Calf’s Liver in Sweet and Sour Sauce with Stuffed Potato Fritters

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Liver

Remove the nerves from the liver and any veins in the center.

Melt the duck fat in a cast iron pot large enough to cook the whole liver flat. Season with coarse gray sea salt, and add the slightly crushed cloves of unpeeled garlic, thyme, bay, and rosemary. Infuse 15 minutes on the edge of the range.

Turn up the heat until the fat reaches 140°F (60°C). Plunge the liver in it, and simmer at a low heat for 10 minutes.

As soon as it is cooked, take it out of the pot carefully using two slotted spoons, place on a rack, and let rest above the oven for 3 minutes.

Step 2: Potato Fritters

Cut 40 thin slices of potato using a mandoline, and trim into 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) disks using a cutter.

Blanch the slices of potato for 2 seconds in boiling water seasoned with salt, then place on paper towels to dry.

Mix the egg yolk and cornstarch together. Brush this glaze over the potato slices. Spoon a dab of stuffing, prepared below, onto 20 of the slices. Cover with the other potato slices, and blanch the fritters in grapeseed oil at 320°F (160°C), then set aside.

Step 3: Fritter Stuffing

Wipe the porcini mushroom caps with a slightly moistened dishtowel, and cut into an even 1/6 inch (3 mm) salpicon.

Peel and finely mince the shallot. Sweat in some olive oil in a covered pan without browning.

Dice the prosciutto into a fine brunoise.

Blanch the calf’s brain.

Sort, wash, and dry the herbs. Finely chop them, placing them into a stainless steel receptacle. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan, and sear the diced porcini mushrooms, browning them lightly. Season lightly with fleur de sel, and drain in a colander. Next, wipe the sauté pan with paper towels to remove most of the fat, and place the diced porcini mushrooms in it.

All of the other ingredients to the sauté pan, off the heat, and mix with a fork. Season as needed, put it in a stainless steel bowl, and chill.

Step 4: Spinach

Stalk, wash, and drain the baby spinach. Peel the garlic clove, and prick it on the end of a fork.

Heat 3/4 ounce (20 g) of butter in a sauté pan. When it has browned, add half of the baby spinach, season lightly, and wilt, mixing with the garlic-speared fork.

Drain in a colander, and wilt the other half of the spinach in the same way.

Step 5: Sauce

Finely mince the shallot, and sweat without browning, seasoned with the coarse ground Sarawak pepper.

Add the honey and caramelize it slightly. Deglaze with the juice of half a lemon and the Noilly-Prat. Reduce by half, add the balsamic vinegar, and reduce by half once more.

Moisten with the veal jus, and simmer slowly on the edge of the range. Skim often. The sauce should be glossy and slightly syrupy.

Step 6: Finishing and Plating

Plunge the potato fritters into the deep fryer at 175°F (180°C), and fry until nicely golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cut the slice of liver into 4 thick, even triangles. Add the grapes, lemon rind, and capers to the sauce, season as needed, and pour into a sauceboat.

Serve the baby spinach in a dish, sprinkle with slices of roasted garlic, and top with the liver. Season with fleur de sel and coarsely ground black pepper, then place the potato fritters attractively on top of the liver, and serve immediately.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits