It's true that liver has lost much favor in the last few decades. I only see it now on the menus of diners and restaurants that cater to families and serve "early bird" specials.
My husband told me that his dad used to make liver for him and his siblings when he was a child. It was so tough, he said, that you started eating it at dinner and finished chewing at breakfast.
I made this recipe for my 92-year-old mother-in-law per her request, and even she was amazed that it was fork tender. If a 92-year-old-woman couldn't get her liver tender in all those years, I knew I had to share my secrets.
It's time to try this old favorite again, with new skills to make it properly this time. This secret is for any tough, chewy meat you run across. Brown for the flavor, then braise for the tender. Yes, it's that simple and I'll show you how.
• 3 pieces of liver — beef or calf — thawed
• 1 cup flour
• ½ cup oil — I like canola or olive oil
• 1 tbsp. seasoning salt — I use Goya Adobo
• 2 large onions, sliced in ringlets
• 24 oz. beef broth
• 3 cups rice, prepared according to directions on pack
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tsp. Herbs de Provence — optional
In a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid, add the oil and heat to medium-high. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent and limp. With a slotted spoon, remove and set aside the onions. In a shallow dish, add the flour and seasoning salt, mixed well. Dredge each piece of liver through the flour and place in the pot with the oil. Brown on each side for about three minutes.
Remove the liver and set aside. Add two heaping tablespoons of the flour mixture to the oil to make a roux. If it's too dry, you can add a tablespoon of butter and heat it until the flour mixture is bubbly. Let bubble for about two minutes. Add the broth to the flour mixture and let it come to a simmer and slightly thicken. I add the Herbs de Provence to the broth because I like the taste, but it's totally optional. Add the liver back into the pot and adjust heat to low so that it's a low simmer; this is the braise. Add lid slightly askew to let the steam escape. Simmer for two hours and stir every 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add prepared rice to the plate, add liver and gravy. I heat the onions in the microwave for 30 seconds and top the liver with them.
Lori Edmonds is a Reisterstown resident and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.