Let’s face it, most people, especially children, cringe at the very thought of eating beef liver, let alone actually eating it. I know that as a kid, I despised liver. My family ate it occasionally and those were days when I dreaded eating dinner. Back then, when I was a kid, my family usually served liver with onions on top, which did not really mask the pungent odor or taste of the liver. If it had, I probably would not have minded eating liver as much.
In recent years, we have added bacon into the mix, along with the onions, and our liver tastes much better. No longer do we taste much of the strong and very unpleasant flavors and odors associated with liver. I no longer dread eating liver.
A recent idea of mine was to add bell peppers to the bacon and onions as toppings for the liver. It turned out great. Now our liver tastes almost as pleasant as beef steak.
One problem with liver that we have been running into is that the liver at our local supermarket has been from older cows, which yields a tougher cut of liver that is very stringy when we eat it. Also, the cuts have been rather large and thick. This isn’t usually a problem with meat but raw liver has a tough gelatinous texture that makes it difficult and dangerous to cut because it has a tendency to slide all over the place when cutting without the sharpest of knives.
I know that it might be a tough image for some people but the best liver to buy is calf liver, which is a young cow and makes for a tenderer and milder-flavored cut of liver than regular old liver. It’s more difficult to find, at least where I shop but it’s well worth it when it’s available.
Calf’s liver has less toxins, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics than those found in older cows, so it is always safer to eat calf’s liver. Organic would be the best way to go but, for me, it doesn’t really matter.
Another reason to eat calf’s liver is that it is a powerhouse of nutrients. Each 4 ounce serving of calf’s liver contains 187 calories with 16.5+% of the USDA daily recommended intake of each of the following vitamins and nutrients: Vitamin B12, vitamin B, copper, folate, vitamin B2, selenium, tryptophan, zinc, vitamin C, protein, vitamin B3, phosphorus, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and iron.
The high levels of multiple B vitamins means that calf’s liver supplies a ton of energy, like that in energy drinks; only this is all natural and right from the source. The high level of iron content also makes this a great source of iron for people with iron deficiency anemia and pregnant women.
With all of these great, healthy benefits of eating calf’s liver, it is a good idea to try to eat liver often. Making it taste good helps more people want to eat it without grimacing. Without further ado, my recipe is next up!
1-2 pounds liver (calf preferably)
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons oil
8 ounces bacon
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
Spread some flour onto a plate and dip the liver slices into the flour, coating each side liberally.
Pour a few tablespoons of oil into a skillet on medium heat. Place the liver slices into the skillet and brown each side for approximately 10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the liver.
Using another skillet on medium heat, sauté the bacon until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside. Sauté the onions and bell peppers in the bacon grease until tender and slightly browned. Crumble the bacon slightly and combine with the onions and bell peppers.
Serve the liver with a generous amount of the bacon, onions and bell peppers.
Suggestions: The liver can be fried in the bacon grease for a stronger bacon flavor. Side dishes can include mashed potatoes and a vegetable, such as green beans.