Chopped Liver | A Traditional Jewish Recipe

When I was growing up, every Jewish Holiday was celebrated at my Grandmother’s house. The day of the celebration she would have all the aunts over at her house to prepare for the meal. I can remember being served tongue, hunting for the afikomen on passover and enjoying my Aunty Tilly’s ice cream. Pesach meals are very traditional and during the reading of the Haggadah I would nibble on horseradish. We would start with boiled eggs in salt water and then move on to chopped liver, chopped herring, Danish herring and gefilte fish served with chrain. This would be followed by chicken soup with kneidlach before we got to the meat and vegetables. And then of course the desserts! Dave and I love chicken livers and I am always trying to find new ways to make them. When I got my copy of Jerusalem I paged through the book and came across the recipe for chopped liver. As soon as I saw the photos I was taken back to my childhood. Of being the oldest of the cousins at the table, of knowing my grandmother loved each one of us as if we were the only grandchild, of cuddles with Buddy, the border collie, and the little ones having ‘ships’ for beds. Next year April I will be having passover dinner at my house for the first time ever. My parents are going to spend the weekend with us, and this recipe for chopped liver will definitely feature as I am sure it will remind my dad of his mom.

Do you have a recipe that reminds you of your grandmother?

Chopped Liver
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Chopped Liver

Recipe Category: Side Dish
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi Jerusalem page 186

Ingredients

  • 90 g duck fat, divided
  • 2 large onions, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 500 g trimmed chicken livers, cut into chunks
  • 5 hard boiled eggs, peeled, divided
  • 60 mls dessert wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 15 mls chopped chives

Method

  • Place 60g of the duck fat into a large frying pan
  • Sauté the onions over a medium heat until soft and they have taken on some colour
  • Remove and set aside in a bowl, leaving as much duck fat in the pan as possible
  • Add the rest of the duck fat to the pan
  • Add the livers and cook through completely, turning occasionally
  • Add the liver to the onions, retaining the duck fat in the pan
  • Leave to cool slightly
  • Place the coarse grinder blade into your meat grinder
  • Process the livers and onions and place into a bowl and set aside
  • Process two of the eggs and place into a separate bowl
  • Place the fine grinder blade into your meat grinder
  • Process the liver and onion mix and place into the bowl with the coarsely ground egg
  • Process two of the eggs and add to the liver mixture
  • Add the duck fat, wine and seasoning to the liver mixture
  • Mix gently and adjust the seasoning
  • Transfer to a ceramic or glass dish
  • Cover tightly with cling film and leave to cool
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours until slightly firm
  • Finely chop the remaining egg and sprinkle on top of the liver with the chives

Notes

If you do not have a meat grinder, process the liver and onion mix in a food processor in 3 batches, until it resembles a slightly lumpy paste. Chop the eggs by hand. Using the meat grinder for your eggs helps clean the grinder and push through all of the livers. At the end process half a slice of bread to help clean it completely. I have decorated my liver as my grandmother would have done it. You can add some chopped spring onions for extra zing.

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