Liver and Onions

Liver and onions

Yes, it’s liver. And yes, it’s tasty. Offal’s becoming fashionable again and if you’re not prepared to venture as far as hearts or kidneys (or, heaven help us, lungs), liver is an easy introduction. It couldn’t be simpler to cook and it’s very good value for money (I got enough to feed two for £1.70 today and that’s from the posh supermarket). When your work-mates or friends ask you what you had for dinner and you say “liver” they may say “ew”, but really they will wish they were you and had such sophisticated tastes.

My dad used to make me liver and onions and really overcook the liver, which makes it rather leathery. I like it that way because all girls like the way their daddies cook special meals, but on cooking it myself I aimed for non-leathery. It came out well.

Served with steamed asparagus and garlic roasted cauliflower, inspired by Cooking Debauchery. Note: this meal is low-GI and low-fat for those of us who like that kind of thing.

Serves 1

150g Lamb’s liver
Plain flour
1/2 pint/ 300ml beef stock (cube wll do)
50ml Madiera/Sherry
1 small onion, halved and sliced
A couple of mushrooms (optional)
1tsp mustard (Dijon if you have it)
Thyme if you have it.
Some olive oil

For the Cauliflower
About a quarter of a head of cauliflower
4 cloves of garlic, peeled (less if you’re not a garlic fiend like me)
Olive oil

The Cooking

Okay, you’re going to have to touch the liver. There’s no getting round this. Put some flour on a plate and then dip the liver in the flour to coat it. That’s it. You don’t have to touch it anymore.

Heat up a couple of tablespoons of oil to a high heat (as a guide you should be unable to hold your hand an inch above the pan for more than 3 seconds) and fry the liver for a couple of minutes on each side. It won’t take long.

Remove the liver from the pan and set aside. Put the onion and mushroom (if using) into the pan and, remaining on a high heat, fry for about 5 minutes until the onions get a nice colour. While this is happening, measure out the stock. After the five mins are up, add the liver back in and pour in the stock. Also add the madeira/sherry and the mustard and stir it all together. Now leave to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Check it every now and again and if the sauce needs thickening sprinkle in some of the flour leftover from coating the liver.

The Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Differing slightly from Cooking Debauchery, I parboiled the cauliflower for a couple of minutes before popping it in the oven at 200C/390F with the garlic and drizzled in oil for 30 minutes. Move around half way through. Simple, effective, tasty.


13 Responses to “Liver and Onions”

  1. evilbeth Says:

    I think I am going to try your method. I always get it overcooked and I love really good liver and onions.

    Sadly, I will have to bypass the cauliflower as I am not a fan.

  2. karl Says:

    i ike liver and liver likes me.this is a very good recipe!!!

  3. Jeff Says:

    Ive never tried liver and onions before so I decided to give it a try as a foray into organ meats.

    I looked at a few recipes but yours stood out as the simplest and most elegant, and indeed it was. The boquet of this dish is strong and rustic, a hint to its beautiful flavor (especially with the thyme). The Cauliflower is a nice compliment too.

    In a nutshell .., eat slowly and thank the creator of this fine recipe.

    Thanks, a grateful gourmand -Greenville,SC USA

  4. 101things Says:

    High praise indeed! I’m glad it worked out so well for you.

  5. truckmeister Says:

    I see that whoever posted this recipe is obviously a fan of the TV chefs, well so am I as it happens but isn’t it just a little too pretencious to include Madiera sherry, for goodness sake, it is Liver and Onions, not Coq au Vin, lets just keep it simple, the mushrooms are a nice touch though and substituting Olive Oil for fat is an excellent idea.
    Look, I am sorry if the person who posted this recipe is upset but I just have a point of view and the window to express it was available, I shall be cooking this meal tonight though with Boiled Potatoes and Green Vegetables but WITHOUT the Madiera, I shall enjoy it as well I dare say, Lambs Liver is one of the nicest offals around.

  6. 101things Says:

    How DARE I put madeira in it! I’m clearly just doing it to be pretentious. Nothing to do with it tasting nice.

  7. Robert Fuller Says:

    Can you use beef liver in this dish that uses lamb liver?

  8. Dan Haworth Says:

    I picked up some reduced liver from the local market the other day (for only 20 pence too!) with the aim of reliving a few childhood memories, as well as getting a cheap meal into the bargain. This is an excellent recipie, simple and tasty! I had to leave out the sherry (nothing much with an alcohol content survives for long in our shared house you see) but that didnt make it any less yummy, the empty plates spoke for themselves 🙂

    Thanks for a wonderful recipie!

  9. ilyanswindow Says:

    A different world of cooking. I use a Ramoska cooker. the heater element is in the lid. Sliced up two onions and cooked, Not enough, out to the Spar to buy more onion, put them in. Found jumbo tomato in fridge cut it in half, salt and black pepper, and in. Looked for a cookbook how long to cook liver, no book, came to computer and this was the first recipe that seemed to make sense..

    Put the liver in, sloshed on co-op amontillado sherry, covered the liver with cooked onions and set the timer for twenty minutes.

    eating time and the lambs liver is not the least bit leathery.

    I have floated the pan in a bowl of water to cool it enough to put it in the fridge tonight for lunch tomorrow.

  10. Stuart Ainley Says:

    I have always used pigs liver, I find if you re-heat lambs it drops into bits an becomes dry.. I always drop teh liver in milk for a few hours prior to cooking my brother told me it takes any bitternss awayy, must admit it seems to add to it, before you roll it in plain flour. I add the fdry cured bacon at the end, gives a bit of colour

  11. Daz Lowndes Says:

    . . . Lambs liver for tea tonight . :). . . Bought 480g from Iceland store £1 !! . . . . Thanks for the recipe / !!

  12. Pea Coat Women Says:

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  13. When Cooking Liver | We Get Healthy Says:

    […] Liver and Onions | 101 Things Every Cook Should Cook – May 09, 2006 · Yes, it’s liver. And yes, it’s tasty. Offal’s becoming fashionable again and if you’re not prepared to venture as far as hearts or kidneys (or …… […]

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