Especially in today’s toxic and stressful world, it’s important to be eating organ meats, including liver. I did not grow up eating organs. Just like most people, I was disgusted at the thought of eating liver. I didn’t make much effort to eat organ meat, especially livers. I did try to use a chicken liver in most pots of stock that I made. Over time, I have come to enjoy the taste of organ meats. Although, I still only like liver prepared certain ways.
It’s important to get grass-fed liver from healthy animals. You can tell the health of your liver by looking at it! It should be a dark red color. Unhealthy livers will be a pale, almost brown color. That shows a liver that’s aged or from an unhealthy animal and should not be used. It should be a robust red and not mushy.
A well prepared liver is the key to enjoying it. Some livers, like chicken livers, are mild enough to be cooked without any additional preparation. But beef liver, being from a larger animal, can be quite strong in flavor. There are ways however to diminish the strength of liver flavor by soaking it in whole milk (raw preferred!), apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
For many recipes, you may decide to thinly slice your liver before soaking it. You need probably 1/8 to 1/4 cup of acid. You want to soak the liver for 30 to 90 minutes. The acid begins to denature the proteins which improves the texture and taste. But if you leave your liver for too long in the acid, it will start to “overcook” the liver, creating an undesirable texture.
If you remove the filament from around your liver, the edges won’t curl when you cook it! If you go to a butcher, you can ask them to remove it, or you can remove it yourself.
Now that you’ve chosen your liver, thaw it to room temperature. Slice if desired.
Place your liver in a bowl with filtered water. Add 4-8 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or whole milk (raw preferred.) Allow to soak for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The time you soak is determined by the thickness of your slices and your texture preferences.
After soaking the liver for your desired time, you can remove it and cut it up to prepare it per your recipe. As you can see from the picture below, I did not soak this long enough for the acid to permeate the entire liver. This will lead to a slightly stronger liver taste. This liver was blended in a food processor and added to ground hamburger to make meatballs so the stronger taste was okay.
Do you have any tips or tricks about how you enjoy liver? Share what you know below!