternative. Flash-fried leaves of sage accompany the liver and onions, providing a welcome, herbaceous contrast to the heaviness of the dish.

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Leave a comment about this recipe or ask a question?

Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers . You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods. 

I pop in all the time as well, to chat and to answer questions. 

Meet with us around Oma's table , pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

Sauteed Calf's Liver

Place liver in a nonreactive (ceramic or glass) bowl and pour milk over. Refrigerate, covered, 5 to 6 hours.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. When butter is shimmering, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring more frequently until onions are very soft and brown, 30 to 40 minutes more.

Drain liver and discard milk. Pat liver dry with paper towels.

Spread flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Thoroughly coat liver with the flour mixture, shaking off excess.

Heat a large (13-inch) saute pan over medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the oil and heat until shimmering. Cook (in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding pan) until liver is firm (but not hard) and browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining liver, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Add sage and cook for 1 minute more.

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Beef Liver and Onions

I used to hate liver, probably because of a run-in I had with some that wasn’t cooked very well when I was a wee lad. That all changed when I started working in restaurants and cooking liver regularly. I became much more used to the flavour and aroma, and I grew to enjoy it. Liver and onions are a classic diner dish, slightly elevated here with the addition of balsamic vinegar.

Before you begin, be sure the membrane and any traces of the arteries have been removed from the liver. Place the liver in a bowl with the milk and refrigerate for 1 hour. Discard the milk and pat dry the liver on a towel.

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and bacon, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the bacon is brown and the onions caramelized, at least 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pot, and set aside.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the liver with salt and pepper, then dredge the slices in the flour, shaking off any excess, and place them on a plate. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a few slices of liver, brown them on the outside, and transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining liver.

Add the onion and bacon mixture and the sage to the frying pan. Pour in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the browned liver and stir until well combined.

To serve, divide the liver and onions among individual plates and serve immediately with your favourite mashed potato recipe.

One of the reasons most people don’t like liver is because it has been cooked to death. Liver, whether beef, veal, or poultry, can be served slightly pink, but I prefer when it’s been just cooked through (160°F internal temperature). Overcooked liver develops a mealy texture. When thinly sliced, liver just needs a quick sear, followed by a minute of reheating in the sauce.

"Recipe from Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan" - Excerpted from Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan. Copyright © 2020Peter Sanagan. Photography by Peter Chou. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 slices back bacon or Irish bacon (recommended sources: or
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Pound calf’s liver, cut lengthwise into 4 thin slices of equal size
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 Cups veal or beef stock, store-bought or homemade

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