This recipe is based on a recipe from our cookbook of the week, Odd Bits Jennifer McLagan amazing cookbook. It is her interpretation of one of England’s most colourful cookbook writers, Robert Carrier’s recipe from 1965. Sautéing the liver in duck fat adds great flavour and texture, and then deglazing the pan with Dubonnet, orange and shallots creates a wonderful and simple sauce. Dubonnet is a wine-based aperitif. This recipe is just as good with pork, lamb or chicken livers.


1 orange

2T  flour

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

±500g calf’s liver, cut into 3cm slices

3T duck fat or lard

1 red onion, finely sliced

½ cup red Dubonnet or Vermouth

2T chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. Pre-heat oven to 90°C. Place a serving dish in the oven.
  2. Finely grate the zest from the orange, then squeeze 2T of juice. Set the zest and juice aside separately.
  3. Put the flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Dip the liver into the flour to coat lightly, shaking off the excess.
  4. Heat 2T  of the duck fat in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the liver in a single layer, in batches if necessary, and cook until you see beads of blood on the top surface of the liver – ±45 seconds to 1 minute. Turn and cook the other side of the liver for about 30 seconds, or until you again see the blood beads form. Transfer the liver to the warm serving dish in the oven, and turn the oven off.
  5. Add the remaining fat to the pan. Add the onions, and cook until just beginning to soften. Pour in the orange juice and Dubonnet, and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits from the bottom. Boil until reduced to about ¼ cup, then add the zest and parsley, and pour the sauce over the liver. Serve immediately.