I confess: I’m a liver lover!
Growning up, we had liver every Thursday. My mother cooked the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of it, and to me, it was divine! First, she would soak the liver in milk, dredge it in flour and then fry it until it was cooked through until the following Thursday! She removed the liver from the pan and added generous globs of butter in which she caramelized a mountain of onions. While the onions were cooking, potatoes were being par-boiled. When the potatoes were soft enough she removed them by slotted spoon, placed them on top of the onions and gave them a quick stir together. The liver then landed on top of this, a lid went on the pan, and we waited for my dad to get home. Chefs would cringe at this recipe; to me, it is pure comfort food.
Nowadays, I make liver like this for myself. I add a bit of thyme, and don’t cook it until it bounces onto my plate; I like it a little pink inside. The other thing I like to make with liver is pâté. If you are into pâté, this recipe is really easy and quick to make. Keep the proportion of liver to butter equal, and the rest you can embellish as you wish!
- 2 Tbsp butter, AND 1 Tbsp olive oil, for frying the onions
- 1 small onion or shallot, finely chopped
- 200 grams grass fed cow’s liver
- 125 ml robust red wine for marinating the meat, a Cabernet would work well
- 6 or 7 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 200 grams grass fed, unsalted butter, cut into 2cm pieces
- A little extra olive oil to help incorporate all of the ingredients when blending (keep an eye on this)
I start by soaking the liver in enough red wine to cover it. Do so for about an hour or so. While it’s soaking away, over medium heat, in a medium frying pan, caramelize the onion in butter, and add some fresh thyme, along with a good crack of fresh black pepper. When the onion has softened (about 15 minutes) add the marinated liver that has been sliced into 2cm strips for ease of even cooking. Stir this around for 3-4 minutes. It really doesn’t need much more time than that. When the liver is cooked, tip the contents of the frying pan onto a dinner plate as this will allow for a quicker cooling time.
When the liver is cool, place it, the onions, and the butter, into the food processor to whiz around until it reaches a smooth consistency. Taste-testing along the way, I adjust with more butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper if necessary. Be mindful of how much oil you put in. You don’t want this to be the consistency of yogurt. It will firm up in the fridge, but if there is too much olive oil, you’ll have a puddle of liver when you serve it.
And that’s it! When the mixture is fully incorporated, you can place it into a charming and appropriate sized vessel, place it in the fridge to firm up for about an hour, and spread it on your favourite cracker. I have been enjoying Nairn’s. They have a black pepper cracker that complements this, perfectly.
So, go on, top up your iron and B Vitamin stores and dip into this delicious combination of hearty, gamey goodness.