Calf’s Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)

AUTHENTIC FEGATO ALLA VENEZIANA (CALF’S LIVER VENETIAN STYLE)

Fegato alla Veneziana (pron. Fay-gah-toe Ah-lah Vay-nez-e-ah-nah*) is one of the most traditional Venetian dishes known all over the world for its simplicity and above all because it’s appreciated even by those who don’t like eating liver.


fegato alla veneziana calf liver venetian style perfect best

I’m one of them, even if I’m born in a land where offal parts are a strong presence in the traditional cousine, but I don’t like most of them, one in particular: liver (well, at least until I tried this recipe) 😀 .

I cannot stand its strong bitter taste. Maybe because when I was young a friend of mine gave me for the first time a plain boiled liver (for me the worst thing on earth to eat!) and I remember that I covered it with a lot of ketchup to be able to chew it because I didn’t want to give a bad impression for having not eaten it.

The second time in my life I ate liver was definitely better. I went to Tuscany and they served me Chichen Liver Patè on Crostini. I realized that was liver patè at the end of the meal, but it tasted good (you have to treat livers with a special treatment so they lose a bit of their bitterness – try this amazing Crostini recipe).

The third time I ate liver was the best, and was with the recipe I’m showing you today.

Because I want that my son tastes all kind of dishes, even those that I don’t like, I bought a Calf’s liver (the best and healthy between livers).
I followed the Venetian style recipe… I taste it out of curiosity…. and I was amazed! I really liked it a lot!
And above all it doesn’t taste like liver at all! The meat it’s so tender and the sweet onions are the perfect combination!

Have I said that it’s a lot cheaper than other meats? That doesn’t hurt, right? So try it and let me know!

Calf’s Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound / 250 gr calf’s liver (or pork)
  • 1/2 pound / 250 gr white onions
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cut the onion into thin slices (here it’s called venetian style).

cutting onion sliced onion

Trim the covering membrane, blood vessels and any blemishes from the liver (these parts would become tough after the cooking process).

trim skin liver

Cut the liver into about 2L x 1/2h x 1/2w inch or 5L x 1h x 1w cm strips, but I know that it’s a little bit tricky to cut them into even pieces so keep this just as an example.

cut liver strips If you want the dish to have a thicker sauce and to make the liver softer, flour the strips and set aside.

liver in flour In a skillet (preferably non-stick) large enough to hold the onions and the strips of liver in a single layer, add oil and butter over a medium-high heat.

Add onions, white wine, season with salt and reduce the heat to medium-low (wine will give a mild flavour and a sweeter taste to the onions, you can skip it if you want a stronger flavour).

Cook the onions covered, stirring often to avoid them from sticking (if necessary add some water), until they are soft and fully cooked (about 20 minutes, it depends on how thin you cut the slices).

cooked onion Increase the heat to high and add the strips of liver along with the vinegar, stirring and tossing them constantly until browned outside and to your taste (if you want a medium rare liver cook it for 3 minutes) but no more than 6-7 minutes (starting from a fridge-cold meat) to avoid to eat a rubbery liver (I like it well done so I cooked the liver for 6 minutes and it was really tender anyway).

As you read before, I salted the onions so there’s no necessary to use more salt on the liver, but check the seasoning anyway and add salt, if you want, only at the end because it dehydrates the liver and makes it hard and stringy.

Add parsley and serve immediately.
calf liver venetian style

Traditionally, Calf’s Liver Venetian Style is served alongside with polenta but since we’re going to the warm weather it would be also good with a fresh and crunchy salad to balance with the liver tenderness.

Calf's Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An authentic Italian healthy offal recipe that even children will love!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound / 250 gr calf's liver (or pork)
  • ½ pound / 250 gr white onions
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the onion into thin slices (here it's called Venetian style).
  2. Trim the covering membrane, blood vessels and any blemishes from the liver (these parts would become tough after the cooking process).
  3. Cut the liver into about 2L x ½h x ½w inch or 5L x 1h x 1w cm strips, but I know that it's a little bit tricky to cut them into even pieces so keep this just as an example.
  4. If you want the dish to have a thicker sauce and to make the liver softer, flour the strips and set aside.
  5. In a skillet (preferably non-stick) large enough to hold the onions and the strips of liver in a single layer, add oil and butter over a medium-high heat.
  6. Add onions, white wine, season with salt and reduce the heat to medium-low (wine will give a mild flavour and a sweeter taste to the onions, you can skip it if you want a stronger flavour).
  7. Cook the onion covered, stirring often to avoid them from sticking (if necessary add some water), until they are soft and fully cooked (about 20 minutes, it depends on how thin you cut the slices).
  8. Increase the heat to high and add the strips of liver along with the vinegar, stirring and tossing them constantly until browned outside and to your taste (if you want a medium rare liver cook it for 3 minutes) but no more than 6-7 minutes (starting from a fridge-cold meat) to avoid to eat a rubbery liver (I like it well done so I cooked the liver for 6 minutes and it was really tender anyway).
  9. Check the seasoning and add salt, if you want, only at the end because it dehydrates the liver and makes it hard and stringy.
  10. Add parsley and serve immediately.

8 thoughts on “Calf’s Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Ilaria! We definitely love us some offal and liver recipe looks great! BTW, a good trick to help draw the bitterness from the liver is to soak it in milk for about an hour.

    It’s really great that you are bringing up your son to eat “traditional” food, even if you don’t like it!

    • Yes, I don’t want to make the same mistakes my mom did with me!

      For example I can’t eat rare meat because she used to serve me it well done (maybe “once upon a time” it was a good thing to kill all bacteria).
      I tried to eat medium rare but I cannot stand the bloody taste….

      So hope my son won’t have these problems!

      Thank you for the bitterness tip!

  2. I like stirred fried liver with garlic chives, but cannot eat it often as I’ve been told that it accumulates toxins.
    Then, you mentioned calf’s liver, I have to check it out when I go to the supermarket next time and try your recipe.

    • The liver has good nutritional characteristics with a high content of proteins, vitamin A and B, an excellent iron content and with a low presence of fats.
      But, as for every meat, we should pay attention on the origin of the animal.
      Prefer organic because there may be accumulations of toxic substances and residues of products used in farming.

      I think that if you eat good liver once in a while it cannot be bad for you if you choose it correctly!

      BTW, calf’s liver is nutritionally better than others.

      And if you try this recipe, let me know if you like it, thanks!!!

Have you tried my recipe? Please leave a comment!