50 Ways to Love Your Liver

👨‍🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨‍🍳

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There must be 50 ways, I thought, so I set about searching for some unusual ones. Easier sung than done though.

I confess to being a lifelong liver lover, but I do know folks who are liver leavers, some tracing the trauma back to a childhood experience with a Chaplinesque dinner of shoe leather liver, so I’m always on the lookout for more palatable variations. I wrote about South African Chicken Livers Peri Peri a while ago (one of my favorite treatments for liver) and now I’ve unearthed this Persian dish called Jaghoor Baghoor. You might see it as Jaghul Baghul or any number of alternate spellings where double o’s and single u’s get swapped and l’s and r’s freely do-si-do. And there are as many unique tweaks for it as there are spellings.

A traditional dish from Zanjan province in northwestern Iran, it calls for lamb liver, onions, optional mushrooms, and fried potatoes – fairly prosaic, right? But what attracted me was the unlikely combination of three (and only three) flavor additions that make it distinct: tomato paste, pomegranate syrup (one of those aforementioned unique tweaks), and more turmeric than I’d ever think to use in a single dish.

The overall effect is not one of sweetness; rather it has background notes of umami from the tomato paste, tart fruitiness from the pomegranate, and earthiness from the turmeric.

Most of the recipes I found for the dish (and there really aren’t many) call for lamb liver but they all say that beef or calf liver can be used. Due to COVID, however, I couldn’t get my hands on any of those, so I had to make do with chicken liver. What can I say? During a pandemic, bloggers can’t be choosers.

Of course, while I was making it, I kept hearing in my head:

You just get out the pan, Dan
Toss in the veg, Reg
Then you throw in the meat, Clete
And crank up the heat

Just fry up a spud, Bud
You don’t need to make rice, Bryce
Now the dish is complete, Pete
And you’re in for a treat.

(With sincere apologies to Paul Simon.)
Stay safe, be well, and eat whatever it takes. ❤️

2 thoughts on “50 Ways to Love Your Liver

  1. I have always loved liver – my mother made it undercooked (not exactly rare, but still juicy) with lots of fried onions. My husband always hate the leather, uh liver, his mother made. He learned how delicious it is when I started cooking for him. This version sounds great. And your parody of Paul’s song is perfect!

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