Chopped liver is a staple on holiday tables during Passover and Rosh Hashanah, as well as served up deliciously at Jewish delis across the country. It is a beloved, old-world dish born out of the desire to use every part of the animal – even the livers. And so its origins are quite humble. Still, the result of the livers with fried onions, oil or schmaltz and either eggs or vegetables is a super rich spread fit for a king. (Also, it’s really quite easy to make!)
I think the secret to great chopped liver is lots of fried onions, a little bit of schmaltz and not over-broiling the livers. According to rules of kashrut livers, must be fully cooked. But if you cook them exactly the right amount of time, or just slightly under, the liver result is much richer than if you over-broil them and dry them out.
Follow this simple, classic recipe and you’ll be schmearing chopped liver before you know it.
- 1 lb raw livers (can also buy already broiled from butcher)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil or schmaltz
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup sweet wine or brandy
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- If livers are raw, set oven to broil. Place livers on a baking sheet lined with foil in a single layer.
- Broil until livers are just no longer pink in the middle, about 3-4 minutes each side. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil. You can also use schmaltz. Add onions and cook for 15-20 minutes, until onions are browned.
- Place livers, half the onions, 1/4 olive oil, 1/3 cup sweet wine and the leaves of 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs into a food processor fitted with blade. Pulse a few times.
- Taste, adding around 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add more to taste. You can also add more wine at this point depending on desired consistency and taste. Pulse a few more times.
- Scoop liver mixture into a large bowl. Fold in chopped hard boiled eggs and the other half of the fried onions.
- Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme if desired. Can be kept refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to four days.