Chinese Liver Pork Essence using Pressure Cooker

Other than home-made chicken essence (click here), this Pork and Liver Essence is what I had made on a regular basis for my father in-law who was going through such a challenging time with long hospital stays, loss of quite a bit of blood and was unable to eat solids for a great number of those days. He had been enjoying the home-made chicken essence. Since, there was little variety in his diet, I suggested another type of essence which contained liver. Initially, he was reluctant since he didn’t like liver. I cajoled him to try and he did. He immediately appreciated the difference in taste. In fact, he said that he liked it and looked forward to more! The whole bottle (about 250 ml) may be consumed over 2 to 4 meals as it is meant as a supplement. This essence may be thickened with a medical thickening agent if the patient is suffering from aspiration pneumonia.

This essence may be served during pre-natal and post natal care for that added nutrition to the expecting or new mum.

Having learnt that I could extract so much more nutrients using a pressure cooker to make the chicken essence, I used it again to make this essence.

Before I embarked on making this essence, I did have some questions such as; does liver store toxins? Is liver that nutritious? Here’s what I found.

One of the primary roles of the liver is to neutralize toxins. Liver does not store toxins, instead it stores a lot of powerful nutrients that the body uses against the toxins. Further, gram for gram, liver contains more nutrients than any other food. In fact, liver provides:

  • An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folate
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor

I would still exercise some caution in eating too much liver on a regular basis. In spite of liver’s nutritional benefits, there is a trade-off: All types of liver are high in cholesterol.

HINT: this essence can still be cooked if you don’t possess a pressure cooker. Double your cooking time.

Comments of Ingredients

Some comments about Ingredients

  • Liver. Use fresh liver and cook it that day it is bought. Beef liver can be used too.
  • Wine. It takes away the strong liver taste and smell. The alcohol content will disappear from brewing.
  • Aromatics. Ginger, pepper, cilantro and spring onions also help reduce the strong taste of liver.
  • Salt. This may be removed for medically
  • Minced Pork. Optional. To make this essence less intense in liver flavour, add this. Refer to recipe below. ( this does not appear in the photo above as the first batch of essence, I did’nt include minced pork)

Preparing Ingredients

STEP 1. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim away all the veins and muscle tissue and any blood clots in the piece of liver. Rinse and drain well. If you are in a hurry, pat dry with a piece of clean cloth as paper towels tend to tear and stick.

Hint: some local butchers will undertake this step for you.

STEP 2. With a sharp knife (preferably a cleaver), slice the liver into cubes and then chop finely. Set aside in fridge while you prepare the aromatics.

STEP 3. Give the piece of fresh ginger a good scrub and grate it (photo shows it being grated in the base of a Benriner slicer). Any sharp grater will do. Squeeze grated ginger for juice. Wash the spring onion and fresh cilantro and chop them.

STEP 4.  Marinade the chopped liver and lean minced pork with the wine, ginger juice, chopped herbs, sesame oil, salt and ground pepper for about 30 mins in the fridge.

Cooking

STEP 1. Boil a kettle of water. Once it is almost boiled, place the marinated liver and minced pork into a pressure cooker. Heat pressure cooker over medium heat. Pour 1 litre of boiling water onto the liver and minced pork in the pressure cooker.

STEP 2. Close the cover of the pressure cooker and slide it tight. Use the pressure cooker according the manufacturer’s instructions. Pressure cook for 1 hour (start timing from when you hear hissing. This hissing indicates that pressure cooking has started).

STEP 3. Once the hour is reached, remove from heat and cool completely to release pressure. DO NOT FORCE it open!!

STEP 4. Strain and pour into clean glass bottles. Refrigerate till you are ready to drink it.

RECIPE

About 500 to 600 ml of Liver Essence

Ingredients

  • 500 gm fresh pork liver
  • 200 gm lean minced pork
  • 1 litre boiling water

Seasoning

1 Tbsp freshly grafted ginger, squeeze for juice
2 Tbsp chopped spring onions
1/4 cup Zhao xing wine
1 tsp sesame oil
Dashes of pepper
1 tsp salt (optional)

METHOD

Preparation

1. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim away all the veins and muscle tissue and any blood clots in the piece of liver. Rinse and drain well or pat dry.

2. With a sharp knife (preferably a cleaver), slice the liver into cubes and then chop finely. Set aside in fridge while you prepare the seasoning.

3. Give the piece of fresh ginger a good scrub and grate it. Squeeze grated ginger for juice. Wash the spring onion and fresh cilantro and chop them.

4.  Marinade the chopped liver and lean minced pork with the wine, ginger juice, chopped herbs, sesame oil, salt and ground pepper for about 30 mins in the fridge.

Cooking

1. Boil a kettle of water. Once it is almost boiled, place the marinated liver and minced pork into a pressure cooker. Heat pressure cooker over medium heat. Pour 1 litre of boiling water onto the liver and minced pork in the pressure cooker.

2. Close the cover of the pressure cooker and slide it tight. Use the pressure cooker according the manufacturer’s instructions. Pressure cook for 1 hour (start timing from the time when you hear hissing. The hissing indicates that pressure cooking has started).

3. Once the hour is reached, remove from heat and cool completely to release pressure. DO NOT FORCE it open!!

4. Strain and serve warm. Alternatively, cool this essence and pour into clean glass bottles. Refrigerate till needed. Best Serve warm.

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