Liver is often soaked in milk before it is cooked.
People usually soak liver in milk to ease the strong taste, to tenderize the meat, and to remove impurities.
What Is Liver?
Liver is an organ meat. Some people think liver has a strong taste and smell, but it can be tasty if cooked right. Liver also has tons of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and C, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, and folate, among other things. If you need extra iron in your diet, liver is the perfect food to eat.
Soaking liver in milk before you cook it is commonplace, and below are three of the main reasons people do this.
1. To Ease the Strong Taste
Even if you love the taste of liver, you have to admit that the taste can be very strong, and when you soak liver in milk before cooking it, it makes the taste a little less harsh. Milk has a lot of calcium in it, and one of the things calcium does is neutralize the pH level so it gets closer to the middle of the scale. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being right in the middle and the two ends being extremely acidic and extremely alkaline.
When liver becomes closer to neutral, the taste isn’t nearly as strong. One of the reasons liver has that harsh, almost metallic taste is because it has nutrients such as copper and iron. Once the taste is neutralized, it becomes less strong and much tastier. Not only does the milk take away some of the bitter taste of the liver, but the liver absorbing the milk also allows it to have a creamier taste once it’s cooked.
2. To Tenderize the Meat
Marinating meat helps to tenderize it. There are many ways to marinate meat, including with red wine, beer, and even salt water. With liver, people generally soak it in a bowl of milk, making sure each piece of liver is fully covered. Liver is filled with gristle, which makes it a little tough, but the milk will tenderize it and make it so that it has a very pleasant texture and taste.
Keep in mind that you should never overcook liver because it can go back to having a tough texture. A lot of meats taste better when you cook it slowly for a long time, but that is not the case with liver. This is one of the reasons why liver needs to be soaked before cooking, and the longer you soak it, the more tender it will be and the better it’ll taste. In a way, soaking the liver is a lot like slow-cooking it.
3. To Remove the Impurities Often Found in Liver
Liver usually has trace amounts of toxins in it. After all, it is the organ that filters your bloodstream to remove impurities. Soaking liver in milk helps remove these impurities from the liver.
How does the milk remove these impurities? Milk has casein in it, and casein will draw out certain impurities so they are no longer in the meat itself. Even a tiny bit of unclean blood in your meat can be harmful, and it’s good to know there’s an effective and simple way to remove those impurities.
How Should You Cook Your Liver?
Depending on the type of liver you choose, you should soak it for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours before cooking it. You can pan-fry it, sear it, grill it, or even make a pate with it. Some people cook it with bacon and onions, but other recipes call for frying it, adding spices to give it a Mexican flavor, or bake it into small nuggets, which kids especially like. Always pay attention to the instructions and follow them to the letter for the best results.
If you don’t soak liver in milk before cooking it, it may come out with a tough texture or a bad taste. You can use other dairy products if you don’t like regular milk, including soy and other types of milk, but it’s best to use something dairy in nature because it is the casein that works the magic.
Liver can taste great if it’s cooked right. To make sure it is healthy and has the right texture, soaking it in milk for a while before cooking it is the right choice.