My Grandma Dorothy's Chopped Liver


This is a love hate thing for most people.

I have tried making it Mario Batali's way, with red wine, anchovies and vinegar, and Ina Garten's way with Madeira and shallots (too fancy for me), and though they are both excellent spread on a crostini topped w/ frizzled onions, I will stick to my roots and make MY grandmother's chopped liver. To me it was always the best.


She served it as a first course during Jewish holidays on a bed of iceberg lettuce (does anyone buy iceberg lettuce anymore?), and scooped it out with an ice cream scoop!
Ah, memories...............

She had an old fashioned meat grinder which she would use to grind the calves liver after broiling. Her chopped liver was better than anyone else's.

As she got older, she started making chopped liver with chicken livers, because it was just easier than bringing up the grinder from the basement.

She has been gone for a few years now, and I am so glad she wrote down all of her recipes for me! I like to continue the traditions.

I make this delicacy for Passover only, and it brings back a lot of good memories.
Move over Ina & Mario, here comes Dorothy!

My Grandma Dorothy's Chopped Liver Recipe: (enough for 8 people, double it if you have a crowd)

1 lb. of chicken livers, washed and membranes trimmed
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
schmaltz (chicken fat) or vegetable oil (USE THE SCHMALTZ IF YOU CAN!)
3 hard boiled eggs
lots of salt and pepper

In a heavy large skillet, fry your onions in chicken fat (or vegetable oil) on medium heat for about 7 minutes until golden.

Salt your chicken livers add to the same pan with the onions. Simmer for about 15 minutes until all the pink is out of the liver. The onions will continue to cook down.

In a small bowl, mash your hard boiled eggs with a potato masher and set aside.

When livers are done, with a slotted spoon, transfer the warm livers to a food processor. Leave the onions in the pan.

Pulse once or twice, leaving the livers chunky. You DO NOT want a puree.

Add your liver and onions to a large mixing bowl and mix together, getting up all the onion bits and oil left in the frying pan. If it looks too dry, add a tbsp of vegetable oil.

Now add your chopped egg and salt and pepper to taste.

You can garnish with parsley or thyme. Great on matzoh, and even iceberg lettuce!!!



The JR said…
Hey Stacy, I didn't start eating any kind of liver until DH and I got married 10 years ago. But, now I love it. Will have to try your Grandmother's recipe. It looks great.

Just paint that kitty yellow and white and that would be my Lucky trying to figure out if he's going to get a taste of supper.

He also sits on the floor next to my chair, rears up and pats me on the leg, the whole time making a pitiful sound. Yes, I give in and give him little bites. My husband just shakes his head.

People who don't love cats, have a Catniption fit at the thought of our dear beloved kitties on the table or counter. I tell people if you don't like cats, don't come to OUR house. Because you know that they own us....
Liver is one of the only things that i really don't like. But then again, I haven't eaten it in years so who knows..maybe I'd like it now. Love the picture of your grandmother. I think I see a resemblance. Happy Passover and Happy Easter!
kat said…
Love the picture of your grandmother but I don't think you can sell me on chopped liver ;)
Tabitha (my cat) would love this. Do you save your own schmaltz or do you buy it? This recipe sounds like a cardiologist's nightmare which means it's probably really delicious. I actually like chicken livers. Happy Passover. ♥Rosemary
Stacey Snacks said…
If you don't want to render your own chicken fat and save it.....then you can buy it frozen (schmaltz) in the kosher section of your supermarket (if you have one!)....or go to a butcher, they will happily sell you some FAT!
StaceyEsq said…
Your Grandma Dorothy was such a beautiful woman! Thank you for posting her chopped liver recipe , which I am going to make this weekend (with schmaltz, of course)! SO fattening, but SO worth it! Great shot of Shasta by the bowl of chopped liver. The expression says it all.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Such a lovely post and a lovely aunt. I think those family recipes are the best! The cat is allowed on the counter? You are indulgent aren't you?
Foodiewife said…
Unfortunately, I can't stand chopped liver. What's weird is that I do enjoy German liverwurst. Crazy, huh? Still, I loved the old photo (as you know, I get nostalgic when posting heirloom recipes on my blog, too).
LOVED the kitty! Mine circle like land sharks when they smell salmon cooking.

Still, I can see that this recipe would be delicious for liver lovers.

Terri said…
Thank you Stacey. My grandmother, Faye (only a few knew her real given name was Fanny), made them the very same way and it, too, is still my very favorite.
Karen said…
I love liver and I love old family recipes. Glad you have this recipe that reminds you of your grandmother :)
I love chopped liver! I am going to try this tomorrow! Can't wait!!
The Food Hunter said…
I never had chopped liver but I would try it for sure. I love the special
LaDue & Crew said…
What a beautiful picture of her, and a fabulous memory!

Last year I made chopped liver for my uncle and aunt who visited us from Florida. I used Ina's recipe, but I wasn't that impressed ;-( As a matter of fact I still have the bottle of Madeira I bought for it. I am going to try yours- it sounds so similar to how my uncle makes it. Sometimes though, I think things like this are always better when someone else makes them!
You resemble your beautiful Grandma.
Great photo and I'm sure you did her recipe proud!
Lori Lynn said…
I'm with you on the chopped liver. Liver lover!
My cousin Davida, made the liver for Passover, and I just looked through my photos and I did not get a photo of it. I am going to see if she has one for my Passover Round-up.

Dorothy is a Doll!
meseidy said…
Liver is one thing that you love it or hate it. I will confess to you my friend that I am not a fan. But I think this is a lovely way to remember your grandmother and it almost, remember almost, makes me want to try it. :D

Did Hubby like the liver? Mine won't even go near it.
Ell said…
I found you by way of a search for chopped liver. I made your gramma's recipe today and it was lovely. Thank you so much!
Anonymous said…
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Randi Lynne said…
No way! I just realized I have the same Dutch Oven as you. I just put a metal knob on mine.
Unknown said…
Hey Stacey, great recipe! You didn't mention the amount of schmaltz. I used somewhere between 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup which I rendered from the skin and fat of 10 chicken thighs. Two onions looked like a LOT more than what's shown in the picture, but it worked out just fine. I did everything in a large cast iron skillet and a Ninja. BTW, my cat doesn't like it, but we know something's wrong with that cat. The dog, my youngest and I all love it!
Fred said…
I was trying to recall my grandmother's simple recipe and found your recipe to confirm what I thought: liver, onion, schmaltz and egg. The one difference my grandmother's recipe has is dicing the onion, cooking half and leaving half raw. It gave the chopped liver a little more onion bite, if you like that.

It was always a hit - even for people who thought they didn't like liver. When I don't serve it for Passover, I use mini rye bread slices instead of Matzo.

Thanks for the recipe!
Anonymous said…
I loved this recipe! Last time I made chopped liver they had me boiling it in chicken stock with one of the onions, but I found it didn't have as much flavor in the end. I love the sauté version. Thank you so much! I had surgery not too long ago and this is my get-well food.
Anonymous said…

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If you don;t agree please drop me a note and I'll delete it.

Thank a lot,