Fried Beef Liver with Caramelized Onions
I guess beef liver is an acquired taste, but I think I always liked it, especially when fried in a little bacon grease with lots of caramelized onions, just the way they make it in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I prefer beef liver to calves liver because the texture is a little firmer and it has more flavor, but you can use either in this recipe. If you do not have bacon grease on hand, fry about 4 slices of bacon until crisp. Use the drippings to fry the onions and liver, then garnish with the cooked bacon. Alternately, you can omit the bacon and just use olive or vegetable oil.
My mother always served liver with parslied potatoes and cooked tomatoes. I still use the potatoes, but I like to serve okra with corn and tomatoes as the other side dish. Do not forget to look at the variation posted below that my mother made now and then. It is a little different and equally good. Either way, liver is a quick, easy and delicious main dish for an occasional treat.
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease or oil, more if needed (see comments above)
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 pound beef liver, cut into serving portions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- All-purpose flour for dredging
Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; reduce heat to medium and cook until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from pan. Pat the liver dry with paper towels. Season the liver with salt and pepper, then lightly coat with flour. Add more grease or oil to the pan if needed and heat over medium-high heat. Add the liver and fry until brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. (Overcooking will ruin liver. You want it to be just slightly pink inside so it does not dry out.) Return the onions to the pan to reheat. Place the liver on individual serving dishes, topped with onions.
Variation: Add some green pepper strips when cooking the onions. When they are nearly done, add some tomato wedges.