Calf's liver with sage salsa verde, caper, raisins, potatoes and crispy ham

  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours 15 minutes
Not yet rated

James Durrant's calf's liver recipe presents a flurry of textures and flavours, from sweet raisin purée to crisp onion rings, from a pungent sage salsa verde to delicate meaty flavour of the seared calves liver. A red wine reduction and some seasonal root vegetables make this a deliciously special and satisfying meal.

First published in 2015




Calf's livers

Raisin purée

Bayonne ham crisps

  • 2 slices of Bayonne ham


Onion rings

  • 1/2 onion, cut into 2mm thick rings
  • 75ml of milk
  • 75g of flour
  • vegetable oil
  • salt

Sage salsa verde

Red wine sauce reduction


  • Deep fat fryer
  • Blender
  • Squeezy bottle


For the raisin purée, place the capers, raisins and water in a pan and boil until soft. Drain, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Place in a squeezy bottle and set aside until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
Lay the Bayonne ham slices between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and place between 2 heavy trays. Cook in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, until dark brown and crisp. Remove and store on kitchen paper in a warm place
  • 2 slices of Bayonne ham
For the sauce, pour the red wine into a small saucepan and place over a medium-high heat. Gently simmer and reduce by 2/3 until you are left with 100ml of liquid, or until the red wine resembles a thin syrup. Set aside until ready to serve
To prepare the vegetables, place the new potatoes in a suitable saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle boil, cook until tender then strain and refresh in iced water before cutting each potato into 6 pieces
Place a large non-stick frying pan, over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil and 50g of butter. Once the butter starts to foam, add the potatoes and sauté until lightly golden brown
Add the onions and continue to cook until golden brown. Season to taste and set aside
Place the baby carrots in a pan of water, season, then add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender, approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain and set aside
To make the onion rings, preheat a deep fryer or a deep saucepan of vegetable oil to 180°C
  • vegetable oil
Make sure the onion rings are all nicely separated, then submerge in the milk for 10-20 minutes. Remove from the milk, coat in flour and deep-fry the rings until golden. Once cooked, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 2mm thick rings
  • 75ml of milk
  • 75g of flour
  • salt
For the sage salsa verde, place the sage, lilliput capers, lemon juice, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil in bowl and lightly mix. Leave out at room temperature until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Place a heavy, non-stick pan over a high heat and add the olive oil, but do not allow to smoke. Season the liver with salt and add to the pan. Sear each side until dark and golden, then add 50g of butter and spoon over to baste in the pan while the butter foams
Place in the oven for approximately 6 minutes, then remove and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes
Meanwhile, warm through the potatoes and onions and reheat the sauce. Melt the remaining 25g of butter in a pan, add the baby carrots and season
Pipe dots of the caper and raisin purée onto plates, then add the potatoes, onions and carrots. Slice the liver into 4, fan on top and cover in the sage salsa verde. Garnish each dish with 2 onion rings, a Bayonne crisp and reserved carrot tops. Drizzle with the red wine reduction and serve immediately
First published in 2015

After a stellar career working in some of the UK's best kitchens, James Durrant is a dab hand at cooking classic British fare at the very highest level.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.