Thursday, June 19, 2008

Liver with Fava Beans and a Little Chianti

With all the fava beans we've harvested recently, it was impossible not to pay a small homage to Hannibal Lecter. So I made a quick trip to the local Whole Foods and discovered calves liver is quite the bargain: just a bit over $3 for four man-sized portions.

Hey, we may be on to something here. Of course this means I'll be eating liver for the rest of the week. The wife will not go near filtering organs. Fortunately, our friend Tomeika is a liver fan (who knew?) so I was able to share this meal with at least one other human.

Slice a large Vidalia onion into thick rings and saute in extra-virgin olive oil over moderately low heat until deep golden. Remove the onions and raise the heat to medium. Season the liver with salt and pepper and saute in a mix of extra-virgin olive oil and butter until done to your taste (some people like it a little bloody), browning the meat on both sides. Remove the liver and deglaze the pan with about 1/3 cup red wine.

The favas had already been blanched and shelled. I finished cooking them until tender in a skillet with butter. Season with a bit of salt. Serve on a hot plate, pouring some of the glaze over the liver. Pour a glass of Chianti and give a toast to Anthony Hopkins.


tai haku said...

Its a continued source of sadness to me that; having done so much right with the film adaptation they inexplicably changed Dr Lector's preferred liver accompaniment from Amarone to Chianti. I mean why?

More on topic that looks delicious.

David Hall said...

Hey Ed. No hard or fast rule to best time to pick them. Personally, I prefer them small so I don;t have to squeeze them out of their jackets! I find them sweeter too. Perhaps it was something to do with the weather?


Jeena said...

This sounds lovely.

Here in the UK we cooked liver with gravy, mushrooms and onions and serve it with fresh peas and mashed potatoes. :-D

Funny about the chianti. :-D

Verde said...

I don't mind liver from a creature whose origin I know - mostly family farm raised animals.

eweaston said...

I always thought it was interesting that liver, fava beans & chianti all carry high levels of tyramine, a compound linked with migraines and sometimes even mental illness. All this time I thought Harris was being extra clever, though I'm not sure about the amarone.

Ed, be careful.

Ed Bruske said...

TH, I have not read the books, only seen the movies. That's the first I heard of the switch to Chianti. In fact, what I drank was a rather poor cabernet.

David, next time I grow favas (hopefully in the fall) I will go for some of the smaller ones. I keep hearing they are best, but I've yet to catch any.

Jeena, I have some fond memories as well of liver with gravy and mashed potatoes. I think if you were to order liver at one of our roadside diners, that is the classic version you would most likely see on your plate.

Verde, grass fed liver would be the best, no question.

EW, I've never gotten a headache from liver or favas and maybe only a little one from drinking too much red wine. But I'm not surprised to learn that these foods are potentially hazardous--they would hardly be so much fun if they weren't.