Balsamic Seared Calves Liver with Champ, Roasted Shallots and Crisp Bacon

Jean Christophe Nouvelli combines lightly-cooked liver with flavour-packed champ in this new take on a classic combination
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Balsamic Seared Calves Liver with Champ, Roasted Shallots and Crisp Bacon
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 8-12 thinslices calves' liver
  • 24 small small shallots, unpeeled
  • olive oil
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbsp reduced beef stock
  • 6 tbsp double cream
  • 6 sprigs tarragon
  • tbsp small capers
  • 18 small gherkins, cut into matchsticks

For the champ

  • 1.2 kg pink skinned waxy potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and diced
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125 ml single cream
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 8 spring onions, diagonally sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers, well rinsed


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Trim the liver of any fat and sinew.

2. Toss the shallots and thyme with a little olive oil, place on an oven tray and roast for 15 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside and leave to cool, then peel off the skins.

3. Pour a little oil into a frying pan and cook the bacon for 4-5 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan; season the liver and fry over a high heat. Add balsamic vinegar and sear quickly. The inside of the liver should still be pink. Leave in the pan to keep warm.

5. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and mash.

6. Stir in the milk, cream, butter, spring onions and capers. Season to taste and keep warm.

7. Remove the liver from the pan. Stir in the reduced stock, cream, tarragon, capers and gherkins. Season to taste.

8. Place a generous spoonful of champ in centre of each of 4 dinner plates and top with the liver. Spoon the shallots and tarragon sauce over and around the liver and place the bacon on top. Serve immediately.

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