Liver and Onions
Liver and Onions

This liver and onion recipe will delight liver lovers! Quickly cook tender veal liver in bacon fat and serve with plenty of spicy roasted onions. It’s just like mom used to make.

All my childhood, Mom would serve us liver and onions for dinner once a month.

I think it was the only dish where whining was remotely tolerated. “Liver and onions, OH NO!” was the yell of the assembled children.

For those quiet moments of culinary desperation, God invented ketchup. Ketchup was the only thing that saved us from the overpowering liver taste. And we poured it on. The onions helped too.

Recently Mom and Dad admitted to me that they don’t like liver that much; they did it as often as they did because (back then, before hormone-fed beef) it was good for us kids. I’ve been begging them for two years to do it again and tonight they finally did it. “I’m sure that will be very popular for the website,” laughed my father.

And you know what? It was good. Really good. Much better than I remembered as a kid and without all the ketchup.

Tips for the best fried liver

Two important points to keep in mind when making liver. First, use the most organic, free-range, antibiotic, and hormone-free calf liver that you can. As full of vitamins and nutrients as the liver is, it also collects the bad stuff. So grab beef that’s as chemical-free as possible.

Second use Calf Liver, veal liver or baby beef liver, not regular beef liver which is just too strong in flavor.


Check out this traditional liver and onion recipe

Tips for buying calf liver

Nowadays calf’s liver is sold pre-cut. However, if you must buy them whole, remove the outer membrane, freeze for a while to set, then slice horizontally. They are quite thin and delicate and would be really difficult to cut without partially freezing them first.

Note that veal liver can be difficult to find. You may have to order it separately from your butcher.

How to remove the metallic taste of the liver

Worried your liver has a strong taste? Soak in milk or buttermilk! Place the liver slices in a shallow pan and pour in enough milk to cover. Chill at least and hour or two. Drain and pat dry before dredging in flour.

Alternatively, you can soak your liver slices in lemon or lime juice, or even vinegar. The acid balances the taste of the liver.

Even if you don’t have milk or citrus juice, soaking in water overnight will help mitigate the strong liver flavor.

Great side dishes for liver and onions

  • Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
  • Green beans with shallots and pancetta
  • Broccoli Rabe with White Beans
  • Rice pilaf with mushrooms and pine nuts
  • Dinosaur cabbage with baby potatoes

From the editors of Simply Recipes

liver and onions

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
30 minutes

4 servings

This recipe also works with lamb, venison and elk liver.


  • 1/2 to 1 Cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dry mustard powder, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher Salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 1/4 lb calves liver (4 slices) (be sure to use veal or veal liver, not mature beef liver)

  • 1 tablespoon bacon (or butter), shared

  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced


  1. Make the seasoned flour:

    Mix the flour, paprika, mustard powder, salt and black pepper and spread on a flat plate.

  2. Dredge Liver:

    Toss the liver slices in the seasoned flour until completely coated on both sides. Put aside.

  3. Sweat onions:

    Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of bacon fat (or butter). Sauté the onions until translucent, a few minutes. Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside on a serving plate.

  4. Fry the liver slices:

    Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of bacon fat (or butter) to the pan. If necessary, add the liver slices in portions. Fry on both sides until browned, no more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

    Serve hot with sautéed onions (and ketchup on the side!).

nutritional information (per serving)
435 calories
11g Fat
36g carbohydrates
45g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!