Sauteed Calf’s Liver
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.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
Recipe Coursemain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory
- 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
- 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