Calves' liver with pancetta
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Balsamic vinegar that has been aged in wooden casks for 15 years or more is very different from the mass-produced balsamic, which is astringent and watery. The vintage vinegar is thick and syrupy, with a rich, complex flavour.
4 thin slices pancetta, rind removed
2 slices calves' liver, each about 225 grams and about 1cm thick
15 grams unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced about 3mm thick 1 large red chilli, sliced
A few thyme leaves
15ml aged balsamic vinegar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooking oil, as required
- Pour cooking oil to a depth of 5mm in a skillet set over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and fry until crisp; cook the slices in batches, if necessary.
- Drain on paper towels and pour off most of the oil.
- Sprinkle salt over both sides of the calves' liver.Heat the skillet (the one used to cook the pancetta) until it's very hot.
- Add the calves' liver and sear on both sides until well browned.
- Lower the heat then continue to cook the calves' liver until done - the meat should be slightly pink inside. Don't overcook or the liver will be tough.
- While the liver is cooking, heat the butter with about 5ml of cooking oil in another skillet.
- Add the onion, chilli and thyme leaves then sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir frequently over a medium-high flame until the onion is tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in aged balsamic and freshly ground pepper.
- Sprinkle the calves' liver with pepper then put a slice on two plates.
- Add two slices of pancetta to each portion, then spoon the onions on top.
- Serve with mashed potatoes.