Yet Another Beef Liver Recipe: The Greek Way

I'm not going to hesitate to say it: this is the best liver recipe yet, and it's courtesy of reader and very frequent commenter, Marie. She says she only calls it Greek because of the garlic and vinegar, but it's not actually a Greek recipe. Tasted very Mediterranean to me, though. Let's get right to it. Here's her recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 oz liver
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • Kerrygold butter (Kerrygold garlic butter best)
  • Worcesteshire sauce or Balsamic vinegar
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Roasted garlic cloves

Instructions:

  1. Cut 6-8 oz of liver into finger-wide strips, cut 1/2 of the sweet onion and 1/2 of the red pepper into strips.
  2. Heat skillet at about 3/4 max setting on range - or Whatever is the highest setting on your range that will let you cook for 15' without the butter smoking.
  3. Melt Kerrygold butter, 3-4 tablespoons (yes, that's a shallow lake). Herbs and Garlic butter is best, but just salted will do fine.
  4. Toss in liver, onions and pepper strips. Stir frequently, flipping strips over.
  5. About 10 minutes into cooking,  drizzle ~2 tablespoons of Worcesteshire sauce (not much more or you'll get soup) over sizzling strips. Balsamic vinegar works too, if you add your own spices to taste. I like just garlic and oregano for liver.
  6. Let go for another 5 minutes, flip / stir once or twice.
  7. Done at ~15' total,  or when liver looks red-browned, not black (don't want shoe-leather).
  8. Garnish (this is important) with marinated mushrooms and roasted garlic cloves. They're both sweet and tangy too, like the sweet onions and peppers. You can also use some fresh or dried oregano.

Here's how hers looks.

IMAG0731
Foie de Boeuf à la Grec

I had 13.5 oz of grassfed liver—a gift from Sophia of Grassfed Jerky Chews—so I increased the other ingredients roughly proportionally. While I was able to find marinated mushrooms easily enough, the two high end markets I went to had no roasted garlic, so I used this procedure from theKitchen on a bunch of peeled cloves (I got a tub of those at Lunardi's for $1.50, worth every penny if you've ever peeled about 18 cloves of garlic). Wow. I'm roasting garlic more often, and telling Bea never to buy potpourri again. :)

I also decided to mod it up a bit by going with half marinated mushrooms and half marinated artichoke hearts. The other thing I did a bit different is that some slices of the liver were pretty thin, So I put the onions and red pepper in for the first 5 minutes, then added the liver for the last 10 minutes (with the Worch being added at the 10m point). Came out perfect. Realize that with all the veggies, this isn't like frying liver by itself with full contact with the skillet. Takes a bit longer.

When done, I removed it with a slotted spoon into a bowl and tossed it with the shrooms, art hears, and the garlic—including the drizzle of olive oil it was roasted in.

IMG 1260
My version

Next time I'm doubling up on the roasted garlic. Liver is something I like but it's not like it's a favorite food or anything. But given it's high nutrition and this recipe, it's getting real close.

Give it a try.

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Comments

  1. I mix equal parts Kerrygold and bacon fat. Cook the onions and garlic until slightly brown and soft. Take them out. Then I up the heat a little and lightly sear the liver (which is at room temp before cooking) in the oil on both sides. I love my liver rare. So tender and juicy that way. Plate the liver, dump onions over top. Slat heavily and some black pepper. Simple and divine. It takes me back, as a kid I used to eat raw liver.

    • I’m with you Steven, the liver has to stay moist and tender. Once well done, the flavor is ruined!

  2. My family is literally off of a boat from the middle east. They were poor folk so we had lots of raw meat dishes.

  3. Thanks Richard!
    Yah, it’s very Mediterranean with these ingredients, I guess a mixed-Med background will out ! (smile)

    It was the milk post that reminded me, bizarrely, because Cold milk is the perfect accompaniment to this (if digestible/not allergic) – keeps mouth ‘cool’ between all the tangy veggies, vinegar and garlic.
    Also, it’s great to end the meal with Tangerines/Clementines, to cleanse palate, but for nutrition reasons too in the winter.

