For Susan: fegato alla veneziana Liver in the style of Venice

Posting from Boston today, where I have been invited to speak on a panel focusing on why it is important to maintain the flavor of traditions when scaling food production and how to to do it. My focus is on the why, obviously, and I am very excited to be in a group that includes industry leaders and scientists who work tirelessly to bring good, healthy food to as many as possible at the right price.

Oh and of course I had lobster last night and a bouquet of Mother's Day flowers from the delightful young man who looked me up after reading an interview with Chicago's Italian American newspaper Fra Noi and invited me here. Last but not least, I am staying steps away from the famous park where ducklings were made way for.

Enough about me, though, as this is for Susan.

Dear Susan-of course a great Southern woman like you would ask for a liver recipe!

I hope to see you soon in my classes again, until then, here is the recipe from my Facebook post.



Fegato alla veneziana

Venetian style calf's liver

for 4 to 6 people

1 pound sweet onions

1 scant handful parsley

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste

1 pound calf’s liver in 1 piece

pepper to taste

1/2 cup very hot beef stock


Slice the onions quite thinly. Mince the parsley.

Over lively heat, melt the butter into the oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and parsley with a very generous pinch of salt.

Sweat for about 5 minutes stirring often then cover and bring the heat to medium low.

Continue braising for about an hour, checking often to ensure the onions are not sticking to the bottom and adding a bit of hot water if necessary.

In the meantime, cut the liver in 1/8” slices. Note that this is easier to do if you chill the liver in the freezer until it begins to harden without being actually frozen.

Season the liver slices with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the onions are ready, arrange the liver slices on them and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Mix in the stock, adjust salt and pepper and serve right away with grilled buttered bread and lemon wedges.


  • You know I am all for subbing, but this dish really needs the delicate sweetness of calf's liver
  • As I was researching this dish, I saw a way to turn its leftovers into more deliciousness: weigh how much you have leftover then grab an equivalent measure of room temperature soft butter. Mix and process into a paste in your favorite small kitchen appliance. To make it even fancier you can push through a sieve and get that high end restaurant velvetiness we so prize in this type of preparation
  • I have yet to try this, because the original dish is so good there are never any leftovers and also because the richness of it sounds like something best left for a holiday table