Liver is often avoided, but it can actually be very flavorful and enjoyable if it’s cooked right. This offal is a rich source of various nutrients which are very important for human health. It’s a natural source of vitamin D, B12 and C, phosphorus and copper; it is high on protein; and the most important, it is rich in vitamin A and iron – the latter makes liver a part of the treatment for anemia.
Many people leave out liver from their diet because it’s one of the most important organs of metabolism, and therefore supposed to contain many toxic substances, and it has a high content of vitamin A. Liver actually let toxins pass through, but it doesn’t store them – in contrast to the vitamins needed to decompose toxins. The amount of vitamin A an adult needs each day is approximately 1,5 mg. 100 g of liver contains maximum 1500-1600 µg of vitamin A, that means if you don’t eat liver every day, it has no deleterious effect on your health.
To make soft and juicy cooked/braised/fried liver, you have to keep 2 things in mind: don’t overcook and salt only when liver is done. Long heat treatment dries out the liver and make it tough and chewy, as well as salt, which therefore has to be added at the end of the cooking.
Fried liver with onions is perfect lunch or dinner dish, it is very easy to cook and it is very nutritious. You can use any kind of liver you like, but poultry liver is particularly tender and creamy, and easy to find in stores. The recipe calls for a huge amount of onions, which are caramelized separately, and added to the dish when liver is done. Garlic and caramelized onions will skyrocket the flavor of liver.
- 1 kg (~2 1/4 lb) liver – poultry, pork or beef
- 500 g (~1 lb) onion
- 4-5 tbsp lard or oil
- 2-3 tsp paprika
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp sweet paprika paste
- salt to taste
Cleanse the liver – rinse and drain, remove hard vessel parts, then slice.
Thinly slice the onions.
Place a skillet on the stove and heat 2 tablespoons of lard or oil. Add all the onions to the pan and stir them gently to coat with lard. Cook over medium-low heat until golden brown. Check and stir the onions every 5 minutes.
In a separate frying pan heat 2-3 tablespoons of lard or oil. Add liver and stir fry for a few seconds over high heat. Reduce the heat, sprinkle with black pepper, and cook until liver is just lightly pink in the middle. When liver is almost done, add crushed garlic, ground paprika, paprika paste and the caramellized onion, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes to let the flavours merge. Season with salt at the end.
Serve hot with mashed potatoes.