This Chopped Liver recipe is from The Working Wives’ (Salaried or Otherwise) Cook Book 1963 by Theodora Zavin and Freda Stuart. I found this book at a antique sale about a year ago and was very amused by the forward. Unlike most retro books that catch my eye, the recipes in this book are very practical and flavourful. The ladies who wrote this aimed to create a book that features economic, family-pleasing recipes that were easy to produce. They also wrote about their distaste of contemporary cook books.
“We find the usual run of ‘quick’ cook books inadequate for the needs of the working wife for several reasons. To begin with, the recipes tend toward expensive ingredients. The bachelor girl entertaining a Beau may consider three dollars’ worth of frozen lobster meat a good investment, but, if it has been a really good investment and she finds herself cooking for Beau plus two or three little Beaus, that superb Lobster Newburgh is going to appear on her dinner table rather rarely…..To be fair about it, though, some of these books do have less expensive ideas, most of which revolve around canned cream of mushroom soup to which you add meat, fish, chicken. These dishes are quick and economical, and they lend a certain harmony to your cooking. Everything taste like cream of mushroom soup. “
To add simplicity to these dishes each recipe has a The Night Before and a Before Serving components which separates the preparation and cooking instructions. For the most part each recipe is easy to prepare and the two components are set-up logically. This Chopped Liver recipe that doesn’t need the Night Before section really as it can all be done at once, which I did.
Recipe Taste and Execution
The flavour of this dish is really great. It’s smooth, savoury, and creamy. There is a strong livery flavour but no more than a typical pâté. I don’t like liver typically, but I did enjoy this recipe very much.
This dish is easy to make and I think holds up very well today. It would make a good game-day dish along side other strong flavours. It is also easily customized with hot sauce, paprika, or dry mustard. Chopped Liver also serves well as directed on lettuce or on crackers or bread. I think that this would also make a good spread for open-faces sandwiches.
Chopped LiverPrint This
- 1 lb beef (or calf or chicken) liver
- 2 medium onions
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- 6 tablespoons chicken fat or mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
The Night Before
Cut liver into 2 to 3 inch chunks. Place in pot with water to cover and cook until centers of liver chunks are no longer pink-this will take 10 to 12 mins. While the liver is cooking, hard-boil 2 eggs and peel the onions and cut them in chunks.
Put liver, onions, and eggs through the fine blade of your food grinder. If you are using chicken fat, melt it in a small skillet before adding it to the liver. Add the chicken fat or mayonnaise and the salt and pepper to the liver mixture and mix well.
To serve as an appetizer, for each portion put a mound of chopped liver on a couple of lettuce leaves and garnish with a sprig of parsley. This can also be served with crackers as a cocktail spread.
If you'd like your livers to taste less strong try marinating it in milk for 5 mins before boiling. This trick will work with all types of livers. Discard the milk when done soaking the livers as it won't be of much use for anything else. The broth from the boiled livers can be incorporated into the chopped liver mixture adds a silky texture. It can also be added or to soups, stews or sauces for a savory flavour boost.