Liver is one of the nutrient-dense proteins that is IMO under-consumed here in the United States. Liver in the US is thought to be, much like wings were in Egypt, animal food!!
Is liver good for you?
Liver is a cheap protein that comes loaded with Vitamins and nutrients and hence considered a superfood. According to the USDA Food Database a 100g or liver contains the following:
- 20.36 grams protein.
- 3.89 grams carbohydrate.
- 3.63 grams fat.
- 59.3 milligrams vitamin B-12.
- 39.7 milligrams Selenium.
- 16898 international units of vitamin A
- 0.67 milligrams iron.
Types of liver
If you are not used to eating liver it is best to start exploring different types. There are beef, lamb, calf, ox, chicken, duck, pork, and cod liver. So try various types of liver dishes and when you find the type you like stick to it. Personally, I like beef and duck liver.
Tips for buying liver
In regards to the freshness, you should smell the liver. It should smell fresh or clean if this makes sense not pungent odor or as if it is rancid. The liver should be dark red/brown in color.
Mom's tip for buying liver
My mom always bought fresh liver. She advised me not to get frozen liver or freeze liver myself. I usually buy fresh liver from the Middle Eastern store near me but I know this is not usually the case. It good though to buy liver that has been frozen by the company itself as they have their ways to keep nutrients in.
Tips for cooking liver
Peel the membrane
If your liver comes with a membrane around it, it is better to peel that membrane for a more tender liver. You might want to consider freezing the liver for few minutes as the membrane comes off easier this way.
Marinade in lemon juice, vinegar, milk or butter milk
I am used to the liver texture and taste so I do that for only 30 minutes. If you are a beginner you might consider marinating it for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. If you cannot force liver down then you might want to keep them for a full day.
Cut it thinly
Cut the liver according to your recipe but try to cut it thinly and you'll need to cook it quickly.
When is beef liver done?
Many cooks prefer to cook it for like 1 minute on each side but I have found that to be too pink for us. Just make sure not to overcook so take it out of heat just before it is done to your liking as it will continue to cook with the heat later. Beef liver is much like steak if you wait for it to be completely done it will be overcooked. So take it off the heat when it is slightly pink that is if you like it well done.