The best way to prepare calf’s liver is Venetian-style, with a lot of onions, caramelized to a golden brown with some butter. Even if you’re not into liver and avoid it at all costs, this classic Italian dish known as Foie de veau a la Venetian might change your mind about the highly nutritious and notorious meat. Chef Renato Piccolotto demonstrates how to prepare Venetian Calf Liver according to the local tradition, served with polenta.
Calf’s liver has milder flavor and more tender texture than beef liver. Chef Piccolotto slices the meat into small strips so that they cook easier and absorb more of the delicious butter and the sweet juices of the onions. This also helps the meat become more tender when cooked. Also trim all the excess fat of the meat which can be quite chewy. For this recipe, it is best to use large white onions, which have delicate sweetness and a milder zing than red onions. Chef Piccolotto suggests that you cook the liver very well as is the tradition in Venice, but other people prefer to cook the liver quickly so that it is still a bit pink like medium rare steak. You can cook the calf liver according to your preference.
Polenta, which is Italian corn meal mush and a staple dish in Northern Italy, is the perfect combination to this flavorful Venetian dish. Cut them into squares so that they are easier to bite into. The polenta will wonderfully soak up the delicious brown juices of the caramelized onions and calf liver. If you have no time to make polenta, you can also serve this with baked or mashed potatoes or some crusty bread.