Liver and Onions

This was always one of my favorite dishes when I was a kid (minus the onions - I simply couldn't stand onions, period.) Perhaps it was all the ketchup we doused it in, but the texture and flavor of liver has always been very satisfying to me. In my adult life, I've come to know it for it's nutrition, but I've never had the guts to cook it myself. Last weekend I found some local organic beef liver at Willy Street for a decent price, and decided to go for it.

The Weston A. Price Foundation has a really good post about liver on their website. They point out that liver from many different animals has been a sacred food for a very very long time in many cultures, and there's a good reason why - here are the nutritional benefits they list:
  • An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
Sounds good to me! I did made sure that the liver I got was organic - I'm wary of eating any non-organic meat, but especially so for organ meats like liver.

I found several references online to soaking liver in milk to take the bitterness out. We happened to have some close-to-expired milk in the fridge, so I gave it a try. I soaked it like this for about an hour. I later talked to my mom about it - she's as close to a liver expert as anyone I know. She's never soaked it, and it never turned out bitter, so it's hard to know if this really made a difference.

While it was soaking, I grilled the (local) onions in the cast iron skillet in a little bacon grease. (Dave was in the middle of making his famous Cream of Reuben Soup, and there was a little bacon grease left in the pan.)

Handling the raw liver was pretty tough at first. It's got a texture unlike any other meat I've worked with - smooth, slimy, gelatinous, and really weird. Some people recommend eating it raw - that's really tough for me to imagine.....but who knows.....tastes change over time I suppose. Just cutting it up was enough for me this time.

I dipped each piece in flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and then fried them in butter.

This was really easy, and just as tasty as I remembered it. There's something very primal and satisfying about food that's this nutrient dense. I can totally understand why native cultures considered it sacred. And yes, I still doused it in ketchup - some things never change!

Liver and Onions

Beef Liver (as much or as little as you want)
Whole milk
Yellow Onions
1-2 Cups whole wheat flour

Soak liver in milk for 1-2 hours (this step is optional.) While liver is soaking, chop onions and cook them in butter (or bacon grease) over relatively hot heat until they're nicely grilled. Set onions aside. Season flour with a little salt and pepper and put in a shallow pan. Take liver out of milk and cut into largish pieces. Heat a few tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet. When the pan is nice and hot, dredge each piece in the flour and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You can tell by touching the pieces when they're done - they'll lose their weird gelatinous texture and become firm. Don't overcook! Serve with onions and ketchup.
share on: Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.