CALF’S LIVER WITH WINTER SQUASH

THE WORLD IS DIVIDED INTO TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE:  THOSE WHO LOVE CALF’S LIVER AND THEMS THAT DON’T. CLEARLY, I’M IN THE FORMER CAMP.  IN FACT, I WILL STATE CATEGORICALLY THAT I LOVE ALL KINDS OF LIVER, INCLUDING CHICKEN, PORK, DUCK, GOOSE, AND MONKFISH.  BUT LET’S NOT GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES. CALF’S LIVER IS EASY TO PREPARE, RICH WITH FLAVOR AND THE BLOODY TANG OF IRON, AS LOU AMDUR POINTS OUT IN HIS WINE MATCH.  THE TRICK IS NOT TO OVERCOOK LIVER BECAUSE MUCH BEYOND MEDIUM RARE IT TURNS DRY AND ACRID.  I FOLLOW THE SAME GUIDELINES I USE WHEN PAN COOKING BEEF OR LAMB:  WATCH FOR THE FIRST DROPS OF BLOOD ON THE SURFACE OF THE MEAT FOR RARE.  SAUTÉED SAGE LEAVES AND SLOW-COOKED ONIONS ARE CLASSIC ITALIAN ACCOMPANIMENTS.  IF YOU’RE CRYING FOR A SAUCE, JUST SAUTE A MINCED SHALLOT IN THE PAN JUICES AND DE-GLAZE WITH WHITE OR RED WINE.  YOU CAN SERVE CALF’S LIVER WITH ALMOST ANY STARCH OR GRAIN.  IT’S LUSCIOUS WITH POLENTA AND EQUALLY GOOD WITH MASHED POTATOES OR ORZO.  WINTER SQUASH, HOWEVER, WHEN STEAMED IN THE OVEN WITH LIME AND CHILI PEPPER OFFSETS THE RICHNESS OF THE LIVER AND THE VINEGARY BITE OF THE RED ONIONS.  ENJOY OR, AS WE OFFAL PEOPLE SAY, “LIVER AND LET LIVER.”
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