    • I did my session at the gym right before coming home to make this. I did 24 oz of post-workout Saint Benoit while making preparations and finished off the liter with dinner. Yes, the milk goes well.

      Hit my 2,000 calories almost exactly today. I still feel full.

      • Also, looks like your freshly roasted garlic gives it another dimension, I’ll be trying that too, along with the marinated artichokes. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Simply Offal says:

    Mmm, nutrient-dense detoxification organs! What’s next on the menu? Fortified latrine cakes?

  5. personally I like ripping the liver out of a fresh kill and eating it on the spot- washing it down w/ a glass of Nero d’Avola

  6. I made this meal thanks to Marie, and added Indonesian Sweet Soya Sauce as I didn’t have worcestershire sauce at home, it did the trick. amazing flavours, the best liver recipe yet.

  7. I also cooked tiny mushrooms and garlic in their clove skins first (keeps them sweet and moist) then added onions, red pepper, liver. aaaamazing tastes.

    • Pauline, I’m blushing (smile).. It seems there’s plenty of variations we can do around these basic ingredients and I love to hear them all!

  8. LeonRover says:

    Rich,

    Thanks for this.

    I like the idea of cooking the sliced liver with onion-pepper mix.
    I shall, however, stay with my clarified KerryGold for its higher cooking temp.

    I shall also use some pickled walnuts instead of mushrooms, as I have some available.

    Slainte

  9. Oh for fuck’s sake, can you stop with all the politics Richard?

    Speaking of milk and liver, I’ve heard good things about marinating liver in milk, but never gotten around to trying it. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • Sean, I know a variant. Marinate in Greek yogurt. Over night in fridge.
      Better yet, marinate in Tzatziki (yogurt, vinegar, garlic, cucumber sauce).
      The latter is a heady experience.

      • That’s sounds pretty interesting, although I’m almost too cheap a bastard to waste precious Greek yogurt on a marinade.

        “Your money or your life.”

        “I’m thinking, I’m thinking…”

      • “Tzatziki”

        Is that the cucumbery sauce they put on gyros?

        I could drink that stuff by the gallon.

      • Yes and me too :)

      • Back when I lived in San Diego in ’84 right after graduating college and going into the Navy, and was there for various Navy schools, there was this little Greek cafe thingy at Seaport Village (still there, as of a couple of years ago). I went there almost every Saturday for lunch to have a gyros, extra extra extra sauce.

        I never forgot it.

      • I love tsatsiki (or however it is spelled) and I love garlic, but I think tsatsiki is most often spoiled by being too garlicky. It should be a subtle blend of flavor where good quality yogurt does most of the talking.

        And speaking of good quality Greek yogurt, the local Greek specialty place here went out of business-bummer. They were replaced by a Spanish specialty place that’s also really nice but I don’t see how they will do any better. Awesome selection of jamon and a fine assortment of pretty expensive Spanish wine, which I find much less overwhelming.

    • “Oh for fuck’s sake, can you stop with all the politics Richard?”

      Can you stop trying to crash my bone?

      I’m drafting the first in a series of posts right now. Guess the topic.

      • Becoming one with the Earth Goddess? Why Apple is overrated? Why bad words are unprofessional? How government is necessary and beneficial for everyone? The wonders of corn syrup? Why you love Jerry Brown? Why the mainstream media is more qualified than we are to speak truth to power?

        That’s a pretty wide net, has to be in there somewhere.

      • You need a wider net. Or, a very tiny one.

      • Well to be serious for a second, I think the most interesting thing at the moment is this halting of the Look AHEAD study and why it was shut down two years early.

        Is Petr correct in his “cynical” speculations or are his “speculations [...] baseless and too convenient for my tastes.” As Stephan wrotein a comment over at PHD? My money’s on Petr. But there doesn’t seem to be much to do other than speculate until the data is released.

