Portuguese Liver with Bacon (Iscas)

This classic dish is usually made with pork liver in Portugal. Serve the dish with either pan-fried or boiled potatoes.


  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 pound calf liver, sliced 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Minced parsley


  1. Mix wine, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaves; pour over liver in shallow glass or plastic dish. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Drain liver; strain. Reserve wine mixture. Pat liver dry.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet until hot. Fry bacon in oil over medium heat until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain.
  4. Cook liver in oil and bacon fat until brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Arrange liver on platter; keep warm. Drain fat from skillet.
  5. Add reserved wine mixture to skillet. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly to loosen browned bits; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
  6. Pour sauce over liver; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.

Yield: 4 servings