Veal Liver in the style of Venice, Italy with Goat Cheese Polenta!
Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana is a traditional Italian veal liver entree. Just forget about the bad experiences that you may have had with poorly prepared, over cooked, tough, chewy liver and onions. This Venetian recipe is nothing like any liver and onions you may have had before.
Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana is usually cooked lightly with almost no caramelization of the liver or onions. Some chefs prefer to caramelize those ingredients when making this recipe and that is okay to do, but then this recipe will look and taste like old fashioned liver and onions with a lemon flavor. I prefer the lighter color of the how this entree was originally intended to be.
Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana seems to have a much lighter flavor when it is lightly sauteed. The liver pieces also have a velvet feel when they are lightly sauteed. Velveting is a classic Chinese cooking technique and this veal liver entree uses the same velveting technique. Italian chefs do not use the word velveting to describe this style of light saute cooking. The Italian cooking word "delicato" describes how this recipe should be cooked and how it should taste.
The sharp flavor of the goat cheese polenta is a nice accompaniment for this fine Italian liver entree. In the Venice region of Italy, polenta is the top choice of starch for a meat entree.
Polenta al Formaggio di Capra Recipe:
No broth is used to make this polenta. Use only water. The sharp flavor of the goat cheese is should be featured on its own.
Boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
Slowly add about 3/4 cup of small grind corn meal while whisking.
Note: The amount of corn meal cannot be accurately measured. Just add corn meal, till the water just begins to slightly thicken. After making polenta 2 or 3 times, you will develop an eye for knowing when enough corn meal is added. The polenta should start off by looking like a thin puree soup. The polenta must be constantly stirred, till it is fully cooked.
Continue whisking the polenta, till it becomes smooth, thick and creamy.
Reduce the temperature to medium low/low heat.
Add 1 unsalted butter pat.
Add sea salt and black pepper while whisking.
Add 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese while whisking. (Soft or salt hardened fresh Italian goat cheese may not be available in your area. Greek feta goat cheese is a good substitute and it is popular in Italy.
When the cheese is thoroughly blended into the polenta, remove the pan from the heat.
Add 2 pinches of finely chopped Italian parsley while whisking.
Spoon the polenta into a star tipped pastry bag.
Keep the polenta warm on the stove top.
Fegato di vitello alla Venezia Recipe:
This recipe requires some thin sliced veal liver. Grocery store pre-packaged sliced veal liver is usually cut too thick for this recipe. A good butcher shop can thin slice a portion of veal liver on request.
Adding sea salt to veal liver too early while cooking will cause the veal liver to become dry and tough! Always add the salt last when cooking veal liver.
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add 3/4 cup of thin sliced onions.
Gently saute the onions and do not allow the onions to brown.
When the onions become cooked soft and till they become clear in color.
Set the sauteed onions aside on a plate.
Cut 8 ounces of thin sliced veal liver into ribbon shaped strips.
Lightly dredge the veal liver strips in flour.
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the floured veal liver strips, a few at a time, till they all are in the pan.
Saute the veal liver strips, till they become very lightly browned.
Add one finely minced garlic clove.
Add the reserved sauteed onions.
Add 2 pinches of black pepper.
Add 1 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.
Add 1 1/2 cups of beef broth.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency. Olive oil will bleed from this sauce, but that is the nature of this sauce!
Add 2 pinches of sea salt.
Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana a Polenta al Formaggio di Capra:
Pipe the goat cheese polenta onto the plate.
Mound the Venetian style veal liver and onions against the polenta on the plate.
Pour any sauce that remains in the pan over the liver.
Garnish the polenta with an Italian parsley sprig.
Serve with steamed sweet snap peas or a vegetable of your choice.
Tender, delicious and no heavy liver aroma! Onions are never allowed to brown in this traditional recipe. The onions do become sweet flavored and soft. The veal liver is very tender and it has no strong liver oder like beef liver.
The little bit of white wine vinegar, beef stock and lemon gives this entree a very elegant nice flavor. The tart sharp flavor of the goat cheese polenta is a nice match for the flavor of the liver. Yummy! Ciao Baby! ... Shawna