Liver is Something Delicious

Liver is something I always looks forward to, whether it is in pate form, as a steak, or cut into chunks like today. Its unique flavor makes it something special. In Germany organ meats are a common food, and therefore I asked my grandmother to teach me her old world tricks on how to prepare this delicious abundantly nourishing organ meat.

Unlike other meats, liver is stock full of vitamins and minerals. According to Weston A. Price Foundation, liver contains more nutrients gram for gram, than any other food. Not only is it a source of high quality protein, but it contains high levels of Vitamin A and all varieties of Vitamin B (especially B12). Liver also contains a highly usable form of iron, as well as trace elements copper, zinc, and chromium. It is also known for its anti-fatigue factor, making it popular amongst athletes. People with anemia, or women during their moon cycle, can also greatly benefit from adding liver to their diet.

Liver does contain very high levels of vitamin A, and therefore regular large servings may not be recommended for all people. Also, since liver is the detoxifying organ in animals, I recommend only purchasing organic pasture-raised beef, lamb, or chicken liver. Animals that are raised properly, will have a much higher quality liver. Usually you can find such liver at health food stores or at farmer's markets.

Traditionally liver is served with Spätzle. I prefer whole grain rice or steamed potatoes. Make sure to prepare the grain/potatoes before cooking the liver, as it takes much longer.

Our delicious meal was served with whole grain basmati rice, a large green salad, and a yogurt and wild blueberry dessert. Most ingredients were fresh from the market, and easy to prepare. Within an hour you can have a whole old world traditional german meal.

Sauteed Beef Liver and Sour Wine Sauce
Makes 4 servings
1lb beef liver
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil

Wine Sauce:
1 shallot
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup red wine
1 cube beef bouillon
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp sugar
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

First you have to prepare the beef liver. When preparing the liver you must use a sharp knife and cut off the thin connective tissue layer on the outside and also found in small holes. This will make the liver much more tender. It can take some time, so make sure to allow at least 5 minutes for this process depending on how much you need to remove.

Then you want to cut the liver into uniform chunks about 1 cm in width. Each piece of liver is different so just try your best to keep them similar. This helps them cook equally. Cutting the liver a little thicker keeps you from over cooking it later. After cutting the liver, set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan until sizzling. Meanwhile dice the shallot and add to the buttered sauce pan. Sauté until the shallot is glassy.

Add the cup of red wine and a beef bouillon cube. Let the wine simmer for a few minutes to allow the bouillon cube to dissolve. Meanwhile mix corn starch and warm water together to form paste. If need be, add a little more water to make a thin batter consistency. While whisking slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering wine sauce. Continue to whisk until combined, allow the mixture to quietly simmer. Your wine sauce should now be thicker.

Add the cream and the milk. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, and continue to slowly stir the mixture. If the mixture is too thick you can add more milk/water to thin it to your liking.

Finish the gravy with the balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Add the tsp sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste. This should finish the sour wine sauce to go with the liver. If you like it more sour, just add more vinegar but be careful, it can quickly become too sour. Add 1 tsp additional vinegar at a time.

After the sauce is finished and simmering under low heat, you can start to heat a frying pan. Once warm add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil. This combination keep the butter from splattering when adding the liver chunks. Add the liver and quickly fry until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Then remove the pan from heat and season liver with a sprinkle of salt. Allow the pan to sit for a few minutes before moving to the next step.

Move the liver onto a different plate, and pour the wine sauce into the medium frying pan in which you sauteed the liver. Slowly heat the pan and stir well. All the juices of the liver will now be incorporated into the wine sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Add the liver to the warm wine sauce and serve immediately with rice and a fresh salad. I like to leave the liver in the frying pan, this way everyone can serve themselves from the sauce.

As for the simple and delicious salad and dessert....

Mache with a Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 4
1 large bag of mache

3 Tbsp oil , I mix mine 2 to 1 olive oil to flaxseed
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 splash cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp diced chives
2 pinches sea salt
fresh ground pepper

1. Wash and clean the mache greens. Cut off any roots and discard the browning leaves. Dry in a sieve.
2. Add vinaigrette ingredients into a large salad bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Taste test. Adjust sweetness or salt with added honey or sea salt if needed.
3.  Toss the mache salad in bowl prior to serving. It is very tender and will soak up the dressing quickly and begin to wilt.

Yogurt with Wild Blueberries
Serves 4
1 ripe banana
1 cup whole yogurt
1 cup blueberries/raspberries/berry mixture
Egg liquor, optional but highly recommended

1.  Mash up the banana in the final serving bowl until it has formed a pudding consistency.
2.  Add the yogurt and mix thoroughly
3.  Top with your choice of berries.

Serve this dessert family style or spoon yogurt berry yogurt mixture into individual serving bowls and then top with berries. Offer egg liquor to pour over the top- this makes the dessert something special.

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