Calves Liver and Onions
Calves Liver and Caramelized Onions
2 or 3 yellow or white onions slices thinly
Sliced calves liver -one or two slices per person (These come frozen already nicely slices with each slice packaged separately for easy separation.)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by Caramelizing the Onions Heat skillet over medium heat, add olive oil When skillet is hot, add onions. When onions are heated through, turn heat down to low and let them cook slowly - perhaps 20 or 30 minutes or more. That's the trick. They must not brown or dry out. Very slow cooking will make them wonderfully sweet and flavorful and such a nice companion for the liver. Do not add sugar. If necessary towards the end of cooking, add a little water to keep them from drying out.
Cooking the Liver
Using same skillet, heat skillet to medium to medium high. Add a little more olive oil. Note: I prefer an iron skillet, but that's optional. Dump flour on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together. Coat each piece of liver on both sides, one piece at a time in the flour Place each piece in skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Do Not Overcook.
Advantages of serving Liver or Dinner:
Little preparation required Extremely nutritious Cooks quickly Priced reasonably Thaws from frozen state quickly Only a few ingredients needed
*Notes on Liver with Caramelized Onions This is actually a delicate dish but has been horrible mistreated in some kitchens across our land. Perhaps this is why some are missing the joy and nutrition of this wonderful old entree. Too much cooking will definitely make it tough. The idea here is to cook it quickly. The juices will be a little pink and the meat extremely tender. Cooked correctly it will be as tender as a mother's love!
The caramelized onions are such a treat. Learning to make them just right is a skill well worth learning as they can be used in many other dishes - like omelets, chicken and pizza for example. It just takes practice to be patience and let the onions cook very, very slowly. This method just transforms them into a clear translucent delightful flavor that is so different from the strong flavor associated with an onion. While I'm at it I make plenty so I can be generous and pile them up on the serving plate.
There's an upscale restaurant in the Washington D.C. that serves a wonderful Chicken Livers and Caramelized Onion. I mentioned to the waiter how much I had enjoyed them. He pointed out that they had taken them off the menu and had had some many request for them they added them back. The onions were done to perfection. The chef had the caramelizing technique "dialed in".
By the way, dipping the meat in flour is called "dredging". As Abigail Adams wrote to her son John Quincy Adams, "I will not have you be ignorant". She wasn’t speaking of Liver and Onion (lol) but none the less, there are many time-worn cooking terms which are useful. Like a picture these terms can save a thousand words.
I hesitated to call this recipe Fried Liver and Caramelized Onions because of the bad rap fried foods have taken in recent years. I prefer to use the word sauteed as that's exactly what this process is. What it is not - is filling up a pan with oil and dropping the liver in it. I just had to say that.