google search this blog, doesn't always work

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

refined technique for cooking liver

You can fry liver in a pan, and it will be GOOD.

Or, you can tweak your method just a little bit, and it will be GREAT.

One of my loyal blog readers suggested a few changes to the way I normally cook liver, which seemed small and insignificant.

But I decided to try anyway.

This liver was melt-in-your-mouth-like-butter tender, and had a better flavor too.

Here's what I did differently:

1. Preheat the cast iron skillet until it's really hot. Melt butter in the skillet, to sizzling.

Before, I'd just preheat until the butter was simply melted. It needs to be sizzling.

2. Season with salt and pepper only, nothing else, and dust very lightly with flour.

Before, I dredged it in flour and added onion powder and garlic powder.

3. Don't crowd the pan. Cook only one or two pieces at a time.

Before, I'd throw it all in, and the onions too. Cook the onions in a separate skillet.

4. Turn only once! One minute each side. It will be "medium" cooked.

Before, I'd keep turning, until it was well done.*

*I'm talking about BEEF liver. PORK liver should be cooked all the way!

These changes, at first glance didn't seem like they would make much difference. But, they sure did.

I deglazed the skillet afterwards, with beef stock, and added wondra flour to make a gravy.

Some people fry bacon with liver; You can cook the bacon first, and then use the bacon grease.


  1. Thats pretty much how I cook liver, but I use calf liver as I'm not a fan of beef liver.

  2. I use calf too, or beef, depending on what's available. If it's just pork liver, I don't buy it.

  3. Agree about pork liver; not on my list of to-buys.

    If you know a hunter, you're in the sweet spot. Fresh elk liver is exceptional. Venison ditto. Bear is very good, also.

    What also really really helps is if you have access to the entire liver, so you can slice it (diagonally) as thin as possible. Sometimes freezing it slightly helps this process.

    But if your butcher can slice calf liver VERY thin for you, hey, you've scored a winner.