As noted in a recent post discussing supplementing andouille with lamb’s heart, I happened upon a treasure trove of odd bits while walking through a Wisconsin farmer’s market. In addition to the lamb hearts, I found a pound of bison liver for a dollar. I had no idea what to expect. I figured it would be similar to beef liver and I was concerned with what the animal ate while it is was upright. I had an idea of the answer when I saw the prices of the more desirable cuts, but the grass-fed provenance was confirmed by the farmer, so I picked up the pound.
Extrapolating a few lessons I learned from cooking beef, pork and chicken livers, I knew to cook it hard and fast. As I have smelled an apartment after cooking beef liver, I knew I wanted to cook this outside, over charcoal. From here, with uncertainty regarding bison liver flavors, I chose to slice the liver, dip it in a gochujang, ginger and garlic sauce which is vaguely Korean. I wanted something strongly flavored to balance and, if needed, obscure the unmistakeable liver flavors.
So I soaked the liver in milk briefly to soften the liver flavors a bit, then dried the livers and finally stirred in the hot pepper paste mixed with soy, molasses and aromatics. A few hours later, I skewered the liver and lit a fire. Strategically speaking, I wanted the grill grate to be as close to the coals as possible. Once I accomplished that by setting the grill grate on the coals, the skewers rested nearly on the fire for a minute per side. As a final safeguard against any overly minerally liverness, I topped the now crispy skewers with cilantro, scallions and peanuts.
With all of the safeguarding, it seems as if I was eating something completely vile. In the end, the liver was sweet, richly textured and completely free of any strongly metallic flavors. A touch stronger than good chicken livers and a bit sweeter than most pork liver I’ve had. The additions of the marinade/sauce, then the greenery and peanuts were good additions, but in the end were probably not necessary.
Gochujang Sauce/Marinade1″ of peeled ginger, grated 2 cloves of garlic, grated 2 tablespoons gochujang 1 tablespoon molasses 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Mix and put on everything you can grill