I suppose at this point I should probably let you know that I’ve been working at a restaurant for the past 3 months so finding a Chef to bring venison heart and liver to wasn’t a problem. I simply packed them up and brought them into work with me, so fresh they were still steaming. Chef claimed the heart for himself but said he would make staff meal out of the liver. Before he could do so, the liver first soaked overnight in milk with a few bay leaves and juniper berries thrown in. The following day Chef had me remove the liver from the milk and attempt to clean it. After I struggled away with bloodied hands for more time than I'd like to admit, trying to remove the outer layer of skin, Chef took over and cleaned the rest. This was quite the production, garnering the interest of dishwashers, wait staff and patrons alike, (as it’s an open kitchen).
Once the liver was cleaned it was sliced, seasoned, dredged lightly in flour and immediately pan fried in duck fat and butter. Because really, if duck fat is available, why bother using anything else? Chef decided to plate the liver with some of the cassoulet beans, (that are usually served with duck confit) and onions. Liver and onions are traditionally paired together so that should come as no surprise, however when Chef added Kahlua to his pan of onions that was enough to elicit a raised eyebrow from me. Along with the Kahlua, he added butter, garlic, fresh herbs, bay leaves, red wine and maple syrup and this was reduced until it reached the consistency seen in the top photo. So how did it taste when it all came together? Well, one of the dishwashers who initially declared that liver was disgusting and refused to eat it, cleaned his plate and was left wanting more. It was really good.