Many people will often soak their liver in milk for a good few hours before they begin to cook it, and this might sound a little…odd. After all, milk isn’t exactly full of spice or seasoning, it doesn’t seem as if it would make a great marinade or add much flavor to it. And it doesn’t.
So why, then, does everybody soak it in the stuff?
It’s actually to do the exact opposite of what you might assume. It isn’t to add anything, it’s actually to take it away. Liver has a super strong flavor profile that many enjoy, but for a lot of us, it’s a bit too much. Soaking the liver in milk for around three hours before cooking helps to eliminate some of the more pungent odor as well as rid it of the fairly metallic taste.
Plus it actually makes your meat more tender!
Ready to learn more about soaking liver in milk? Well, then keep on reading!
Is Liver Good For You?
Okay, so now that we’ve discussed why liver is soaked in milk, let’s do a quick overview of liver as a whole before we delve deeper into the nitty gritty stuff. Is liver actually good for you? Let’s find out.
The thought of eating organ meat definitely isn’t for everyone, especially when the main purpose of this particular organ is to filter out all the harmful toxins. Surely that isn’t a great thing to consume, right?
Hmm…no, not really. Despite what you might think, liver is actually surprisingly nutritious. It’s packed to the brim with iron, protein, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and plenty of B vitamins too. However, it is worth keeping in mind that it does also contain quite a bit of cholesterol (around 370 mg) and so it should always be eaten in moderation.
As a general overview though, I would say that the benefits of liver definitely outweigh the negatives.
How To Improve The Taste Of Liver
The taste of liver is a funny one, it’s very strong and certainly is an acquired taste. It doesn’t help that the flavor of the liver can vary depending on how you buy it, where you buy it, and how you prepare it.
You should always inspect your liver before you actually purchase it. For example, keep an eye on the color of the meat. The lighter it is, the milder and fresher it will taste because it has come from a much younger animal.
Generally speaking, a pale pink liver will be more palatable than a dark red one, and blond-colored liver is the best-tasting option out of the lot. That terracotta hue will mean that you’ll have a much richer flavor and aroma from the meat.
Moist meat will also be nicer than a liver that looks slightly dry.
If you’re cooking liver, you’re going to have to commit to preparation of some kind.
Many will simply slice it up and chuck it in the pan, nice and simple, but if you really want it to taste great, you’ll be required to put a little bit more effort in.
First, I would always advise making sure that you slice the meat upside down. This way, you’ll be able to see all the veins and tubes in the meat – you’ll want to cut each of those out. Now, they can be pretty stubborn at times so it’ll require a little perseverance and one or two of the tubes may simply have to stay put.
Next, you’ll want to peel off the outer membrane. You don’t have to do this part, but you’ll be glad that you did. The membrane makes the food taste less fresh and a lot less tender so getting rid of it will really elevate the meal.
Soaking Liver In Milk
Now, it’s worth noting that this part isn’t exactly crucial. If you like strong-tasting liver you can skip it and go straight to cooking it. But for the majority of us that find it a little much as it is, soaking milk will really improve the flavor by making it milder and more palatable.
It will not, however, alter the liver’s chemical composition in any way nor will it make any difference to its nutritional value.
Soaking the liver in milk also makes it a lot more tender which makes it easier to eat for many individuals that are put off by its rough and chewy texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to bring out a more complex and delicious flavor to your liver, you’ll want to soak it in milk. As mentioned above, it will give a richer, fuller, and more tender profile to the meat which makes it much more enjoyable to consume.
To really notice the impact of the soaking, you should aim to leave it in the milk for a minimum of 2-3 hours. This gives the milk enough time to work its magic.
Of course, you can! In fact, many say that leaving it to soak overnight (in the fridge) can help to remove a lot of the bitterness and only makes the meat even more tender. It essentially does exactly the same job that soaking for a few hours will do…just more effectively.
It’s also a good way to help the cooking process since the fluffier form of the meat helps the heat reach it easier.
Not necessarily no, but it’s advised that you rinse and pat the liver dry before you soak the meat in the milk, to begin with. However, if you feel more comfortable rinsing the meat after soaking that’s fine too. Either way, it shouldn’t make that much of a difference.
You can, but you should expect it to affect the flavor of your liver differently than regular milk would. Almond milk will usually give the liver a fairly almondy taste, so unless you are quite a fan of the flavor of this milk, it’s probably best to skip it.
If you love the stuff then knock yourself out. It should still give the meat that tenderness that you’re hoping to achieve.
Liver has tons of health benefits so adding it to your diet, in moderation, can never be a bad idea. However, for many of us, it’s a little difficult to consume.
With its strong odor and bold flavor, it can definitely be an overwhelming meat to try, especially if you are used to much milder options.
Thankfully, soaking liver in milk can massively help to make it more palatable. It improves the texture so rather than being tough and chewy it’s much more tender. It also helps to calm down the flavor somewhat to make it a milder option that more people will enjoy.
So, as you can see, a practice that may have seemed pretty mind-boggling actually has a fair bit of method to the madness.
If you’ve never tried liver before, or tried it without soaking it, I would definitely recommend giving it a second chance using the milk-soaking method. It really does transform into a completely new meal.
What are you waiting for? Try milk-soaked liver today!
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