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If I hadn’t married a cowboy, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you what liver and onions tastes like. My mom made it a few times when I was growing up, and I avoided it. Every. Time.
Liver definitely isn’t Matt’s go-to-cut either (he is a steak guy), but I still decided to try it for two reasons.
First, liver is one of the cuts of meat you get when you order a quarter, half or whole beef from us.
Second, it’s surprisingly popular when we’re at the Farmer’s Market since it’s so good for you. They say that liver has more nutrients than any other food — vitamin A, vitamin B12, copper and riboflavin, protein, iron, folate and zinc.
People who cook liver and onions all the time know that there are lots of different versions of the recipe. Since I’m definitely not a liver-pro, I decided to try two variations of it.
I made it the classic way (the recipe that’s literally out of the big red Better Homes & Gardens cookbook), and a more southern way I discovered online where you coat the liver with flour and then cook it.
The secret to both recipes is to soak your liver in milk so that the liver isn’t bitter.
Liver and Onions Recipe #1
This is the classic way to make Liver and Onions from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.
Liver & Onions (Classic)
- 1 medium onion cut into rings
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 lb sliced beef liver
- 2 tsp water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Rinse liver in water.If needed, remove the thin membrane on the outside of the liver (Note: Clover Meadows Beef liver is cut and trimmed by our butcher, so the membrane should pull off easily by placing a finger under the membrane and pulling up, away from the liver)Place in a bowl and pour milk to cover the liver. Let it soak for 1-2 hours so that the liver isn’t bitter.Thinly slice liver into 1/2-3/4″ thick slices. Melt butter in a large skilletCook onions in butter until soft, and then remove onions from butterAdd liver to skillet, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, turn.Add onions to skillet. Cook until liver is slightly pink in center, approximately 3 minutes.Remove liver and onions from skilletMix water, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Heat liquid sauce and pour over the liver and onions
Liver and Onions Recipe #2
Here’s another way to make the same dish that I think is a little more southern. Personally, I liked the taste of this version much better since it gave the liver a flavorful crust.
Liver & Onions (with flavorful crust)
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 lb sliced beef liver
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk (or more if needed)
- 1 large onion, sliced into rings
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse liver in water.If needed,Remove the thin membrane on the outside of the liver (Note: Clover Meadows Beef liver is cut and trimmed by our butcher, so the membrane should pull off easily by placing a finger under the membrane and pulling up, away from the liver)Place in a bowl and pour milk to cover the liver. Let it soak for 1-2 hours so that the liver isn’t bitter.Cut the onions in to ringsThinly slice liver into 1/2-3/4″ thick slices.Melt 2 Tbps butter in a large skillet, and the 1 tsp white sugar and stir. Add the individual rings in the butter and sauté until they’re soft. Remove the onions.Mix the flour with the garlic powder, salt and pepper in plateDrain the milk from the liver, and cut it into slices about 1/4 inch think.Then, coat the slices with the flour mixture.Put the coated liver slices into the pan, and skillet with the butter and cook on medium-high until nice and brown. It will be about 2 minutes per side.Add the onions and cook a bit longer to taste.
If liver and onions isn’t your thing, but you still want to eat liver for the nutritional benefits, our favorite is to make beef liver cubes. Here are a few other ideas too:
- Liver and Bacon. Everything is better with bacon, right?!
- Liver and Vegetables. Dip the liver in seasoned flour, and braise it with chopped onion and celery. Put it in a casserole dish with beef broth and bake about 30 minutes. Top it with chopped carrots and potatoes and bake until the veggies are tender. Then, top with bacon.
- Grilled liver. To grill liver, brush it with a mixture of oil, vinegar, mustard salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill. T
- You can hide it in anything that you would usually make with ground beef. From chili to stew to meatloaf, you can add small pieces of liver to almost anything without people knowing. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make beef liver cubes. Simply cut liver into chucks and put it in a food processor. Turn it on and watch it become all chopped up and liquefied. Then, spoon the mixture into an ice tray. Cover and freeze. When you’re cooking something with ground meat, add a cube of liver.
If you have a favorite Liver and Onions recipe, please share it below!
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