In Venice, eating ‘cicchetti’ (tapas-style small portions) has been very common for centuries. This dish of sautéed veal liver with onion and polenta is a Venetian classic.
Courtesy of Bacaro
- 16 ounces calf liver, cut into 2”x 1” strips
- 2 large white onions, thinly julienned
- 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 rosemary sprig
- ½ cup white wine
- Salt and ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup polenta flour
Boil the water with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the polenta flour while stirring until combined. Lower the heat to just simmer, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat but keep it covered.
Meanwhile cook the onions in a braising pan, covered, at a low heat together with 2 tablespoon olive oil, the herbs and the wine, until they become translucent (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, discard the rosemary and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the liver strips and quickly sauté just until they brown. Add the onions and cook for additional 2 minutes, stirring often and scraping the browning at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to create a dark caramelized sauce. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let sit for 1 minute.
Pour about 4 tablespoon of the soft polenta onto each plate, divide the liver over it, add the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
What to Drink: Barba ‘I Visari’ old Vines Montepluciano d’Abruzzo. “With loads of dark cherry, liquorice and dusty raisins, this is ideal with the iron-y liver and will cut through the richness of polenta and some caramelized onions.” Rupert Owen, Premier Crew sommelier