Sunday, February 16, 2014

Egyptian Style Beef Liver (You'll Never Say No to Liver Again)

Egyptian liver
If you are a die-hard liver hater who is nevertheless reading this blog post, to you I say THANK YOU for being open to the idea that there might be a way to make liver palatable to you.

I also want to assure you that once you taste this richly spiced liver recipe, your negative opinion of liver will be a thing of the past.

Yes, it is THAT good.

On the other hand, if you happily eat liver with peppers and onions, or smothered with gravy, or breaded and fried, or in traditional family or ethnic recipes, but have never tasted Egyptian style liver, I think you will be quite pleased to discover a tastebud-tantalizing new way to enjoy this highly nutritious meat.

Egyptian style calf liverMy version of Egyptian style beef or calf liver is based on an authentic recipe for Egyptian liver and my attempt to recreate the wonderful flavors in an amazing liver appetizer we had at an Egyptian restaurant in Greensboro, NC (the restaurant version is shown on the right). According to the author of the online recipe, spiced fried liver chunks are a popular street food in Egypt. The exotic yet approachable seasonings are reminiscent of those of other Middle Eastern cuisines as well as some Indian dishes, and the tender texture of the liver is incomparable. Be sure not to overcook the liver, however, or else it can get tough. And don't be daunted by the list of ingredients -- the recipe itself is actually quite easy.

4 Tbs olive oil
1 lb beef or calf liver, chopped*
Recipe for Egyptian beef liver
Cooking the liver
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 hot chile peppers, seeded & minced
2 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley

*It's easier to chop the liver while it is at least partially or mostly frozen. One-inch chunks is a good size, or you can cut it into strips if you prefer. The restaurant version was very thinly sliced and yet succulent and tender.

Saute garlic, onion and peppers in olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat (I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven). When vegetables have softened and onion is translucent, add the liver and all the spices (but not the lime juice or parsley). Saute until the liver has changed color, being careful not to overcook. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until liver is just done, about 12 to 15 minutes (or less time if thinly sliced), stirring once or twice. When liver is cooked through and tender, stir in lime juice and parsley to thoroughly combine. Serve immediately -- Egyptian liver is wonderful with pita bread or rice for sopping up the savory sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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