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Please tell me where you found grass fed&finished calf liver. I absolutely loved when my mom made liver and onions for dinner when I was a kid (odd child, I know)! I have made it as an adult with regular grass liver but my mom informed me that calf is the key. I’m not sure where to source it.
Hi Kiki, I don’t know about grass fed and finished, but we can usually get high quality calves liver at our local Whole Foods.
Try cubed venison in place of liver. It’s a whole other dish, it is fine!
This recipe lacks lemon juice to presoak the washed and trimmed liver; it takes away a lot of that “metallic” flavour folks. Also, here in much of Latinamerica we cook our meats with fresh chopped garlic; it enhances the flavours beautifully. I would never dream of cooking anything savoury sans garlic(and Worcestershire sauce for beef!), and sometimes ginger too. Northern recipes are quite bland imho, which is why people refuse to eat organ meats–the ” metallic/gaminess” of the meats are too strong without proper seasonings(herbs too!) Don’t be afraid to add a lil vino too as we do here(a Spanish holdover from the Conquistadores)….I guarantee you, liver will be transformed.
We have pastured beef liver from a local ranch. I used your recipe. I can’t thank you enough, Elise. My 17yo son said, “This is really good, Mom.”
I don’t do the flour bit…or bread crumbs. I fry my onions, green beans and liver in bacon fat. You can also throw a few bacon bits in with the green beans. Sometimes I soak the liver in milk before frying. People say it takes away the bitterness. I don’t get the bitterness part. To me it’s the same whether soaked in milk or not.
For all you people that won’t eat liver, I have no problem with that. It means all the more for me. Liver is one of the cheapest meats you can buy. You just have to be careful. Since you’ll be the only one buying it, you have to make sure it’s fresh and not brown or dried out. Pile on the salty sweet onions and the green beans and I am good to go.
I found a most wonderful recipe for liver. It’s Italian. Yes! Italian liver and onions. I just start with boiling the onions. Wait till their done then dredge the liver in flour with salt n pepper. Melt some butter in a fry pan. Brown the meat. Take out of fry pan and add either leftover pasta sauce or made up fresh. Put the meat back in the pan. Add the sauce on top of the meat then add the onions. Let go bout 45 minutes to an hour. It’s delishous! Forget where I found this recipe but it’s ben years and have ben making it for years. It’s that good!
My mother made this for us at times..should say, for supper, it wasn’t my ideal to make it! I just plain didn’t like it..took me to adulthood before i craved the taste of liver and onions..i make it with a gravy too, a roux made from frying the liver..turns out great, but my grown kids still won’t give it try…so alas, i the only one to truly appreciate this special dish..LOL
Liver and onions(red, yellow or white) is very very good!!!and don’t forget to cook it with olive oil and bay leaves.well thats how we cook it in italy. I also think veal liver is better than beef because it is less hard but also beef liver is very good. I had it yesterday and i would have it once a week, the problem is that my wife doesnt like it so much so i cook it rarely and also beef liver is pretty cheap….
Julia Child’s works well to make beautifully sauced onions but I am still getting used to eating the liver part!
MILK-FED CALIVES’ liver has a much paler color.
Julia carefully cooks down browned salted sweet onions – removes – then sears lightly dredged meat 1 min per side. Return onions, add chicken STOCK or dry white WINE to properly deglaze & reduce that a bit.
I also add some excellent dry sherry for great aroma and complex taste.
Ketchup makes all food taste LIKE ketchup… but I may need some to choke down last night’s leftover liver! (Can’t have the fatty onions every day.)
I love liver (beef, calf, chicken). My dear mother (God love ya mom) tried to make good liver, and usually made stuff you could resole your shoes with. My grandmother (her mom) however, made it fork tender and mouthwateringly delicious. She told me to fry it quick and hot, that’s what keeps it tender, and she was right. We never soaked it in anything, just dredged it in seasoned (salt and pepper) flour, fried it quick and hot in bacon grease. Served it with lots of fried onions and mashed potatoes… The trick is to not overcook it. I use this trick – fry side one till I see a little blood show, then I turn it over, wait till I see it again, give it a quick 3rd turn, then out of the pan it comes. Quick is the key, esp if it is thin sliced. Its been a while since we had liver. Making me hungry for some!!
