Liver is one of the most nutrient-rich meats in the world, yet it can be difficult to get the right texture when you’re cooking it. The best way to make liver tender and soft is to keep a few simple guidelines in mind when you’re making it at home.
Use the Right Temperature
Liver should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160° F for safety purposes. This is the ideal temperature for removing harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.
Overcooking can turn the meat into a tough, chalky mess, so it’s important to know when to stop cooking. According to the USDA, beef liver should be cooked until it’s just a little pink in the middle for safe consumption.
Whether you’re making it for dinner or an easy lunch, ensuring that the liver is cooked to the proper temperature is crucial. It’s also a good idea to cut it open after cooking so that you can check the internal temperature.
Soak Livers in Milk
Soaking raw liver for at least two hours prior to cooking will help reduce the gamey flavor and make it more tender. Using buttermilk or vinegar to soak the liver also helps remove any bitterness.
Frying and Sauteing — This is the classic way to prepare liver. It’s quick and easy, and it’s an excellent source of iron, protein, and calcium.
Heat the pan over medium-high until shimmering hot. Add the liver slices and cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. When browned, transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
If you want to add more flavor to your fried livers, try adding bacon grease and butter. This makes the fried livers extra tasty and also helps to make a rich gravy.
Baking — Another popular way to prepare liver is to bake it. This is an excellent way to ensure that the liver is tender and not overcooked, as well as preventing the liver from becoming too dry.
This recipe is adapted from Valeria at Beets and Bones, who pairs the nutrient-rich organ meat with caramelized onions and sour cream for a meal that’s more hearty and satisfying than you might think!
The addition of smoked paprika and red wine adds a rich depth to the sauce, as do sharp dill pickles. This is a perfect meal to prepare with a side of roasted potatoes, or served alongside cooked buckwheat, pearl barley, or couscous.
Dehydrated Grass Fed Liver Chips
These delicious sourdough chips are made from grass-fed liver, and they’re a fantastic alternative to potato chips for those who are gluten-free or grain-free.
They’re a healthy and satisfying snack, as well as a nutritious main course for your family. They’re made from ground or thinly sliced liver, and they’re so much more nourishing than regular potato chips!
This easy and quick meal is a favorite among those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Featuring fresh, pasture-raised liver from a local farm, this savory dish is the perfect meal for a weeknight.