I love liver, especially when cooked in some type of stew or gravy. I am also aware that there are people who hate liver and cannot stand it (sight, smell, feel or even taste). That has never been an affliction of mine, although I have to confess that beef liver is my best while chicken livers are at the bottom of the rung.
Beef liver cooked with onions and smothered in gravy is a favourite of mine. I also love to throw in tomatoes at the very end of the cooking process and turn off the heat immediately. Or I also add pineapple cubes for that burst of sweetness that adds a whole new dimension of flavour.
My favourite accompaniments to my beef liver in onion gravy is boiled long grain basmati rice, chapati or ugali.
So how do we make the liver more palatable?
There are many theories on how some people go about resolving this issue. Personally, I haven’t tried any of them because liver doesn’t put me off. I wanted to share them with you in because, who knows, they might just be the thing that will make you into a convert!! 😉
- Soak liver in milk or lemon juice. It is believed that the lactic acid in milk and citric acid in lemons cuts down on metallic taste by drawing out blood from the liver. I have no scientific backing to this so anyone who can substantiate this theory is more than welcome to contribute.
- Do not over cook your liver because it does tend to get very rubbery.
- Purchase the freshest liver available.
How do we prepare the liver for cooking?
My local butchery does not sell liver with the blood vessels removed. So it’s important to cut them out because no matter how hard you cook your liver they will never become tender. They will remain like pieces of very tough gum in your mouth.
I also like taking my preparations a step further and peeling off the top membrane of my liver. This extra step is so totally worth it because it ensures that the liver does not curl up and toughen up.
I coat my liver lightly in flour before browning it on the pan. The flour helps in thickening of the gravy.
- 500g liver
- Enough flour to coat the liver pieces lightly
- 2 Large onions – chopped into half moons
- 3 Cloves of garlic
- 2″ ginger root
- 3 Tbs vegetable oil
- 30gm Unsalted butter
- Bunch of dhania leaves
- 1/2 hoho (green bell pepper)
- A few sprigs of spring onions
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs curry powder
- 1 Beef chilli cube
- 2 large tomatoes – chopped into medium sized cubes
- Start by peeling the membrane of the liver off and removing any veins inside it. Chop into 2″ cubes.
- Season the flour with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Heat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil in your sufuria together with 10 gm of butter (on medium heat).
- Sear the liver on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. Do this in batches to avoid steaming.
- Place them on a plate ready for the next step.
- Heat the remaining butter and vegetable oil and once they come to temperature add the onions and let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they become translucent. Do not let them turn colour.
- Add the garlic and ginger, cook for about a minute and then add the curry powder. Cook this off for a minute.
- Return the liver to the sufuria and add enough water to cover it, add the beef chilli cube, lower the heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add the hoho, spring onions and dhania, simmer for a minute.
- Finally add the tomatoes and turn off the heat.
- Serve and garnish with some dhania leaves and spring onions.
- Enjoy with some boiled basmati rice or ugali or chapati with your favourite vegetables.