Lamb Liver Bottarga with Mâche, Radish, and Sheep's Milk Butter on Toast

Chris Cosentino

Cockscomb, San Francisco

“Bottarga is a salt-cured fish roe, used mostly as a dish finisher to add tons of depth and flavor. Taking that idea, I’ve made 'bottargas' from livers and blood. The liver is prepared using the same process as traditional bottarga and becomes an umami bomb as it ages, like grated Parmesan cheese over pasta.” —Chris Cosentino in his 2018 Beard Award–nominated Offal Good


Lamb Liver Bottarga:

  • 500 grams sea salt 
  • 500 grams sugar 
  • 1 cup mint leaves 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 2 grams pink curing salt, such as Instacure #1 
  • 2,270 grams lamb liver 
  • 100 grams coarsely ground black pepper, enough to cover 

To serve:

  • Four 1-inch-thick slices country bread 
  • Peel and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (sheep’s milk, if available) 
  • 6 red globe radishes, shaved thin 
  • 6 French breakfast radishes, quartered 
  • 4 cups mâche (a.k.a. lamb’s tongue lettuce) 
  • Sea salt, to taste 
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste 


Make the lamb liver bottarga: combine the salt, sugar, mint, and bay leaves with the curing salt in a large bowl. 

Place the lamb liver in a nonreactive container, then rub and cover the liver with the salt mixture. Let sit for 2 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s cured through; it will have lost a lot of liquid and should feel pretty solid. 

Once the liver has released most of its liquid, it will become very tough. Rinse off the salt mixture, pat dry, and rub with black pepper, then either dry in a dehydrator, or hang wrapped in cheesecloth for 2 months, until it is dry and can be shaved like Parmesan cheese. 

Grill or toast the bread on both sides. Rub the crisped bread with lemon peel on both sides. Then spread a nice layer of butter on the bread. 

In separate mixing bowls, dress the radishes and mâche with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Divide the radishes among the toast, then top with the mâche. Shave a 3-inch piece of lamb liver bottarga over the toast using a mandolin or a bonito shaver for beautiful curls. 

VARIATIONS: Use the same method to make Pork Liver or Beef Heart Bottarga.


Reprinted from Offal Good. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Cosentino. Photography copyright © 2017 by Michael Harlan Turkell. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


4 servings