Liver is the best of all offal both in flavour and food value. It is a good source of Vitamin A, the Vitamin B complex, protein and iron. The livers of calves, oxen, pigs, sheep, poultry, game and fish are all used in cooking, but calf’s liver is generally considered to be the best and is the most tender.
Ox liver is coarse in both flavour and texture and is, therefore, the cheapest to buy. It is best cooked slowly in a casserole or stew. Before cooking, the ox liver should be soaked in salted water ( tablespoon to 2 pints) for 1 hour, then blanched for 5 minutes.
Pig’s liver has a strong flavour and is normally used in the making of sausage meat, stuffings and pates. Pig’s liver can also be fried or cooked in a casserole but it lacks the fine texture and flavour of calf’s or lamb’s liver.
Lamb’s liver is the second choice to calf’s liver and is tender and delicate in flavour. It can be grilled , sauteed or fried, in the same way as calf’s liver. It must not be overcooked, or it will become tough.
Poultry liver is usually used in terrincs and pates. Goose liver is used for the famous PATE DE FOIE GRAS. The most popular of the poultry livers is chicken. It is mainly used in terrines and pates, but it can also be sauteed or cooked in a piquant sauce. Chicken liver should not be overcooked.
Game liver is best combined with sausage meat and used as a stuffing for roast game.
Fish liver, particularly that of the turbot and skate, is considered by some to be a delicacy. It is usually poached, then served on fried croutes.
When buying liver choose a fresh, pale colour and avoid any that has a bluish tint. Liver is cut into thin, even slices -} to h inch thick before cooking, except for poultry and fish livers which are usually left whole.
To grill the liver slices, first season with salt and pepper and brush them all over with melted butter or oil. Place the liver under a hot grill and cook for 2 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on the quality and thickness of the liver slices.
To fry the liver slices, season them with lemon juice, salt and pepper and then coat them lightly with flour. Fry in butter or oil for 2 to 4 minutes on each side.