Veal liver with caramelised shallots and balsamic vinegar

When I am in the mood for a robust traditional meal, there’s nothing more satisfying than a pan-fried veal liver with caramelised shallots and balsamic vinegar. This recipe is inspired from one of my favourite restaurants in Paris, ‘Au Moulin à Vent’, 20 Rue des Fossés-Saint Bernard 75005. They have a ‘foie de veau à la Lyonnaise'(veal liver à la Lyonnaise’) that melts in your mouth with an explosion of perfectly matched flavours. Just mention the magic word ‘Lyon’ and I will get hungry. Lyonnaise food is certainly one of the best in France. In the 19th century, the most popular bouchons (small typical home-style food eatery) and restaurants were run by women from bourgeois families – they were called the ‘Mères’ (mothers). Thanks to their cooking, the Lyonnaise food scene became famous.

I improvised the recipe to my liking, as the original has onions, beef stock and parsley. I use shallots instead. I also got a great tip from my butcher – dredge each liver lightly with flour – the result will be perfect.


4 slices of good-quality veal liver (I like mine not too thick)
4 shallots
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50 grs butter
4 tbsp olive oil
30 grs plain flour (for dredging)
Salt & pepper
Handful of chopped parsley (optional)

Chop the shallots finely. Set aside. Prepare the veal livers on a plate, and dredge them lightly with plain flour. Shake off any excess flour. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook livers – I usually fry each sides for 2 minutes max, but if you prefer well-cooked fry or rare you can adapt the timing. Set aside. Add 1 tbsp butter to the same pan, throw in the shallots on high heat and fry until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Serve with shallots on top of the livers. Sprinkle with parsley (optional), season with salt and pepper, and serve with mashed potatoes.

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