Calf’s Liver and Bacon

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

So simple to cook, but many people and restaurants manage to get it wrong. Here’s how to do it.

First of all the calf’s liver: it tends to vary quite a lot in colour, some being paler than others. This has no significance where cooking is concerned. All liver should be fresh and clean-looking and have little or no smell. It should be firm: cut away any parts which are spongelike in texture. Inferior livers will need soaking in milk to remove excess blood. The liver should be sliced about ¼ in. (6 mm) thick and all ducts and the outer membrane removed – if the latter is left on, it will pull the liver out of shape as it contracts during cooking. Liver takes such a short time to cook you should make sure that your vegetables are ready and that your diners are sitting down before you start – although I would eat only a few new potatoes with this. If overcooked or left even for a short time after cooking, the liver will be tough and dry.


  • 2 rashers bacon
  • Butter
  • Pepper
  • 1 thin slice, approx. 4 oz (125 g) calf’s liver


Fry the bacon rashers in a little butter in a frying pan until cooked to your liking. Remove and keep warm. Add some more butter to your pan. Grind a little black pepper over your liver and, as soon as the butter is foaming, place it in the pan. When the liver starts to ‘bleed’ (little drops of, blood will appear on the top side), turn it over and cook for the same length of time. This will be a maximum of 2 minutes each side, depending on the thickness. Place on your warmed serving plate with the bacon. Pour over the juices. If you wish, you may add a little stock to the pan and swirl it around with the butter before pouring it over your liver.