Liver and Onions

Beef Liver and Onions

I used to hate liver, probably because of a run-in I had with some that wasn’t cooked very well when I was a wee lad. That all changed when I started working in restaurants and cooking liver regularly. I became much more used to the flavour and aroma, and I grew to enjoy it. Liver and onions are a classic diner dish, slightly elevated here with the addition of balsamic vinegar.

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Liver and Onions

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time1 hr 20 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time2 hrs 20 mins

 1½ pounds beef liver, well cleaned and thinly sliced
 1 cup milk
 4 Tbsp butter (divided)
 2 onions, thinly sliced
 8 slices bacon, cut in medium dice
 Salt and pepper
 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
 2 Tbsp chopped sage leaves
 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1

Before you begin, be sure the membrane and any traces of the arteries have been removed from the liver. Place the liver in a bowl with the milk and refrigerate for 1 hour. Discard the milk and pat dry the liver on a towel.

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and bacon, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the bacon is brown and the onions caramelized, at least 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pot, and set aside.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the liver with salt and pepper, then dredge the slices in the flour, shaking off any excess, and place them on a plate. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a few slices of liver, brown them on the outside, and transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining liver.

Add the onion and bacon mixture and the sage to the frying pan. Pour in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the browned liver and stir until well combined.

To serve, divide the liver and onions among individual plates and serve immediately with your favourite mashed potato recipe.

Note
2

One of the reasons most people don’t like liver is because it has been cooked to death. Liver, whether beef, veal, or poultry, can be served slightly pink, but I prefer when it’s been just cooked through (160°F internal temperature). Overcooked liver develops a mealy texture. When thinly sliced, liver just needs a quick sear, followed by a minute of reheating in the sauce.

3

Excerpted from Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan. Copyright © 2020Peter Sanagan. Photography by Peter Chou. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Ingredients

 1½ pounds beef liver, well cleaned and thinly sliced
 1 cup milk
 4 Tbsp butter (divided)
 2 onions, thinly sliced
 8 slices bacon, cut in medium dice
 Salt and pepper
 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
 2 Tbsp chopped sage leaves
 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions

1

Before you begin, be sure the membrane and any traces of the arteries have been removed from the liver. Place the liver in a bowl with the milk and refrigerate for 1 hour. Discard the milk and pat dry the liver on a towel.

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and bacon, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the bacon is brown and the onions caramelized, at least 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pot, and set aside.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the liver with salt and pepper, then dredge the slices in the flour, shaking off any excess, and place them on a plate. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a few slices of liver, brown them on the outside, and transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining liver.

Add the onion and bacon mixture and the sage to the frying pan. Pour in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the browned liver and stir until well combined.

To serve, divide the liver and onions among individual plates and serve immediately with your favourite mashed potato recipe.

Note
2

One of the reasons most people don’t like liver is because it has been cooked to death. Liver, whether beef, veal, or poultry, can be served slightly pink, but I prefer when it’s been just cooked through (160°F internal temperature). Overcooked liver develops a mealy texture. When thinly sliced, liver just needs a quick sear, followed by a minute of reheating in the sauce.

3

Excerpted from Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan. Copyright © 2020Peter Sanagan. Photography by Peter Chou. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Beef Liver and Onions
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