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So, Who Likes Liver?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Maybe I've never had well prepared liver - except chicken liver. This morning I received an email message with a liver recipe, and started to think about trying it again.

What's your favorite type of liver and how do you like to prepare it? Is calves liver much different from veal liver?

shel
post #2 of 27
I like liver, bacon and onions done with lambs liver and I also like faggots done with pigs liver.
post #3 of 27
I like liver, but it has to be calves liver - pig and lamb liver are a little too 'wild' in flavour for my taste - and I do not eat veal.

I like to dust thin slices with a little flour and quickly pan fry. I like to serve it with creamed, mashed potatoes and a carrot and onion gravy.
post #4 of 27
Another vote for calves liver, although lots of good things can be done with most kinds of liver - duck, goose (even without force feeding), pigeon, chicken, venison are all fabulous in their own way.

Thin sheets of calves liver seared on both sides, served with a veal jus, mashed potato and thick slices of dry cured, unsmoked bacon (cured with juniper berries, star anise and bay leaves) is pretty special to me.

Most Australians won't eat any form of offal, so the butchers pretty much give it away...
post #5 of 27
Wouldn't do to try to persuade them to eat haggis, then? :)
post #6 of 27
I only really like to eat chicken liver. I cut it into small pieces, dredge it in flour, salt, heavy pepper, and fry it in olive oil. Then we drizzle with lemon and eat it as an appetizer.

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post #7 of 27
I love fried chicken livers. I cook it like Mapiva but in canola oil instead of olive oil. My kids love this and it's one of our special meals when Les is out of town overnight.

I also love beef liver. I dredge it in flour, salt, and pepper, then brown well on both sides. I put it in the slow cooker with onion slices on top and cook it until it's falling apart. YUM! The kids won't eat this but Les does so I cook it for us and make them something else, or plan leftovers for that night.

I have some pig liver in the freezer. I've never had it but figure I'll prepare it the same as the beef liver.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far. What do you look for in order to get a good piece of liver, calf or otherwise? How do you tell the difference between calf liver and regular beef liver? I heard that soaking the liver in milk can be helpful, but I can't recall in what way.

shel
post #9 of 27
Chicken livers are such a part of the Southern diet that when I was in high school and worked at a chicken fast food joint (Church’s Fried Chicken) fried chicken livers were on the standing menu. A popular order was fried chicken livers with a side of fried okra.
There is a appetizer served down here (and I’m sure in other parts as well) with some regularity, I forget the name, but it is liver (not sure, but I bet it’s chicken) wrapped in bacon and baked. It is usually served in some sort of brown sugar based sauce.

People always seem to have strong feelings about liver. You either love it or loathe it. I personally detest liver of all sorts. My mother used to force it on us in the name of nutrition, but I have found that most of the physicians I know won’t touch liver with a ten foot pole because the liver is responsible for filtering impurities from the body.

It could be an old wives tale, or true back in the day but not with modern animal husbandry, but my mother’s mother (Big Mama) who was as country as they come (6th grade education, never learned to drive but could make biscuits from scratch with no recipe, no measuring cups and no rolling pin in her sleep and favored collards and such) soaked livers in milk to help get rid of the residual yuck and yuck flavor.
Then again, most of her life she had to kill and pluck the chicken herself.
post #10 of 27
I like chicken liver done the adobo way with lots of garlic and soy sauce. The offals are for my dog as treats, the smellier the better. My x husband taught me how to cook animal liver dredged in flour then fried. I used to sliced some Red Spanish onions with it separately and put it as a toppings for the liver. It rocks!! Now I barely eat animal liver and just make it as a treat to my little puppy...as is but fried, just fried...as onions are toxic to animals.
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post #11 of 27
Help me out here please. What's the difference between calf's liver and veal liver?

Really like liver dredged in seasoned flour and fried in bacon drippings served with lightly sauteed onion.

And as unlikely as it sounds, "woked" as in:'

Liver Surprise
1 lb beef liver (skinned with all membtanes removed) sliced 1/4 inch thick and then cut ito 1/2 x 3 inch strips.

