Back to the liver

So the first cooking test are complete and the winner is more than obvious. All the pieces before cooking were rinsed in cold water and then dredged in flour seasoned with salt and ground black pepper. Each was pan seared individually in a cast iron pan using a blend oil. I would use bacon fat normally but for this experiment I wanted to keep things as neutral as possible. The soaking of the liver in the different mediums changed the color, smell, and texture of the liver more than I expected truthfully. The yogurt soaked liver was the least affected and seemed to somewhat cook the liver on the outside (no where near cooked all the way through).

Raw to yogurt soaked from right to left.

The unsoaked liver, as expected, was amazingly metallic and nearly too much to choke down. Moving to the half and half soaked live and the metallic bite was greatly removed though still noticeably there. The liver had a much cleaner taste but no change in texture. The liver soaked in heavy cream (which was the original idea) had very little metal taste, just enough for you to know that it is in fact liver that is being eaten. I would compare it to the mildness of chicken livers with a richer overall flavor. Finally, the yogurt soaked liver was disappointing. The liquid removed some but not much of the overall metallic flavor. Also, there was an after taste of tanginess that was less than desirable.

So the next round of tests will start tonight. I am going to mix some light brown sugar and Dijon mustard into the heavy cream as well as some fresh thyme and a bay leaf. For the first and second pieces I will heat the cream slightly to infuse the flavors as well as to try an extract more of the bloody flavor. One of these pieces will be merely dredged in floor and then seared. The second piece will be quick blanched in salted boiling water and shocked in ice water before being dredged and seared. For the third and fourth pieces I will just add all of the components together and allow the liver to soak in it. I will repeat the same process of cooking that I described above for the third and fourth pieces. I have to remind you that the liver I am using is beef liver which has a much stronger flavor than that of calves liver.

— matt bolus


Filed under Brown Sugar, Calves Liver, Charleston, Cooking, Cream, Dijon Mustard, Flavor, Half and Half, Heavy Cream, Ideas, Liver, Liver and Onions, Matt Bolus, Uncategorized, Yogurt

3 responses to “Back to the liver

  1. pam

    Sorry. Can’t do liver. Yuck.

    • dmbolus

      Pam that would have been my same comment just a few weeks ago. That is the whole reason I am working on it. The flavor difference from the heavy cream soak was amazing. I can not wait to try the two infusions this week.

      • Just about the only liver I can do straight up with no extra preparation is duck liver(i.e. foie). I have found that just about every other type of liver gets a much more “desired” flavor profile after being manipulated in some way. My typical protocol is to soak, blanch, sear, then puree for texture and flavor qualities (and the ease of forming for presentation purposes), then re-emulsify with a rich fat of choice. To me liver is one of those things that really “needs” to be manipulated in different directions to really take advantage of the rich creamy qualities while trying to move it away from the alkaline flavors that are so strong and un-apealing. Hope things are going well at the restaurant. Miss you guys!

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