Use Beef Stock To Help Cut Down The Intense Flavor Of Liver And Onions

Liver and onions aren't the most glamorous of dishes, nor is it necessarily a crowd pleaser. However, there is something to be said about a version that's made just right. Earthy with mineral and metallic notes, this type of organ meat can have quite a robust flavor. It can also have nuances of sweetness, which is what makes liver a perfect match for caramelized onions. However, the reality is that for liver skeptics, even the sweet yellow onions might not be enough to balance the liver. 

In this case, adding a splash of beef stock to this classic recipe can be a total game changer. While it might seem excessive to add beef stock to an already savory dish like liver and onions, that couldn't be further from the truth. In comparison to the predominantly gamey and borderline bitter notes of the liver, the beef stock provides a mild meatiness that mellows the bold organ meat. A chicken or vegetable stock can also work in the same way, contributing an array of fresher flavors in the process.

Other ways to reduce the intensity of liver

Choosing the right liver is the best way to combat those brash and in-your-face flavors. Although beef liver is a common choice for liver and onions, opting for a calf's liver will guarantee a sweeter and more tender bite. Likewise, chicken liver — predominantly those bearing a cream-colored hue — will also boast a delicate profile. Just be sure to steer clear of pork liver if you're on the fence about the organ meat, as it tends to have the most potent of flavors.

With a suitable variety selected, you can think about how else to neutralize some of the liver's strength. For example, many swear by soaking it in milk or lemon juice to improve taste by reducing bitterness and softening its texture. Otherwise, consider introducing ingredients with equally big flavors into the recipe. Aside from beef stock, salty bacon, sweet sauteed apples, or earthy mushrooms can all take the spotlight off of the liver. Since everything's better with butter, adding in a pat or two couldn't hurt either.

Finally, don't make liver and onions a stand-alone dish if you struggle with its intense flavors. Instead, serve the recipe over a bed of creamy mash, brown butter noodles, thick-cut fries, or a giant Yorkshire pudding to help round out flavors and entice even the biggest liver cynics.