Marinade:
1 T sherry
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 tsp 5-spice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Sauce:
2 T sherry
1 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

kettle of boiling water, cornstarch for coating, oil for frying, lettuce and green onion for garnishes

Place strips of liver in bowl. Add boilling water to cover. Stir around. This will draw blood out and liver will turn whitish. Soak 5 minutes and then drain well.

Marinate liver in marinade for 10 minutes. Coat liver with cornstarch.

Mix sauce in small pan and stir. Heat just to dissolve sugar and set aside.

Heat 2 inches oil in wok to 375 degrees. Deep-fry liver briefly about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Mix prepared lilver quickly in pan containing sauce to coat flavors on liver strips.

Arrange on platter of finely shredded lettuce. Garnish with chopped green onions.
post #12 of 27
This is the standard country way of cooking liver. Our country grocery store would take all the membranes out... then cooked it as described above... usually in shorting or lard. After frying the livers... add sliced onions and a bit of stock and cover and cook slowly till the onions are done

I think the only difference would be the size of the livers! :D
post #13 of 27
Orly chicken liver and thats only a few times a year. S&P, dredge in flour, fry in lots of butter until crispy. Any other form of liver is nasty!
post #14 of 27
I've never liiked liver as liver. Liverwurst is good. I've had a few chicken liver mixtures that were acceptable. Otherwise, just no.

Phil
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post #15 of 27
When does a "veal" become a calf?

I've had liver fried and then simmered in stock with onion and sweet green pepper, but it was actually venison liver that was used and it was really good! Also, gotta add that a slice of cold left-over liver with ketchup on rye bread makes a really good sandwich!
post #16 of 27
My intense Google research found this tidbit:

According to some butchers I've talked to, veal is the flesh of a milk-fed calf. When the calf is weaned onto grass/grain, then the tenderness and taste that veal is famous for is lost, and it becomes beef. When is that? Most calves are weaned at around the one year old mark.

... so there you have it.
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post #17 of 27
Chicken liver gently simmered in butter until cooked through. Run through a meat grinder with some browned onions and finely diced celery, all mixed with a dollop or two of mayo, generous pinch of salt. Chill and serve with crackers.

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post #18 of 27
You have to be careful with that definition, many butchers will use describe anything younger than a yearling as veal, even if it was weaned at a younger age.

Regarding selection of calves liver -
- Go for calf over beef, preferably organic - toxins build up in the liver as the beast gets older - so this it is worth spending some effort making sure that the animal has had minimal exposure to anything toxic...an organically raised yearling is pretty optimal imho
- The liver should have nice sheen to it and a pleasant smell - if the outside does not have decent shine, or the smell is a little odd then it's either started to go off or it was not in good condition prior to slaughter.

Soaking the liver in milk can help reduce the slightly bitter flavour that some liver can develop by removing the last vestiges of blood and toxins from the flesh - this really shouldn't be necessary with a good calves liver which is naturally sweet, but can help with lamb, venison, beef or pork.

We quite frequently serve pan fried duck livers as a garnish for duck confit - the contrast between the two is very interesting.

The most important thing with any liver is not to over cook it, it turns to leather very easily.

Another favourite chicken liver dish of mine is a warm salad of frisee, chicory, lardon, poached egg and chicken liver with a french-style cream vinaigarette. For an evening meal, we flash the livers with a little brandy.
post #19 of 27
My wife hates the smell of liver cooking, so I only get to eat it when she is out of town. Too bad, because I really like it.

A couple years ago the church she attends ( Okay, I do go with her once in a while ) did a big Thanksgiving dinner and I assisted. We smoked something like 32 turkeys and a dozen hams. While prepping the turkeys it turned out no one wanted the livers - I took them all home. I made a couple batches of turkey liver pate with some different seasonings and was in liver heaven for days!

