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Calves' Liver with Melted Onions and Marsala

This is my version of the famous Venetian dish (Fegato alla Veneziana), rich but meltingly light.

In summer, for a change, the whole thing works brilliantly with lambs' liver and either way it's very good served with buttered spinach and steamed potatoes.

 Calves' Liver with Melted Onions and Marsala

  Serves 2

 8 oz (225 g) calves' liver
 3 medium onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
 10 fl oz (275 ml) dry Marsala wine
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 ½ oz (10 g) butter
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
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You will also need two medium frying pans.



Begin with the first frying pan by heating 1 tablespoon of the oil over a high heat, then add the onions and, keeping the heat fairly high, toss them around to brown to a dark – almost black – colour round the edges.

You'll need to keep them on the move and it will take about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and toss that round the pan, now pour in the Marsala and balsamic vinegar. Then bring everything up to a gentle simmer, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper then turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let it just barely bubble (without covering) for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the liver by slicing it into approximately 1½ inch (4 cm) lengths, keeping the lengths very thin (about the size of thin French fries).

When the 45 minutes are up, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil along with the butter in the other frying pan and, then when the butter foams, add the liver slices and sear them very briefly. They take only about 1-2 minutes to brown, so do be careful as over-cooking will dry them too much.

As soon as they're ready tip them into a warmed serving dish, pour the hot sauce and onions from the other pan over them and serve immediately.


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