I am making a meal tonight that my mother would without a doubt enjoy and remember. And my mother is not a foodie. She hates to cook and isn’t interested in restaurants which partially explains why she lives primarily on the simple and healthy things like good bread, yogurt, vegetables, and fruit. But this meal she would enjoy.

On my way back from breakfast I wandered through the butchers’ section and saw a man slicing up a large cow’s liver. Whenever I see him cutting liver it is a key indicator that the freshest of the fresh had just arrived that morning. This man cuts but doesn’t sell so I stepped around the corner and asked the next butcher for half a kilo.

He surprised me by pulling a plastic bag off the lower end of a hanging bunch of offal that included the heart, lungs, and liver of a young calf. He cut a quarter of the liver off and then sliced it into to thin pieces. Cost? 10 pesos ($0.80) for what quite possibly could be the best, unquestionably the freshest, and quite likely the most succulent liver I’ve ever bought.

Liver and onions. Better – calf’s liver and onions. The stuff of childhood. Poor people’s food. Grandma food. Country food. Food that doesn’t much exist anymore in the United States. And this is comfort food of the first order; food to make one weep. And so I wish you were here with me tonight mom because I know how much you would enjoy this because it was you who taught me about the simple pleasure of this humble dish.

So how to prepare it? As simple as it sounds. I am going to first saute some onions in a little butter then slide in the liver and cook it until it’s barely done and then serve it with a crunchy baguette, and a bitter salad of greens, purslane, and sliced spring onions.

Advertisements