Italian-Style Beef Liver

What a morning it’s been!  I cannot wait until Sunday (if the Mayans let us get that far in the week, of course).  What’s wrong with Saturday, you ask?  Well, for one thing, it’s the day I hit the Big 5-0, and it’s also the day we have our annual office holiday party – unfortunately, the only Saturday everyone in the office was available.  Not that we don’t enjoy it, because we do, but it’s stressful to prepare for, and I’m already feeling the pressure.

Ah, well…we’re taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off – well, that’s the plan, anyway – so hopefully we’ll get some kind of downtime soon.

I’m also sorry to say that my cooking has been somewhat uninspired as of late – again, the stress of the season – and a great many of you are going to be disappointed with today’s recipe. However, I’m fairly confident these days that just as many of you will be happy to see it, simply because you know how good beef liver is for you and how delicious it can be when properly prepared.   And, like me, are happy for recipes other than frying it up with onions and/or bacon.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

This recipe calls for lightly frying the seasoned beef liver in tallow after dredging it in tapioca flour, then simmering it in tomato sauce and beef stock with some tasty vegetables and spices until a nice sauce has formed and the liver is tender.  It really is delicious – there’s nothing “livery” about the dish at all, and even The Young One ate it with much enthusiasm.  As for the name, I don’t have the slightest clue if this is a legitimately Italian preparation of beef liver, but -hey.  It seemed like a good thing to call a really good dish.

The recipe doesn’t call for it, but you can soak or marinate the liver in coconut milk (or regular milk, if you have no issues with dairy), or even a good Italian dressing before cooking to mitigate the strong flavor.  If you’re just squeamish about beef liver, this would probably work just as well with 2 pounds of cleaned chicken livers.  And it’s Whole30 compliant, to boot.

Italian-Style Beef Liver

Italian-Style Beef Liver

Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds beef liver, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 4 tablespoons tallow, or other fat suitable for frying
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pint tomato sauce
  • 1 pint beef stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup sliced sweet peppers
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  1. Season the liver lightly with the salt and pepper; dredge in the tapioca and shake to remove the excess.
  2. Heat the tallow in a large heavy skillet over high heat and fry the liver, working in batches if necessary, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes; remove to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and sauté the onion and celery until the onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced peppers and garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the beef stock, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom, then stir in the tomato sauce, oregano and thyme. Add the beef liver back to the pan, with the accumulated pan juices.
  4. Simmer the simmer the liver, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 367 calories, 14.4g total fat, 425.1mg cholesterol, 704.7mg sodium, 1002.9mg potassium, 24.6g carbohydrates, 2.7g fiber, 5.7g sugar, 34.1g protein

6 thoughts on “Italian-Style Beef Liver”

  1. I have yet to try any kind of beef liver even though I know how good it is for me. This recipe looks delicious and I think I can finally work up the courage to give it a go. Thanks!

  2. Seriously good. Seriously, if you didn’t know it was liver you wouldn’t guess. As a reformed liver hater I believe that some of us have taste buds that love liver and others taste an iron-medicinal quality. Even though I have come to appreciate liver, I can still taste that in most of your other liver recipes. Not this one!

    This is a great recipe for the anti-liver crowd. The family wouldn’t even know it was anything but beef.

  3. I’m hungry.
    I’m also stressed … like everyone else is, it seems.
    (At least, the female population!)
    I decided today, if I didn’t have PT eating up so much of my time –
    I MIGHT be somewhat in control.
    Sigh ….

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