Meaty Girl: Calves Liver at Stockyards

Liver's not a very popular dish, but liver lovers know a good grilled organ when they see, smell, and taste it. Once people get past their prejudices (whether it's a childhood aversion to liver for dinner, or the oft off-putting idea of eating organ meat), they might find that liver, when cooked and flavored properly, is actually quite tasty.

The Stockyards Restaurant on Washington street has been around for more than 50 years, making liver the right way. The establishment serves a variety of meats, from lobster and steaks to wild boar and buffalo, and their calf's liver (superior to chicken liver because it's meatier and harder to overcook) is wonderful.

The Stockyards' Calves Liver
Served as grilled fillets seasoned with salt and pepper, the calves liver was very tender and smooth, easy to swallow and requiring little mastication. When cooked to medium well, the edges of the liver can scorch and taste chalky, but cooked to medium, it's perfect. The liver was served on a bed of mashed potatoes and smothered in caramelized onions and smoked bacon strips, which helped offset the somewhat funky and heady taste of the liver. The sauce was rather sweet and tasted of beef broth, red wine, melted butter, and honey, a perfect palatable contrast to the metallic aftertaste of the liver. For fans of liver, this may well be the pinnacle of liver dishes. For foes of liver, this may well be the entree that makes them reconsider. -- Niki D'Andrea

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea