Classic Liver And Onions Recipe

You know how people will often say that this or that product, service, or foodstuff is "not your grandpa's" or "not your grandma's" in an effort to make it sound fresh and cool? Well, this classic liver and onions recipe we're discussing today — yeah, it is indeed one your grandma or grandpa may have loved. Maybe even their own grandparents before them, too. But that's a good thing, not a knock! As recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge says, "It is a classic dish that has stood the test of time [and] uses simple ingredients that most people already have in their pantries." (Well, except for the liver.)

And speaking of time, this dish takes only a bit more than 20 minutes including prep time, so that's some good news. Liver and onions also easily makes the centerpiece of a larger meal. Olayinka says, "The liver and onions are cooked in a rich gravy that is perfect for mopping up with some mashed potatoes." Sounds pretty excellent, really, so let's not use any more time talking — let's cook!

Gather your ingredients for liver and onions

To make this classic dish, you need salted butter, beef liver (pre-sliced into thin strips), a large yellow onion, sliced, all-purpose flour, and beef stock.

"If you want to make this recipe your own, you can try adding different herbs and spices to the liver and onions," Olayinka says. "You could also add some chopped bacon to the gravy for an extra flavor boost. Finally, you could swap out the beef stock for chicken or veggie stock to change things up."

Melt the butter and cook the onions, then add the meat

To start off, get a good, thick pan (if you have one — any good skillet will work, though) and put it on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the butter and, once it has melted, add the sliced onions. Stir the onions occasionally and let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and grown fragrant, then add the liver strips and let the meat begin to cook.

Cook the liver then mix the flour and stock

"The key is to cook the liver until it is browned and the onions are softened," Olayinka says, adding: "This ensures that the flavors have a chance to meld together." So be sure to let the liver cook for at least 5 minutes per side or until it has browned well.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, glass, or pitcher, add a tablespoon of the beef stock to the flour and mix them well, forming a paste, then combine this paste with the remaining beef stock and mix again.

Simmer and serve

Pour the flour-thickened stock into the pan and stir everything well, then let the liver and onions simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then serve and enjoy! And as for how best to do that, Olayinka says: "I would recommend serving this dish with some mashed potatoes or rice. The gravy is perfect for mopping up with either of these sides. You could also add a green vegetable like peas or green beans to round out the meal."

And she also adds an important thought: "This recipe is for people who do not like liver too. The beef stock in the gravy helps to cut down on the strong flavor of the liver. If you are still concerned about the flavor, you can try substituting chicken or veggie stock for the beef stock — this will help to further mellow out the flavor of the dish."

Classic Liver And Onions Recipe
5 from 79 ratings
If you're a fan of old-fashioned cooking, then you'll love this classic liver and onions recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
a pan with liver and onions
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 pound beef liver, pre-sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook them until they are softened, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the liver strips to the skillet and cook them for about 5 minutes per side, or until browned.
  3. Once everything is cooked through, add 1 tablespoon of the beef stock to the flour and mix together until it forms a paste.
  4. Add this mixture to the rest of the beef stock, then add it to the skillet and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 254
Total Fat 12.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.9 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 334.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 1.7 g
Sodium 178.0 mg
Protein 24.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe