Embrace the delicious and historic Venetian liver and onions recipe, a delightful fusion of tender liver and sweet, caramelised onions. This nutritious and flavourful dish is simple to prepare and pairs perfectly with creamy polenta or smooth mashed potatoes, making it a fantastic addition to your culinary repertoire.
About this Recipe
By: Silvana Lanzetta
Enjoy this Venetian liver and onions recipe as part of a balanced diet, as it provides a good source of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. Pair it with a fibre-rich side dish, like vegetables or whole grains, for a well-rounded, nutritious meal.
- Proteins 30% 30%
- Carbs 15% 15%
- Fats 55% 55%
Are you looking to whip up a batch of Venetian liver and onions, but unsure about which liver to use? Well, tradition says pork liver is the way to go, but if you prefer a milder taste, I recommend going for veal liver instead. Not only is veal liver more delicate in flavour, but it also has a softer texture that’s sure to please even those who may not be big fans of offal.
The secret to taming the bold, rich flavour of liver is to deglaze it with white wine vinegar. This little trick adds a beautiful layer of complexity to your dish, making every bite even more delightful. While the traditional recipe calls for white wine vinegar, feel free to get creative with white wine or even lemon juice! Personally, I adore all three options, so it’s really up to your personal taste or what you’ve got on hand. Just remember to include that touch of acidity to truly elevate the flavours of your dish.
Marinating is not just a suggestion, but highly recommended, especially if you’re not usually a fan of liver. It not only mellows the strong flavour, but also tenderises the meat. Fortunately, you have a few options when it comes to marinating your liver.
The classic method is to submerge it in full-fat milk and let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours. If you’re lactose intolerant, don’t worry! You can use a mixture of water and vinegar, with equal parts of each, to cover the meat. Again, allow it to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can swap the vinegar for white wine or lemon juice.
Another option is to let it soak in salted water for 2 hours. Or, you can try the traditional marinade of olive oil, vinegar, and chopped sage leaves. No matter which route you take, you’ll end up with a far more delectable meat, so don’t skip marinating if you can help it!
The secret to making this dish delightful, even for those who aren’t usually fans of liver, lies in the onions. Their natural sweetness perfectly balances the bold liver flavour, creating a harmony on your plate. Ideally, you’d use the traditional cipolla bianca di Chioggia, but since it’s not easily found outside Italy, simply opt for a white or brown sweet onion instead. Steer clear of red onions, as they’re too strong for this recipe. To get the ideal texture, slice the onions super thin – a mandoline slicer will be your best friend here!
The key to unlocking the onions’ creamy goodness is cooking them low and slow. In this recipe, I suggest letting them cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, but if you can, feel free to let them simmer for up to an hour. Just make sure they don’t fry and brown, as that would change the whole taste experience!
When it comes to choosing the perfect herbs for your dish, you can’t go wrong with either sage or parsley – but not both at once! Depending on your herb of choice, you’ll add them at different stages of the cooking process to bring out their best flavours.
If you decide on sage, simply toss it in with the onions, letting it work its magic as everything cooks together, releasing that wonderful flavour. On the other hand, if parsley is your pick, hold off until the end, sprinkling it over the finished dish just before you serve it up. This way, you’ll enjoy the fresh, vibrant taste it adds to your Venetian liver masterpiece.
Hi, I’m Silvana, a 4th generation artisan pasta maker from Naples. I have been holding pasta making classes in London since 2014. I want to share with you my knowledge and passion for pasta making and Italian cuisine.