      • Saw the news and socialed it (new verb alert), but have not yet seen posts on it. I’ll look. In the meantime, first in my new series is up. But it’s not going to be every day so I can pop in so,etching else if its as good as my organic stuff. :)

  10. I once used an old British recipe book that required marinating sliced liver in milk then dropping into flour before frying with onions, some bacon. Add little water and simmer lightly with lid on. Served with mashed potatoes. I had the thought that the milk was to clean the liver but may be wrong or maybe neutralise the strong flavour?

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that it makes it less ‘livery’.

      • Hmph! Only if the rest of your dish fights the flavor of liver do you need to neutralize it.
        But o.k., if you do, I find yogurt works better than milk, same process, more concentrated and the bacteria help.

    • In the Wise Traditions cookbook, they marinate in fresh squeezed lemon juice.

      Tried it a few time. OK. Now I just cook it straight after rinsing in water, drying and slicing.

  11. I just tried lamb liver for the first time. Just a quick sauté in bacon grease. It was literally sweet, far more delicate than beef.

  12. AndrewDufresne says:

    man, that’s the best liver I’ve ever had! Might be able to stomach the stuff now.

  13. LeonRover says:

    Rich & Marie,

    I have just eaten a brunch to this method of preparation – using 300 gm of Pig Kidney.

    My stomach & taste buds are signalling: YES, YES, YES – PLEASE DO IT AGAIN.

    Lea & Perrins Original & Genuine is the taste key – that significant anchoviste flavour.

    Next I’ll add finely chopped parsley to the pan as it comes off the heat.

    I did roast some peeled garlic, with olive oil, folded in foil and under grill roasted – it worked well.

    Slainte

  14. Marinated mushroom recipe? Your mother’s secret recipe, or are they all the same?

    I had a big hunk of lamp chop loin (simply divine) tonight, and one look at the pictures got my stomach all hot and bothered. I haven’t had liver in two weeks, and this recipe is beckoning me.

    • Todd, smiling…
      Any marinade that’s sweet, or better yet , sweet and tangy will do. I used Teriyaki mushrooms last time because that’s what I had ready in a jar – shhh….the Greek gods are jealous ones :).
      The idea is to complement the rich, sweet and tangy flavor of the liver with other sweet and tangy flavors.
      Like cooked onions, sweet peppers and roasted garlic, mushrooms go especially well with it. But you can add or supplement a lot around the basics, see great ideas from commenters above.

  15. Last night I made this recipe with chicken livers and added the worcestershire sauce, very delicate flavours. I parboiled sliced potatoes, rinced, then put into roasting pan in oven, gave it a shake of olive oil and rosemary herbs, sea salt. Served these as crispy chips with the chicken livers and small glass of red wine. One of the best meals- such a scrummy combination of flavours. Double thanks to Marie and Richard.

  16. should read poured off hot water from potatoes not rinsed.

    • Pauline, yum, rosemary potatoes….
      What kind of red wine? I often get that question and never know what to say.

  17. I don’t know enough about red wine but buy a good quality one from the store, I bought into the story that red wine is good for you lol.

  18. Thanks Richard and Marie, this recipe is definitely a winner. I used lamb’s fry which worked well, and ended up only getting half of it myself. My 16 month old daughter loved it (I think it’s a good texture/consistency for a little one), but I was really surprised when 4.5 year old son wanted to try it, then ended up eating an entire bowlful (he was so upset when we went to the butchers to get more liver, and they didn’t have any).
    You sold me on the nutritional density of liver a while back, but now I’ve got a recipe that makes it pleasurable rather than a chore.

  19. Marie,

    I just made this recipe, and I’m ready to propose marriage. I don’t find liver offensive, but this meal takes liver into the stratosphere. So if you can do that, I can’t image what else you can do in the kitchen. :)

    I loved the pairing with the marinated mushrooms/roasted garlic.

    P.S. I tried the roasted garlic method from the link and it went horribly wrong. Totally burned. Leaving it as a bulb worked much better for me today. Live and learn.

