France, 15th c.
Recipe by Daniel Myers
Recipes for chopped liver go back a lot farther than I thought. This particular one, derrived from "Du Fait de Cuisine" isn't all that different from many modern versions.
1 lb. beef liver, cut into slices
1/2 cup lard
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. grains of paradise
3/4 tsp. salt
Put the liver into a large pot of water, bring to a boil, and let simmer until cooked through. Take the liver out and chop it into very small pieces. Then melt the lard in a large frying pan, and add the liver and spices. Sautee over medium heat until most of the lard isabsorbed. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add them to the liver and stir continuously until thoroughly cooked - the mixture becomes almost dry and crumbly in texture. Serve hot.
61. For the chopped liver: he who has the charge of the chopped liver should take kids' livers - and if there are not enough of those of kids use those of veal - and clean and wash them very well, then put them to cook well and properly; and, being cooked, let him take them out onto fair and clean boards and, being drained, chop them very fine and, being well chopped, let him arrange that he has fair lard well and properly melted in fair and clean frying pans, then put the said chopped liver in to fry and sauté it well and properly. And then arrange that he has a great deal of eggs and break them into fair dishes and beat them all together; and put in spices, that is white ginger, grains of paradise, saffron, and salt in good proportion, then put all of this gently into the said frying pans with the said liver which is being fried while continuallystirring and mixing with a good spoon in the pans until it is well cooked and dried out and beginning to brown. And then when this comes to the sideboard arrange the aforesaid heads on fair serving dishes, and on each dish next to the heads put and arrange the aforesaid chopped liver.