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Sauteed Calf’s Liver

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Here is the master recipe for a simple sauté of calf’s liver, which cooks hardly more than a minute on each side. Overcooked liver is gray, dry, and disappointing—perfectly sautéed, it is a rosy pink when you cut into it.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 slices or about 1 pound top-quality calf's liver sliced ½ inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup or so flour in a plate
  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter, or butter and light olive oil or peanut oil

Suggested Special Equipment:

  • A heavy 10-inch frying pan, no-stick recommended



The moment before sautéing, season the liver on both sides with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. Set the frying pan over high heat and film with 1/16 inch of clarified butter or butter and oil. When very hot, lay in the liver and sauté 1 minute on each side.

When is it done?:

It should be barely springy when pressed with your finger, and a deep pinky red when you cut into a piece. Serve as is, or try one of the suggestions that follow.


Calf's Liver and Bacon:

Cook 2 slices of bacon per person and keep warm on a plate lined with paper towels.  Pout the bacon fat into a small bowl, wipe the pan clean, and spoon in clear bacon fat.  Use that rather than butter for sauteeing, to give the liver a special flavor.  Serve the bacon with the liver.

Sauteed Calf's Liver with Wine and Mustard Sauce:

For 4 Servings

1 tablespoon Dijon-typ prepared mustard

1/4 cup beef or chicken stock

1/4 cup dry white French Vermouth

Ingredients for Sauteed Calf's Liver:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot or scallion

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


Whisk the mustard, stock, and vermouth in a small bowl.

Saute the liver and remove to hot plates or a hot platter.

Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add the tablespoon of butter, and saute the shallot or scalion in the pan for a moment; blend in the mustard mixture and simmer a moment or two, until the sauce has thickened lightly.

Swirl in the parsely, spoon the sauce over the liver, and serve.

© 1989 Julia Child

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

269kcal (13%)
7mg (1%)
1mg (2%)
5564mcg RAE (185%)
308mg (103%)
368mg (15%)
3g (16%)
14g (22%)
6mg (33%)

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