Master Class #44 | 9:35 am | 25 July 2006

Foie de Veau Sauté / Sauteed Calf's LiverMastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1

Foie de Veau Sauté, p. 405
Sautéed Calf’s Liver

Sauce Creème à la Moutarde, p. 406
Cream and Mustard Sauce

Although I’ve whole-heartedly embraced poultry liver… this was quite a bit scarier, as liver was one of threetwo items that my parents would let slide from their “this is not a restaurant” rule: only when Mom served lobster (HA! so they could eat it all) or liver would she cook something else for us.*

Well. Liver’s definitely an accquired taste.

I bought the organ from my favorite people at the Saturday Farmers’ Market. It was funny; as soon as I mentioned to anyone over fifty that I was going to make liver, they immediately told me how to make the standard liver and onions we all grew up avoiding. I think I know why we all hated it — the cheaper beef liver is stronger in flavor than calf’s, and most everyone recommended five minutes per side, far longer than it needs.

I sort of tentatively gummed the first bite or two… but… it was actually kind of good. Mr Dynagirl also approved (possibly more heartily than I). The sauce worked really nicely; the deep bass of the liver needed the high note of the mustard. Simple sautéed potatoes mellowed things out, spreading the intense flavor around.

Things I learned for next time: get calf’s liver, not beef; if beef is the only option, try soaking it in milk for an hour; a little goes a loooong way.

* she came from a family of ridiculously picky eaters (omg, no onions**?!) and, understandably, wasn’t about to see a repeat of that.

** True story: about five years ago my mom took her father down to Milwaukee so he could buy shoes. We met for lunch (at Coquette, swoon) and I actually saw the man ORDER FRENCH ONION SOUP — and then proceed to pull out all of the onions, bitching the whole time.

2 comments on “Master Class #44”

  1. bubba

    Just stumbled onto this and I am having fun going through it. I’ve been thinking about Julia Child a lot lately, started by reading her memoir, My Life in France. That led me to go through all of her DVDs available from Netflix. I relived the experience of watching her show in the early black and white days. I was in my 20s in the 70s, and we believed she was the ultimate gourmet who would lead us to a better life. Here’s the puzzle: All we ever cooked from MTAOFC was souffles. Oh, and crepes. Her recipes are so long and her descriptions are so detailed, that I think for most people the book inhibits good cooking rather than facilitating it. So I’ve been wondering if anyone really uses the book for routine cooking (Julie Powell’s stunt doesn’t count). That’s why I am so pleased to see that you do. As for me, Pierre Franey’s 60-minute Gourmet was a much bigger influence. Now 60 minutes seems too long, and I am a devotee of de Pomiane’s French Cooking in 10 minutes. Few people know that really good food can be made quickly. It’s the spirit and the desire that make the difference.

  2. Miriam

    Yeah, I’m not sure what’s with that other than people see the pages rather than reading the recipes and thinking it through. Look at the whole perception of what a to-do Veal Prince Orloff is, and it’s really not a big deal. Sure, some of the recipes are productions, but just as many aren’t. Thanks for the tip about dePomaine, I’ll take a look at it.

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