Fegato alla Veneziana

Liver Cooked in the Venetian Style

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Calf’s liver cooked this way is a classic of Venetian meat cuisine. The quantity of onions used for the dish might seem enormous when raw, but they are cooked very slowly to become almost a sticky jam, which will be topped by the sauteed liver. It really is imperative that the calf’s liver is as fresh as possible; it should be shiny and have no strong smell when raw. Serve with mounds of fluffy mashed potato or soft white polenta.

Ingredients

  • 500 g/ lb calf’s or lamb’s liver, cut into very thin slices
  • 750 g/1 lb 10 oz red onions, very finely sliced
  • 75 ml/ fl oz/ cup vegetable oil
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup dry white wine
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • mashed potato or polenta, to serve

Method

  1. Trim the liver with care, pulling off the transparent, rind-like skin from around each slice. Rinse the onions in cold running water, then drain and pat dry.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy frying pan over a very low heat and gently fry the onions and parsley, covered, for 1 hour, until shiny and soft. Stir frequently to avoid the mixture sticking or burning.

  3. Increase the heat and add the liver to the onions in the pan. Brown the liver slices quickly on both sides and pour the wine over as it browns. The liver will cook in about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and ground black pepper.

  4. Place a mound of potato or polenta on each plate, and top it with the onions and then the liver. Serve, sprinkled with parsley.

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