Bonnie, you got it right! Fry it quick and with lots of onions. I have a birthmark in the shape of liver on my leg and I truly love liver. I always tell folks never overcook it simmer it to tenderness, pile it on top of rice or potatoes and yumo!
Keep it simple , flour salt pepper onions an a light gravy, not that thick stuff!
Long live liver!
Clara from California
My husband’s family raises cattle, so I have been cooking calves’ liver for years and finally settled on our favorite: Remove membrane, cut in bite-size strips and dredge in flour. Fry on high very briefly in bacon fat and/or oil. Season after frying. I saute the onions separately. I may try the suggestion of soaking in buttermilk sometime. Thanks!
HATE liver but my husband loves it. He prepares it the way he likes it which often turns really too dry for me. I may try this liver recipe with onions. Would the onions make the liver less dry and more tender? I’m desperately looking for a good recipe that will make me tolerate or appreciate it more, all because it’s rich in iron and magnesium.
Soaking the liver in buttermilk will make the liver more tender, and take the edge off the taste. ~Elise
Don’t overcook the liver. It will dry it out. Leave a little pink.
I live in the Caribbean and here, liver is something we would definitely season (marinate) before cooking; some added garlic, chadon beni, french thyme, etc. Like so many of the other comments, more people seem to enjoy liver and onions with those added flavours from the bacon etc. Having it for dinner tonight actually!
Having liver an onions tonight, per my husbands request. He has a high triglyceride count and he says you have to die from something. So I guess its liver and onoins. I only make 1 time per year. He loves it, same recipe as the first one posted.
I love my mother’s liver and onions. She would fry the liver as above but combine the onions and then make a cream of mushroom sauce. Just a can of mushroom soup and a little milk. Wonderful!!!!
I just love your recipes! This will be the next way I cook the liver that is waiting in my freezer. I went with something a little less traditional for my first attempt – Thai Liver with Coconut Rice and Green Sauce. I’m getting to like Liver – who’d have thought?
We love liver. We raise our own beef, so they are free of hormones and all that bad stuff.
I usually dredge it in seasoned flour…just salt and pepper. Fry in in bacon grease until crisp on the outside. Remove from the pan. I then add a touch more bacon grease and fry up lots of onion slices. Once they are done, remove from pan. If there is enough bacon grease left in the pan (if not, add more), just add some of the flour left from dredging the liver, brown a little and then add water to make a nice gravy, scraping all the browned bits off the pan. Once you’ve achieved the thick gravy, add back in the liver and the onions. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and we always like corn also. YUM YUM!
Where r u! I want your liver!!!
The only thing missing here are the fried apple rings – try ’em and you’ll never touch the ketchup again.
Marinade BEEF LIVER in milk, salt and black pepper for about 1 hour.
Calves liver is too mushy…the texture of regular beef liver is best.
Well… I had already purchased my liver (local, organic, grass-fed, and, I guess, adult cow) by the time I read here that calves’ liver may be the milder choice. I hate to say it, but this was a disaster. The overpowering smell of cow (it was almost as if I could smell the fur, cow patty, everything on the liver and its blood) leached onto the onions (I fried them together) and I had to put the result down the disposal out of repulsion. too, too bad. I really want to like liver — I know it’s chock full of fat-soluble vitamins, iron, etc. — but that was, unfortunately, an unpalatable experiment. I love chopped liver, and I’ve loved pate. Will calves’ liver make this a better dish? or is that simply the smell of liver?
Yikes! Neither of my parents will even touch beef liver. Too strong. It’s calves’ liver or nothing. Liver really is strong tasting, which is why I tend to douse mine with ketchup. People have recommended soaking it in buttermilk first, which sounds like a good idea. The acidity in the buttermilk will help break down the liver a bit. If you like chopped liver, I suggest just starting with cooking up some chicken livers. They are much more mild than beef or calves’ liver. ~Elise
I dont think I have ever had Liver and onions that didn’t make me remember my childhood when my mother put it on the table to those all so familiar cries of OH NO NOT LIVER! But like you I learned to appreciate it as I grew older and now even enjoy it. Next time you make yours try adding a couple of tablespoons of balsamc vinagar to onions and reducing it down before putting onions on top of the liver. This really adds a nice flavor. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.