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post #20 of 27
Thanks for clearing that up for me! Then I guess when my mom calls it "baby beef" liver, it could be either calf or veal. hmmmm Regardless, I like it although I don't knowingly eat veal (having once met a 1 day old holstein).
post #21 of 27
Most of the liver we eat comes from wild game that I bring home. Deer, Elk, Duck, and Goose liver are all some of my favorites. The Deer and Elk liver is cooked as most on here have mentioned. We like it dredged in flour seasoned with poultry seasoning, fried and served with a sweet milk gravy.

The livers from the ducks and geese I make into a Pate'. Rinse and chop 1/2 pound of livers into 1/2 inch pieces, and then rinse and soak in cold fresh water (change the water 3-4 times in a 20 minute period). Drain the livers well, and saute' in butter with 2 minced shallots. At this point, add salt and white pepper (1/4 teaspoon of each). When the livers are browned, deglaze with a shot of brandy. After the brandy has reduced by 1/2, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Break up a softened cube of butter into a blender, add the livers (making sure to scrape everything out of the pan), and puree until smooth. When it is completely pureed, add 2 teaspoons of brandy, and blend to incorporate.
Pack this into small serving sized ramekins, and chill for 1 hour. Serve at just below room temp.
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post #22 of 27
As much as I want to, I simply cannot enjoy liver. I like some liverwurst and some pates that have liver, but straight liver is something I avoid.

I do like chicken gizzards, beef and chicken hearts, and many other organ meats. I love beef tongue and sheep tongue, and those I look for but they're expensive so i don't get them often.
post #23 of 27
Sauteed liver onions smothered in gravy with side of fresh mashed potatoes and sweet corn. :lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::l ips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lips::lip s::lips:

What does sheep tongue taste like, besides sheep tongue. I never heard of peole eating that. I'm going to have to look for that one . I'll try anything once!
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post #24 of 27

Love dat offal

MMM that's how I like it too. Generally get lambs fry (liver) here - have never seen calf liver in Australia, I guess caterer's suppliers have it tho.

And Miraz - no they don't give it away here - although it's not very expensive, say $5 a kilo - but a lot of Australians do like it, particularly the older generation and country people. I wish they DID give it away :) No-one here in my immediate family likes it, so I cook it once everyones left the house hehe. Love Lamb's kidneys too, done in much the same way, red wine reduction and stock, with oregano and paprika, cook until still pink in the middle. They're great in a steak and kidney pie also, nice long slow cooking, they are very tender and tasty.

I don't know about sheep's tongue, but ox tongue tastes much like bologna (which is called Devon or Fritz here). When its done right it makes a really good cold cut, for salads or sandwiches.
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post #25 of 27
I cook beef tongue with corned beef spices. I simmer it in a big pot of water for a couple of hours, and then peel off the "skin". Yummmmmm :lips: It is so good hot, and also so good cold, sliced.

Sheep tongue is smaller, of course. I cook it the same way, but for only about 45 minutes. It is excellent in mole' sauce.
post #26 of 27
DC Sunshine - I tend to buy most of my meat directly from the small farms around Sydney - many of the small producers don't even bother to collect the offal from the slaughter house when they take an animal in to be processed.
A couple of the ones I deal with on a regular basis now bring me a mixed bag of offal whenever they deliver to me without charge rather than leave it with the slaughter house - quite literally given away. About the only thing I do pay for is good calves liver, which is really a premium product elsewhere in the world.
I had half a pig delivered yesterday with a it's bag of bits, head and tail and tub of fresh blood so I'm into processing it all today - brawn, black pudding, sausages, Terrine, hog's pudding, pig's ear fritters (great snack), pancetta, cured loin, neck and cheek, air dried ham and the various fresh joints and cuts.
post #27 of 27
Miraz - I may have to move to Sydney :) Just love offal, if they're giving it away, I'm there hehe. Sorry didn't realize you were from Australia at first. I'm in northern Tasmania - it's hard to get any gourmet products here :( It'd be a great place for someone to set up shop. Although I'm not sure how many gourmets there are here. Its mainly (from what I've seen) meat 3 veg and gravy.

That's sounds like a lot of work processing that pig but the results will be worth it I reckon. Love black pud too. My family think I'm wierd.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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