Offal for dumbies
I have only eaten liver twice in my life; once was a horrible experience for an eight year old and the second was a lucky bit of perfectly cooked liver from a street vender in Korea. I tried cooking it after that, in butter with onions, and it turned out like bloody dry oatmeal. Yeah, I think I over cooked that one. So I tried again. This one turned out like the same bloody oatmeal, but more of a soggy spongy kind.
I have been eyeing the pile of chicken livers, among other less identifiable organs, next to where I buy my pork. I'm a decent cook, but just have no clue where I really went wrong the other times. Maybe it was the cut? Or the quality (commissary brand level suspicion). I need a how to offal from the very beginning. What do I look for in buying it? Are there certain species that are better suited to different things? I don't think my cooking was off the second time, but I am craving some vitamin A, D, and K.
I'm not an expert, but I've read on here that some people soak liver in milk for a day before cooking it to diminish that musky taste. You can also search this site for "Paleobird pate." Everyone who tries it seems to love it.
I don't like bloody things either, so I rinse off the liver before I put it in the pan. My go-to way to prepare liver is to saute it with onions in a good fat (coconut oil works, and for chicken liver, chicken/duck fat is awesome) - you want it a bit pink inside, so test pieces of it throughout the cooking process. If I have sweet vermouth in the house, I'll add a bit of that also.
Once done, it can go one of two ways - I either eat it hot over rice, or I put it through the food processor and chill it. Once chilled I either eat it with a fork by itself, or use something like cucumber slices as "crackers."
I tried bison liver recently using the above method and the food processor and it came out really good. Tonight lamb liver is on the menu and I'm going to try a simple curry over rice. :)
Make sure you are getting 100% grassfed or free-range. Conventional liver is likely loaded with antibiotic and hormone residues.
Lambs liver has a great taste and I prefer it to beef or chicken liver. I only like chicken liver in paté.
This blog has some good recipes:
[url=http://thenourishingcook.com/]The Nourishing Cook[/url]
Also this book:[url=http://www.amazon.com/Odd-Bits-Cook-Rest-Animal/dp/158008334X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372182918&sr=1-3&keywords=offal+cookbook]Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal: Jennifer McLagan, Leigh Beisch: 9781580083348: Amazon.com: Books[/url]
Don't over cook, liver get dry and grainy. I like them rare to medium rare. Grilled some beef liver last night. Some soak it in milk or coconut milk to get rid of some the iron flavor, I don't I happen to like the taste. Lamb is much milder than pork or beef. Kidney's I do soak to get rid of the urine smell/flavor. Pancreas is similar to liver.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/45615616@N00/9135349327/]1043946_10201548356819327_1419870269_n[/url] oleh [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/45615616@N00/]ktvamp[/url], di Flickr
Check out my blog, I do lots of offal
Yes keep liver pink in middle.
In uk calfs liver is like £25 a kilo.
I like any liver, ox(beef) lamb chicken , I've had venison which was pretty nice .
I like all offal hearts, kidneys !!!
Chicken livers taste VERY different from Beef Livers.
As others have said, just lightly brown them so they are still pink in the middle. I cook us up a big fried breakfast in the morning, and this is the order I add things in: mushrooms (15 min gap) stir, bacon (5 minute gap) flip bacon, liver (1 minute gap) flip liver, eggs (eggs cook in about 3 minutes) serve
Chicken livers are the easiest to accept for those that don't like the liver taste. Find middle eastern recipes for it - those guys really know how to cook chicken liver. Lamb liver is also easy on the palate, so long as it isn't overcooked. Unfortunately, I grew up eating overcooked lamb's liver but I enjoy it now. English recipes for this should be good, just omit the dredging in flour
Mmm I will have to try this pate. Everyone seems nuts about it, and I have a few good looking recipes in a cookbook somewhere. Maybe liver just isn't made for a pan... I can't get uncured bacon here in Korea, or I would have just wrapped the suckers in it as per Primal Blueprint cookbook.
I like to soak calves' liver in a mixture of lemon juice and water (the recipe says to use all lemon juice but that gets a bit pricy). It should soak for several hours if possible. Then fry up as much bacon as you want in a large fry pan -- I use cast iron. (I also start my bacon in melted bacon fat or lard -- it keeps the bacon from burning, and helps it cook to a crisp golden brown.) Place the cooked bacon on paper towels and when cool break into large bite-size pieces. If it looks like there is too much bacon fat in the skillet, pour some off into a bowl and reserve, leaving a layer of bacon fat in the bottom of the skillet. Remove skillet from heat.
Now slice up as many onions as you think you will eat when they've been cooked in bacon fat. Set aside.
Pat dry your liver and slice into strips, or rectangle-type pieces. Set aside. (Original recipe said to bread liver in flour, and fry up separately -- but I never bother.)
Now reheat your skillet, and fry your onions to desired doneness or almost doneness. You may need to add a little more bacon fat. Add the liver and cook and stir until the liver is cooked to your liking -- some like it a little pink inside -- some like it cooked a little more. It won't take long. When the liver is done, add the cooked bacon to the liver and onions, and serve. (May need salt and pepper.)
Yummy!!!! This has got to be one of my favorite meals!
PS Save the remainder of the bacon fat for other uses.
I saw Jamie Oliver do a dish with liver, bacon, steak and a potato mash that actually appealed, and I NEVER thought I'd say that about liver!!!