Liver (first timer)

Hey! I’ve never had offal in my life, and I’m trying to avoid ruining my first experience with it. I’m interested in doing an order of cow liver, but where do I begin with cooking it?

I’ve heard it should be soaked in milk overnight and that this reduces the mineral notes. Is this true? And any other tips?

I like the flavor and health benefits of liver but I hate the texture. So I only use it to make soup stock. I tend to use liver and heart the most since they are full of wonderful nutrients and flavors that balance each other out. But to be honest, the texture of eating them directly has always made me feel a little nauseated.

I usually make roughly 3 quarts of stock at once. To do this, I will get 4-6ish lbs of beef bones (I like a blend of beef marrow and knuckle bones). 3 lbs of beef heart. 2 lbs of beef liver. Of course feel free to mix and match or change things out. Pork and chicken bones/feet/liver/etc other tough cuts of meat instead of heart, and even other organs instead of liver. Just try to keep the ratios and process similar, unless you like to live dangerously.

First, blanch everything in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes to get rid of the negative flavors. Strain everything out and discard that water. Put the bones and organs on a foil lined sheet pan.

Coat everything lightly with avocado oil (it is the only oil I like that handles the high temp baking without imparting bad flavors) and bake at 450 for around 30 minutes. Flip and go for 15 more.

To make the stock itself, put everything back into the pot and cover with 3 quarts of water
Add 4 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 Tablespoons of vinegar (I like rice vinegar)
4-5 Bay Leaves
1/4 Cup Whole Peppercorns
2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons of Onion Powder

Of course, feel free to mix it up with other spices. Adding other roasted veggies or fresh garlic and onion will certainly be fine. But I like this blend so much I use it almost every single time, and I really think the powdered flavors hold up better to the long cook time.

Simmer for 12-48 hours. Discard the used up bones, meat, and spices. Pour through a strainer so you just have a nice clean broth. All the flavor and nutrients are now in the stock. I will freeze it into 2 cup cubes and take them out to make single serving soups with various add-ins like sautéed shaved steak and onions, or roasted chicken and broccoli.

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Hey there! A common way some cook liver is with a Liver and Onions recipe, like this one: Absolute Best Liver and Onions Recipe. Soaking in milk overnight is a part of that recipe’s process. Another way to start incorporating offals into your diet is things like our butcher’s grind, which is our ground beef blended with beef heart, liver, and kidney, which makes for a great Bolognese :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for sharing! What a great way to incorporate liver into your meals!

In addition to soaking it in milk as Ceilidh suggests, rinising the liver thoroughly has made a BIG difference for me in the bitter taste. I’ve heard (this may be hearsay) that the blood is part of what makes liver bitter so when you wash it out, it reduces that flavor significantly.

Flavoring it with a little acidity like lemon juice also works well.

Beef liver is the hardest to work with in my experience–I find pork liver is much more forgiving in terms of taste. Let us know how it goes!

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