Calf’s Liver with Golden Onions (Fegato Alla Veneziana)

The keys to success with this classic Venetian dish are to slice the liver and onions very thin and to work rapidly to avoid overcooking. A nice addition would be soft polenta.

1 lb piece calf’s liver
3/4 lb onions, sliced paper-thin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil (or a combination)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Rinse liver to remove any traces of blood and discard membrane and any tough veins.
Cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Cook onions in 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute.

Cover skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered.

Pat half of liver slices dry and toss with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute seasoned liver, shaking skillet and turning liver, until browned on both sides but still pink inside, about 2 minutes.

Put cooked liver on top of onions and cover.

Add water to skillet and deglaze, scraping up brown bits and boiling until liquid is slightly reduced.

Pour sauce over cooked liver and wipe skillet clean.

Saute remaining liver as above, then add rest of liver with onions and parsley, tossing briefly. Serves 4.

Calf's Liver with Golden Onions

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