(not your average) Liver and Onions

Sometimes described as metallic or overly strong tasting, mushy or tough or simply uninteresting, beef liver has gotten a bad rap over the years.  It doesn’t have to be that way..


Liver and Onions with Bacon and Sage

click to enlarge

Pastured beef liver fried with bacon, just-dug onions, brown mushrooms and fresh sage leaves brings this inexpensive, nutritional powerhouse back to the dinner table.  Even the kids will dig it.

Select only the freshest, pastured beef liver, never the frozen feed-lot stuff from the supermarket.  Cut into 1/2 strips and lightly dredge in sprouted flour seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper.  Set aside.

Fry uncured, pastured bacon until crisp and all the fat has rendered out.

Add sliced onions and continue to cook until well browned.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon grease and reserve for another use.

Add 2 tablespoons pastured butter to the hot pan and swirl to combine with the remaining bacon fat.

Add sliced brown mushrooms (I like the dark, earthy-flavored varieties) and sauté until they begin to crisp on the edges.

Make sure that the skillet is still good and hot, then add strips of floured liver and coarsely chopped fresh sage and flat-leaf parsley.  Cook until well browned, turn and brown on the other side.

Arrange on a plate, drizzle with pan juices and enjoy.

Pan-fried beef liver is a good source of Iron and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein (approx. 22g per 4oz), Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet

Chicken & Biscuits

A one-skillet dinner, adapted from a recipe at the always-tasty What Geeks Eat

Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, celery, onion, potato, carrots, milk, baking powder, S&P, roasted chicken stock concentrate, all-purpose flour, white wine, butter and bone-in chicken thighs.

Prep the vegetables.  Cook the potatoes to about half done in a little olive oil and butter.  Add the rest of the vegetables and continue to cook until colored but slightly underdone (the flavor of root vegetables is enhanced by browning).  Set the vegetables aside.

Add a little more butter & olive oil to the pan and brown the chicken well on all sides.  Continue to cook the chicken until slightly underdone.  Set the chicken aside.

Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add herbs, liquid chicken stock and a spoonful of the concentrate to pan and reduce over high heat until reduced by half.  Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the chicken and vegetables back to the pan and simmer over low heat while preparing the biscuits.

Make a basic biscuit dough from flour, salt, baking powder, milk and cold butter.  Roll the dough into a cylinder then cut into 1 inch thick biscuits.  Place biscuits on top of chicken then put the skillet into a 400 degree oven until the chicken is cooked through and the biscuits are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve 2 thighs and biscuits per adult.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Chicken Soup with Basil Pesto Pasta

Made from ingredients that were on hand rather than from a recipe.

Dried pasta filled with basil pesto, celery, onions and carrots, olive oil, home made chicken stock (see previous post), rapini, Italian herbs with red and black pepper, some of our previously put by dried tomatoes, garlic and 1/2 roast chicken.  Mise en place.

Pull the meat and skin from the bones. Toss the bones into the cannister along with the onion and celery ends and freeze as stock-starter for next time.

Cut the meat into spoon sized pieces.  I prefer to use both white and dark meat in chicken soup.

Bring the stock to a slow boil and skim away any scum with the edge of a ladle.

Add the chopped, dried tomatoes first, as they need a full 30 minutes to reclaim their previously toothsome goodness.

After about 10 minutes, add the pasta which needs an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the vegetables and herbs in olive oil until just underdone.  Cooking the vegetables first ensures that they will stay suspended in the stock rather than all floating to the top. Transfer the vegetables to the soup pot and simmer until done, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the chicken and rapini and simmer until chicken is heated throughout and rapini is tender, about 5 more minutes.

Serve topped with a little Italian cheese if you like.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