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Sage & thyme calves’ liver with wild mushrooms & pancetta

Sage & thyme calves’ liver with wild mushrooms & pancetta

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • More effort
  • Serves 4

Think you don't like liver? This tasty, pan-fried version with herbs, mushrooms and bacon on toast may convert you

Nutrition: per serving


  • 8 slices pancetta (or streaky bacon)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g calves' liver , sliced into 4 steaks
  • 50g butter
  • small bunch sage , leaves picked, most roughly chopped
  • ½ small bunch thyme , leaves picked
  • 4 shallots , finely sliced
  • 300g mixed wild or chestnut mushroom , cleaned
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • 4 thick slices of rustic bread , toasted (preferably sourdough)


  • STEP 1

    Put the pancetta in a large frying pan and cook until crisp, then lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in the pan. Sear the liver steaks for 1-2 mins each side – so they’re just still pink in the middle – using half the butter towards the end to baste the meat. Remove the liver to a plate using the slotted spoon and leave to rest, covered with foil, for 10-15 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Add the chopped sage, thyme leaves, shallots, mushrooms and lemon zest to the pan. Fry on the highest heat for a few mins, then add the lemon juice and some seasoning. Cook for 3-5 mins until slightly saucy and the mushrooms are soft.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the remaining butter in your smallest saucepan until just foaming. Add the remaining whole sage leaves and fry for a few mins until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper with the pancetta. Sit the liver on toast, spoon over the mushroom mixture and scatter over the pancetta and crisp sage. Serve immediately.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2013

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