Calves Liver with Artichoke Hearts, Diced Tomatoes, and Prosciutto

Calves Liver with Artichoke Hearts, Diced Tomatoes, and Prosciutto (Serves 1)

I have been cooking and eating liver almost every week for several years because it is good for me. My first efforts preparing liver and onions were edible, but not appealing. Then I learned to improve the taste by adding diced tomatoes. After awhile I started adding a big handful of macadamia nuts to make my liver, onions, and tomatoes taste better still. Then an experienced friend told me that I should include bacon when I prepare liver. I didn’t have bacon in the house, but did have prosciutto. The salty flavor of prosciutto balanced the liver, onions, and tomatoes beautifully and I finally started to look forward to my weekly serving of liver. Recently, I decided to try substituting pan-fried artichoke hearts for onions in my recipe. The result was outstanding. If you have not been a liver eater, this is a great way to start.

Prep and cook time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredient list:

4 ounces of calves liver (thawed – I buy mine frozen)
2-3 thin sheets/slices of prosciutto
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 can of diced tomatoes (mine were fire roasted with green chilies)
Tapioca starch or coconut flour
Garlic powder

Directions: Drain can of artichokes hearts and cut lengthwise into bite-size pieces. Add to mixing bowl and season with salt and garlic powder. Dust generously with tapioca starch or coconut flour and stir to coat pieces evenly. Melt one or two tablespoons of ghee in large skillet over medium heat. Add artichokes to skillet. Let them brown a bit and turn with a fork or spatula to brown additional sides for several minutes. Rinse and lay liver on top of artichokes. Dust the liver with salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Add diced tomatoes with all the liquid in the can on top of liver and artichokes (My tomatoes were already spicy. If yours are plain, think about adding a little chili powder or cayenne pepper to spice them up). Simmer the mixture about 7 minutes over low heat. While simmering, tear two to three sheets of prosciutto into bite-size pieces and scatter them on top of the diced tomatoes. After the mix has simmered about 7 minutes, scrape the veggies to the sides, turn the liver to expose the other side to the heat of the skillet bottom, and rebury it under veggies. Let the mix simmer another 7 minutes. When the liver has cooked about 14 minutes over low heat, transfer everything to a plate and enjoy!

Note: The liver is buried in the picture, but it is deliciously there.

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Calves Liver with Artichoke Hearts, Diced Tomatoes, and Prosciutto


6 Responses to “Calves Liver with Artichoke Hearts, Diced Tomatoes, and Prosciutto”

  1. Hi Tom. I just made bone stock today and came here to get your pressure cooker cauliflower soup recipe. Noticed this liver recipe and read it through.

    I’m fascinated that you substituted artichokes for onions. I cannot eat onion, and usually just omit them from recipes. For example, the cauliflower soup recipe calls for onions. Do you have any sense of whether I should use artichokes in the soup recipe instead of the onion, or just leave the onion out? (Don’t know if I should be posting this here or under the soup recipe!)

    Best regards,

    • Tom Denham says:

      Onions and artichokes don’t taste similar, so I don’t think you would get the same taste if you substituted one for the other. I like artichokes and keep cans of them in my pantry all the time. I thought they worked nicely with liver. I think you could leave the onions out of the cauliflower soup and still get a good tasting soup, but I’ve never tried it.

      • I hear you. Thought this might be some crazy “strange but true” thing where artichokes worked as an onion substitute! Wishful thinking!

        Will try the cauliflower soup without onion, which is how I was planning to make it. Just need to buy some cauliflower.

  2. Megan Hebert says:

    How to you “treat” your liver and/or other organ meat before cooking it? I tried making kidney stuff about a month ago and the smell was awful and it tasted like it smelled.

    • I don’t notice an unpleasant smell with liver, but it can be a little gammy. I don’t marinate liver before cooking it, but always pair it with some kind of acid. The acid of tomatoes reduces some of the gaminess. And I often splash artichoke hearts with lemon juice. I am not sure I have posted my more recent liver recipe… I frequently cook down chopped onion with a healthy amount of apple cider vinegar and a handful of dried cranberries. Then I add strips of liver and cook it in the mix until done… maybe 6-9 minutes. I really like what the vinegar and cranberries does with the liver.

  3. Hi Tom, I made this yesterday, and it was amazing! I have not had Liver since I was a child, and the way Grandma would fix it was she would flour and fry the liver with onions. I ate it then, so I thought I would still like liver, although, I don’t remember how it taste. Well let me tell you, I thought it did not have much of a taste, and I think I noticed more of the texture as opposed to the taste. I gave some to my Mom and she loved it as well.

    BTW, the artichokes that I browned w/ghee were amazing in itself!

    Thanks for sharing.

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