    • Todd

      Did you peel the garlic, wrap it on foil with a drizzle of OL, etc?

      How can one possibly ruin roasted garlic? You should offer yourself up for a good spanking by Marie. Justice is justice.

      • Yeah, I followed the directions. Sometimes the gods don’t look down on you favorably. Jerks.

        The recipe I used called for the top of the garlic bulb cut off to expose the cloves, drizzle liberally with olive oil, and then sprinkled liberally with salt & pepper. Cover with foil. 375 for 40-45 minutes and done. All you have to do is squeeze the end of the bulb and the cloves come out the cut end easily enough. Saved a boat load of time peeling all those garlic, too.

        As I’ve been naughty, I’ll graciously accept my punishment from Marie. Crossing my fingers she’ll have something tasty cooking. Maybe I can sneak a bite.

      • Hmmm, not my recipe. No idea how that happened but who gives a fuck, eh? I want you to have roasted garlic cloves that make you involuntarily drop to your knees, instanter.

        Peel 18-24 coleves, or get them ready peeled. That means they are like a babie’s ass–soft, smooth. It’s not in a bulb. Roasting bulbs is a whole different deal and you end up with garlic paste, usually to go on crackers with Brie and red wine to impress the easily impressionable.

        Then do the drizzle, in foil as the instructions say. Do not roast in the bulb.

      • Oh, shit.

        “Nothing in the response should be cronsrued as absolving him of the spanking he so soundly deserves.”

        There, whew, that was close.

      • No problem, Richard, since I would rather he drop to his knees quite voluntarily ;0

      • ooh la la Todd! Tiens, a spanking per Richard’s recommendation, but to your liking, yes ? ;)
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtcSYPjJbgg

      • Tiens.

        On of my favorite French words. Kinda a combination of take that and look at this. “Regard” and voici just doesn’t cut it. TIENS!! Thake that ( even if its a spanking).

      • Laf!
        More like “here you go” in this case, hmm? Because I am generous that way…. :)

      • I prefer “would you just look at THIS”.

        Very versatile, works in all sorts of contexts.

      • Indeed. As always, you are a supreme generalist :)

      • Generally speaking, I keep driving hard.

      • Ahaha, you are in a rare mood tonight. Is Bea on her way back? :)
        And in another sense, you don’t know how ironic that is here right now, we are not Driving, more like Surfing or Wading – in NY state, safely inland, but still…. a lot of water, a constant roar (rather erie), gusts that slam against the house and lights that are flickering with inverting frequency. If I suddenly drop out of any conversations, you’ll know why. Though no worries, like the boy scouts, we are prepared!

      • ‘increasing’ frequency….

      • Just got back from the airport.

  20. David Fye says:

    … here’s a version I love, a french twist on the classic, shallots instead of onions well caramelized in butter, salt & pepper, when nicely browned deglaze with sherry vinegar and cook down for a few seconds, finish with reduced veal or beef glace’ and lots of chopped italian parsley… spoon over luscious liver and top with crisp bacon and pan roasted apple slices… Enjoy

  21. sarah sprouse says:

    We LOVED this! My 4 yr old asked for it for a snack and dinner the next day! I may never try another liver recipe! I also made my own marinated mushrooms and roasted garlic (not because I wanted to but because I had fresh mushrooms and garlic and wasn’t going to the store again – but both were easy and I’d do it again.)

  22. I regularly eat lambs live, never tried beef liver but will give thisrecipe a try.

    Best lambs liver recipe is this:
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/22/lambs-liver-merguez-spices-hugh-fearnley-whittingstall

    I tend to go heavier on the spices and remove or add spices as i fancy. I also think a good squeeze of lemon helps cut through and greek yoghurt is always a good addition when served.

    • I was just about to say that live lambs are just a scosh out of my comfort zone. But hey, if you have a smoothie recipe, post it. I assume it requires a commercial size blender.

  23. *lambs liver, not ‘lambs live’.
    That would be pretty hardcore paleo.

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