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
Dietary Considerationmain 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