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Easy beef liver and onions

January 29, 2012

I really do like the taste of liver every once in a while, so I bought a frozen pack of beef liver to eat for my two meals of the day. It defrosted pretty quickly, about one and a half day, and was readily sliced so that I didn’t have to do it myself. Normally, at the supermarket, I ask the butcher to cut up the liver into pieces for me because they typically sell in humongous blobs that I don’t want to have to deal with on the cutting board at home.

That day I also happened to make a batch of ghee from butter, which is an easily searchable recipe online. This was perfect for frying, because I didn’t want the flavors of coconut or olive oil seeping into my liver. The buttery flavor of ghee would complement the liver much better.

I first cooked up my onions in the ghee until translucent.

Then I fried up my liver without the onions in the pan. It definitely needs to be on very high heat as huge pieces, since the middle was never going to get done on a lower setting. If the liver was chopped at the butcher, I would have shortened the cooking time. The reason why my cooked side still has red juices showing up on it is because I started cooking these livers when they were still half-frozen in the center. Don’t ever do that unless you are okay with tougher livers.

Then I added the onions in and did a whole frying for several more minutes to incorporate the flavors.

I know this is a pretty common recipe, but this is only a precursor to a beef liver pate recipe in the future for those who ended up failing to make tender liver.

1 lb beef liver, sliced into large or smaller pieces
1 medium onion
4 Tbsp of cooking fat of choice (again, butter or ghee for best flavor)
salt to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)

(1) Slice liver and onions if they are not sliced.
(2) Heat 2 Tbsp of cooking fat on high and add onions when fat is hot. Cook until onions are translucent. Set aside.
(3) Add 1 Tbsp of cooking fat, or more if needed, to the pan and add livers until hot. If the entire pound of liver does not fit into the pan in a 1-layer arrangement, cook in batches. Fry the liver on one side for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom looks fairly brown. Flip to the other side and fry an additional 3-4 minutes, until there are close to no red juices remaining. Set aside and do more batches if needed.
(4) When all the livers are done cooking, add all the liver and onions to the pan and mix and cook for an additional minute or two, until onions look noticeably brown from the liver juices. Add salt and stir to incorporate.
(5) Put on a plate and serve warm.


Dai Dai

  1. mm. I have been craving some liver and onions lately. I usually add ketchup or mustard drizzle since i don’t eat it too often. Good stuff.

    • Heh, I’m not a big ketchup fan, but I’ll try it with mustard next time to see what it’s like. Thanks for the tip 🙂

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