Veal Liver: An Inspired Choice

A month or so ago we bought a package of veal liver at our local grocery store telling ourselves that we going to cook them, but not really having any idea how. We’ve made veal kidneys before without relying on a recipe so we were convinced we could do the same with the beast’s liver, but when we got home we found ourselves bereft of inspiration, and we put them the freezer and they there stayed until recently when we realized that we must figure out something to do with them.

Inspiration is overrated, so we abandoned our search for it, opting instead for a simple breading and pan-frying approach. You’ll notice that this dish kind of resembles a veal milanese in appearance, and it does, just don’t pound the livers or they’ll split and become purple goo. Because of this resemblance, as I was making it I was thinking of the great breaded sweetbreads we ate at Prune, and at the same time, I imagined this dish would be the perfect kind of thing to have for lunch on a cold, foggy day after a brisk walk in the rolling hills of Piemonte, and washed down with a gentle nebbiolo. And that might be the case, but it was just as good with a cold beer after a miserable rainy day trawling around Manhattan in search of baby gifts.

Veal Liver “alla Milanese” with Garlicky Mushrooms


  • 6oz veal liver, cleaned
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 3 slices stale country bread, crumbed
  • 3oz olive oil
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1-2 medium cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and rubbed
  • salt and black pepper


  • Put egg, flour and breadcrumbs into separate bowls
  • Slice liver into thin rounds and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Heat oil in a saute pan to medium heat
  • Chop mushroom roughly into chunks and saute with garlic until soft but still al dente.
  • Sprinkle with thyme and remove to a warm plate.
  • Dredge liver slices first in flour, then in egg, and finally in breadcrumbs before placing gently in pan
  • Fry liver for 2 minutes each side or until coating is golden brown
  • Drain briefly on paper towels before serving immediately with mushrooms
  • Garnish with lemon slices and good balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

26 thoughts on “Veal Liver: An Inspired Choice

  1. HA!! no announcement from us yet. just buying baby gifts for everyone else in our lives that just had kids! but thanks for actually showing us that you read our posts all the way through!

    yes, this dish was a bit adventurous, but honestly, veal liver is not very costly. i would dare anyone to just give this a try. it is actually not as adventurous as most would think – i think liver just scares some. but i was totally blown away by how simple and tasty this dish was. jonny whipped it up b/c we needed to use them up and the next day i bought more for the freezer so we can make this a weeknight meal with a salad.

    honestly… give it a try!

    amy 🙂

  2. I just love your site and your photos but haven’t commented yet because lately the dishes have been so meaty and I am a vegetarian. I totally cracked up today because you left a comment on my blog saying to add bacon or pancetta to my brussels sprouts. There is life beyond meat! 🙂

  3. I love liver, but here we are lucky to find calve’s liver let alone veal liver! You found a real treasure, and with liver, simple is better, and timing is essential.Most people who hate liver had it cooked to the shoe leather stage!

  4. HAha, liver…you dared and did it! I try & revisit eating things I don’t like each year…next time set up a seat for me, I’ll give it a go again.

    Have a great trip!

  5. I’m not a big liver fan either but I enjoyed your post. You’re right that inspiration is overrated! Sometimes you just have to go for something simple and at least you know it’ll turn out well 🙂

  6. Hmm. I can’t say I’ve had any sort of liver for years. But, veal liver… does this require a rethinking of my former opinions of regular old beef liver?!

    Looks delicious. So, you’ve got me thinking.

  7. liver is definitely an acquired taste, but so is camembert, truffle, fenugreek, bitter greens, and a host of other things that many foodies claim to love, so why not acquire the taste for liver too? If we only ever ate things that tasted good the first time we ate them, we’d all eat nothing but potato chips and chocolate. veal liver – it’s the future.

  8. I’d never seen liver prepared this way, but it sounds like it would be delicious. I’ll have to try it out. Also, there’s something be said for anyone who can make a photo of any liver dish look so attractive!

  9. oh you guys
    i hate you

    see? i make liver and it tastes like ass
    through no fault of my own
    and then yours is fucking excellent

    because i live in TENNESSEE
    and no one cares about veal liver

    to me that photo is beautiful
    and i can imagine how good it tasted

    and i am SO JEALOUS

    and isn’t that the purpose of all of this?

  10. Bravo, bravo!!!! Pictures are stunning as always and it does look sooo appealing… but…. (there’s always a but) I hate veal’s liver!!! My mom used to oblige us to eat it when we were kids and I never ever had it again. Sorry about it 😀

  11. ok. I am inspired, I have a particular weakness for veal liver and a good supply here in Rome.

    you could add some pancetta, you know, make it vegetarian friendly!!!!!!!!

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