If you’re a fan of liver, you know that it can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet. However, preparing liver can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with the process of deveining.
Deveining is the process of removing veins from meat, and it’s an important step in preparing beef liver. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of deveining beef liver, as well as some tips for preparing it for cooking.
Whether you’re a seasoned liver lover or a newbie to this nutrient-rich food, read on to learn how to devein beef liver like a pro.
How To Devein Beef Liver?
Before you begin, it’s important to note that deveining beef liver is not the same as deveining shrimp. While shrimp deveining involves removing the digestive tract, deveining beef liver involves removing the veins that can make the liver taste bitter.
To start, unwrap the liver and blot it with a paper towel. The liver should be pale beige in color. Each liver consists of two lobes, one slightly larger than the other. Remove any pieces of thin, white membrane clinging to the outside.
Next, gently pull apart the lobes with your hands, noting that they are connected by a vein through the center of the two lobes. Cut this vein with a sharp knife.
Hold one lobe firmly in your hand and with a pair of flat-end tweezers, grasp the end of the vein that was severed. Gently pull with a slow, even motion. In the best case, the gentle pull will cause the rest of that portion of vein hidden inside the liver to pull free.
Repeat this process for any remaining veins until all veins have been removed from both lobes of the liver.
Why Deveining Beef Liver Is Important
Deveining beef liver is an important step in preparing the liver for cooking. The veins in beef liver can hold onto blood, which can lead to an unpalatable taste and texture. Removing the veins will ensure that the liver has a smoother texture and a milder flavor. Additionally, removing the veins will make cutting and cooking the liver more manageable.
Soaking the liver in milk or saltwater after deveining can also help to pull out any leftover blood and improve the flavor. This step is especially important for those who are not accustomed to the taste of liver and want to make it more palatable.
Tools You’ll Need For Deveining Beef Liver
To devein beef liver, you will need a few basic tools. These include:
1. Sharp knife: A sharp knife is essential for cutting the vein that connects the two lobes of the liver. A dull knife can make the process more difficult and increase the risk of injury.
2. Flat-end tweezers: Flat-end tweezers are used to grasp the end of the vein that was severed and gently pull it out of the liver. They allow for precise control and are less likely to damage the liver than using your fingers.
3. Paper towel: A paper towel is used to blot the liver and remove any excess moisture before deveining.
4. Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for cutting and preparing the liver.
5. Bowl or container: A bowl or container can be used to hold the liver while deveining and to catch any blood or debris that may be released during the process.
By having these tools on hand, you can easily and safely devein beef liver at home.
Step-by-Step Guide To Deveining Beef Liver
If you’re looking to devein beef liver, follow these step-by-step instructions:
1. Unwrap the beef liver and lay it flat on a layer of paper towels. Soak the liver in a dish or bowl of milk for 30-60 minutes. This is an important step in removing the bitter flavor from the liver.
2. Salt and pepper the liver generously, and leave it out at room temperature while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
3. Pat the liver dry. Dice bacon and fry in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. When crispy, remove the bacon bits from the pan and drain on paper towels. Leave the grease and butter in the pan.
4. Slice onion roughly. You want your pieces of onion to be similar in size to a bite of liver. Saute on low in bacon grease and butter until it starts to soften but is not yet translucent. Add garlic for 30 seconds.
5. Put the onion and garlic to one side of the pan, away from heat. Turn the heat up to medium and add the last tablespoon of butter.
6. When the butter is melted, add half the liver slices. Cook until you start to see the edges cooking. They’ll turn from red to gray.
7. When that border is a few millimeters thick (2-3 minutes, or so), flip them over. Fry on the second side for another 2-3 minutes.
8. Until you know how you like your liver, the best way to check is to cut into it. If it’s still red, keep flipping until it is just barely cooked through. You want just a tinge of pink so it’s cooked but still tender.
9. Place liver on a platter and cook remaining liver in the same fashion.
10. To remove veins from beef liver, gently pull apart the lobes with your hands, noting that they are connected by a vein through the center of the two lobes.
11. Cut this vein with a sharp knife.
12. Hold one lobe firmly in your hand and with a pair of flat-end tweezers, grasp the end of the vein that was severed.
13. Gently pull with a slow, even motion. In the best case, the gentle pull will cause the rest of that portion of vein hidden inside the liver to pull free.
14. Repeat this process for any remaining veins until all veins have been removed from both lobes of the liver.
By following these steps, you can easily devein beef liver and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal without any bitterness or unpleasant texture.
Tips For Preparing Beef Liver For Cooking
Preparing beef liver for cooking can be a bit tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be able to cook a tender and delicious liver:
1. Cut the liver the right way: Beef livers have tough ventricles in the organ, and if you don’t cut the liver correctly, you can end up with a couple of tough bites. To prevent this, instead of slicing long ways down the liver, cut shorter pieces across that break up the ventricles.
2. Remove the membranes: Beef livers are covered in a thin but tough membrane. Removing this before slicing makes for tender liver. And if you’re having a hard time getting the membrane off, try putting your livers in the freezer for 30 minutes or so until they are cold but not frozen. This should make it easier.
3. Nail the timing: It’s really easy to overcook liver, and that’s where the expertise in cooking liver comes into play. Most liver recipes aren’t that difficult, but when you’re putting livers on and off the heat, it’s easy to go overboard. Aim for 160°F and cut one open to see if it just has just a bit of pink. That’s the sweet spot.
4. Make gravy with the drippings: Livers have a lot of liquid in them, and adding some flour and beef broth to those drippings is a great way to extract some extra taste. This isn’t an option if you’re already currying or stewing, but don’t overlook it if you’re pan-searing your liver!
By following these tips, you’ll be able to prepare and cook beef liver like a pro!
Delicious Beef Liver Recipes To Try At Home
Now that you know how to devein beef liver, it’s time to put it to good use with some delicious recipes! Here are two recipes to try at home:
1. Beef Liver and Onions: This classic dish is a great way to introduce yourself to the unique flavor and texture of beef liver. Soak the liver in buttermilk for 2-24 hours to remove any bitterness. Then, sear the liver strips in olive oil until browned and cooked through. Saute onions until tender, then add butter and garlic. Return the cooked liver to the pan and mix gently to combine. Add white wine and let it reduce for a few minutes before serving.
2. Chicken Liver Pate: If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own pate at home! Saute chicken livers, onions, and garlic in butter until cooked through. Add brandy, cream, and spices like thyme and nutmeg. Puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth, then chill until firm. Serve with crackers or bread for a delicious appetizer.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, and cooking methods when it comes to beef liver. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews to stir-fries to salads. And remember, if you’re new to eating offal, start with mild-flavored cuts like calf’s liver or soak the liver in milk or buttermilk before cooking to remove any bitterness.