Calves’ liver and chicken livers are the most commonly used in the UK. Lamb's livers are slightly stronger than those from calves but equally good - classically served with crisp bacon, fried onions, and possibly sage. The luxury end of the liver market is goose or duck liver and, perhaps most controversially, foie gras (the fattened liver from a force-fed goose).
Liver needs to be very fresh; look for firm, proud, glistening livers with a deep pink-red colour. Most calves’ livers sold in the UK come from Dutch veal calves. If animal welfare is a concern for you, there are several producers of high welfare British rosé veal that supply consumers with British calves’ liver (look online).
Liver is best used on the day of purchase; at most keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Sliced thinly and quickly grilled, griddled or fried and served pink, liver is tender and full of flavour. Chicken livers can be pan-fried whole and served pink. Ox liver needs slow cooking, so braise or stew for best results.
Article by Louisa Carter
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