Region: said to have originated in Berlin, found all over Germany
Liver…??…. That’s gross!!
If that’s your reaction, hang on. I bet you, I can win you over, if you give it a try.
Liver in not everyone’s favorite – and there are many reasons why. I can’t say that I am the biggest liver fan myself. Often it is overdone, bitter, or has a strange, crumbly consistency that just doesn’t sit right.
Apparently, this is a traditional Berlin dish. It is true, that you can find it in pretty much any local restaurant in Berlin. But if it is really that traditional, is questionable. My research did not reveal the combination of liver, onions and apples anytime earlier than the 19th century.
The combination of liver, onions, and apples balances very well. It takes away some of the liver’s natural bitterness. The sauce and the mashed potatoes are in symbiotic harmony, and I will go as far and say: even the kids will eat it (as long as you don’t tell them it is liver).
I have tried to make this dish more contemporary by using less bitter turkey or chicken liver and by keeping the gravy a bit on the sweet side.
Are you feeling adventurous? I look forward to your feedback.
Serves: 4 Difficulty: medium Preparation time: 45 minutes
- approx. 600 g (21.2 oz) Turkey or Chicken Liver
- 3 Tbs of Clarified Butter
- 1 Tbs of Regular Butter
- 2 Sprigs of Thyme
- 1 Clove of Garlic cut into quarters
- 4 Shallots
- 3 red Apples
- 1 Lemon
- 1 TBS Sugar
- 1 Pack or 1 TBS Vanilla Sugar
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) Apple-juice
- 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) Balsamic Vinegar
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) of Port Wine
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 400 g Potatoes
- about 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) Cream or Milk
- 1 generous TBS of butter
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 Bunch fresh parsley
- Salt and Pepper
Rinse and scrub potatoes thoroughly using a vegetable brush (the skin will not be removed for the mash). Place into a cooking pot and add water until the potatoes are almost completely covered. Add a lid and bring to a boil. Once steam is coming out from under the lid, reduce heat to 1/3 of max power and let cook for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, cut the liver into chunks the size of your liking, if necessary. Rinse the liver and turn in flour.
Cut the shallots into strips. Do not skin the apples but remove pits and cut into wedges. Squeeze lemon juice and toss apple wedges in the lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 70°C
In a separate frying pan, melt 1 TBS of butter. Add the onions and sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Remove onions from frying pan. In the same pan melt 2 TBS of sugar and 1 pack of vanilla sugar together with one cinnamon stick. Once caramelized, add 200ml (7 fl oz) of apple juice and 100 ml (3.5 fl 0z) of balsamic vinegar and 30 ml (1 fl oz) of Port Wine. Add apples and sauté for a few minutes until apples are almost soft. Add onions and season with salt, pepper and more sugar if needed. Keep warm in oven for a few minutes.
Melt 1 Tbs of clarified butter in a frying pan and brown liver on each side and season pepper. Add 1 TBS of butter, two sprigs of Thyme and 1 clove of garlic cut into quarters and continue to fry for another 3 minutes on each side. Season with salt remove garlic and thyme and place in the oven and keep warm for a few minutes.
Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes adding 1 TBS of butter and enough milk or cream until the mash has the desired consistency. Season generously with salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg.
Arrange everything on a plate, starting with the mash. Place liver on and around the mash and generously cover with the apple/onion sauce. Sprinkle freshly topped parsley over the arrangement and serve while hot.
Goes well with beer or a dominant white wine like Gewurztraminer or a mild red wine such as a burgundy.