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Breaded Calf's Liver

From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Breaded Calf's Liver


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds choice, pale pink calves liver, cut into slices no more that 1/4" thick
3/4 cup fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs lightly toasted in the oven or a skillet
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
Lemon wedges at table


1. Remove any of the thin, stiff skin that may still be on the liver. it would shrink while cooking, and keep the liver from lying flat in the pan. if you find any large white grisly tubes, remove those also.

2. Put the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and turn on the heat to medium high. Turn the liver slices in the bread crumbs on both sides, pressing the liver against the crumbs with the palm of your hands. Do not put in any more at one time than will fit loosely, without overlapping.

3. Cook the liver until it forms a crisp, brown crust on one side, then do the other side. Altogether, it should take about 1 minute. As you do one batch of slices, transfer them with a slotted spoon or spatula to a cooling rack to drain or to a platter lines with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and slip another batch into the pan, repeating the same procedure, until all the slices are done. Transfer to a warm platter and serve at once.

Serves 6


a) The most difficult part of cooking calf's liver for me usually is getting the correct thickness. Problem solved as I went to a local butcher who ran frozen liver through his saw. I'll never try to do it myself again. Plus, the rather unpleasant directions in #1 above were irrelevant.

b) I thought the recipe looked a bit bland so I added a couple of cloves of garlic (sliced) to the oil & butter and some thyme to the bread crumbs before breading the liver. Please don't tell Marcella.

c) Very popular with my crowd who ranged in age from 23 months to 91 years. Simple, easy and an excellent result.

d) The introduction to this recipe indicates that thin slices of liver are in the Italian style and breading slices of young liver is an excellent way of preserving the moisture in cooking. Agreed.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 22, 2010 9:34 PM.

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