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Liver & Onions for Dad

liver and onions

Do you like liver and onions? I do not! But my dad and Dave are fans, so every now and again, I treat them. Valentine’s dinner was one such occasion. Although I enjoy pâté and a few other liver dishes, the bad taste of liver and onions has stayed with me from childhood, when we were forced to eat them.

Oh, the stories I could tell about how I would “dispose” of the food I disliked from my childhood. The various methods I used to get rid of my oatmeal, on nearly a daily basis every winter, are genius by my account and legendary in my family.

The liver was more difficult to avoid, the dogs were my only saviors and my parents picked up on that one early and the dogs were put outside during the dinner hour when the liver or other undesirables were served. My list of undesirable food was long; lima beans, sauerkraut, all cereal (cold and hot but especially oatmeal) spinach, most vegetables (they were all canned) with the exception of corn, and the list goes on.

Liver and lima beans were at the very top of the list. So the fact I even make liver for others is a testament to my love for them.

I will admit that this gravy smells darn good though. The addition of Worcestershire sauce is the trick.

It’s difficult to make liver, onions, and gravy look good in a photo (all that brown on brown on more brown) so please look beyond that. If you or your loved ones crave liver, give this recipe a try, I’m told it’s excellent. I wouldn’t know, Connor and I had beef tenderloin for Valentine’s dinner this year.

liver and onion

Valentine’s Day Liver and Onions

Liver & Onions

  • 2 pounds sliced beef liver
  • Whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon Mama Mai’s S & P


  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk, more to thin if needed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Mashed potatoes to accompany
  • Minced Italian parsley for garnish

soak liver in milk

Liver & Onions:  Place the liver in a medium bowl or container. Pour in enough milk to cover the liver then cover the container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to six hours.

saute onion

Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted. Sauté the onion until soft, sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, and continue to cook until lightly browned.

seasoned flour panko

While the onions brown, place the flour in a shallow bowl and whisk in the panko and Mama Mai’s S & P.

caramelized onions

Remove caramelized onions to a plate, and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet.

coat liver in flour

Drain milk from the liver, and coat slices in the seasoned flour-panko mixture.

cook liver

When the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high, and place the coated liver slices in the pan. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom. Turn, and cook on the other side until browned. Remove to a plate.

Gravy: Add flour to the skillet and stir constantly to cook raw flour for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, while stirring, until all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan are fully incorporated. Add Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook until thickened, adding more milk to thin, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Transfer gravy to a saucepan, cover, and keep warm over low heat. Return onions and liver to the skillet to reheat.

beef liver and onion

Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4





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1 Marissa { 02.17.16 at 7:35 AM }

You are such a good wife/daughter 🙂

2 Betsy { 02.17.16 at 10:45 AM }

I have to agree, the taste from childhood ruins liver forever !!

3 barbara fenzl { 02.17.16 at 2:11 PM }

My mom used to serve liver and onions on Halloween. If we didn’t eat it, we didn’t get to go treat or treating!

4 Linda Hopkins { 02.17.16 at 9:48 PM }

That’s harsh!

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