The key to sautéing calves' liver is this: start with a thick slice of it
2 slices of calves' liver (each about 1 1/2 inches thick and 1/2 pound), as free of veins as possible
salt and pepper to taste
flour for coating
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
coarse salt to taste
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
1. Season the liver well with salt and pepper. Sift a little flour onto the liver, on all sides, to coat it lightly.
2. Place the butter in a heavy sauté pan over moderately high heat. When it's foaming, add the slices of liver. Sauté on one side until the liver is browned, then sauté on the other side (about 4 minutes per side). Reduce the heat to moderate, and sauté a little longer, turning, until the liver is crusty on the outside, medium-rare on the inside (total cooking time should be about 10 minutes). Remove liver from pan.
3. Cut liver into slices that are approximately 1/2 inch thick. Place them decoratively on dinner plates, sprinkle with coarse salt, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.
The key to sautéing calves' liver is this: start with a thick slice of it. Thin slices get gray and mushy on the inside by the time they're browned on the outside. But a thick slice -- say, 1 1/2 inches thick -- can develop a magnificent crust on the outside, while remaining pink and Firm on the inside. Get your liver from a great butcher shop, and have the butcher custom-cut it for you. Top thick slices of the cooked liver with coarse salt and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar, serve it with creamy polenta, and watch 'em swoon. Serves 4