Liver with Parmesan polenta


Give traditional liver and onions a twist with the addition of oozy Parmesan polenta.


For the Parmesan polenta

For the liver

  • 600g/1lb 5oz calf’s liver, trimmed and any thin membrane removed, cut lengthways into slices
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 450g/1lb small onions, thinly sliced
  • 30g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring 900ml/1½ pint water to the boil in a large saucepan. Pour in the polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring or whisking all the time. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook gently, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes until cooked. Add the butter, Parmesan and a little salt and mix in.

  2. Meanwhile, cut the liver slices across at a slight angle into short strips, about 2.5cm/1in wide.

  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are soft and deep golden-brown. Put in a bowl and keep warm.

  4. Add 1½ teaspoons of the oil to the pan and heat over a high heat. When the oil is sizzling hot, add a quarter of the liver, season with salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Tip onto a plate and repeat three times with the remaining liver.

  5. Return all the liver to the pan with the onions and any juices from the plate and toss over a high heat for another 30 seconds. Spoon on to a warm plate.

  6. Add the butter to the pan and scrape up any browned bits from the base. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Spoon over the liver and onions.

  7. To serve, put the polenta on warmed plates and spoon some liver and buttery juices on top.