Recipe: Liver and Onions

I know some of you read the title of this blog post and immediately wrinkle your nose in disgust (hi mom!). Well, wrinkle no more. If you've tried liver and you hate it--well, fine. To each his own. But I maintain that this is a delicious thing to eat. Mr. Scrimp and I enjoy it on a fairly regular basis.

This is a simple recipe and most of what it requires is time... and an enjoyment of liver. I first started eating liver because I was anemic, and it turned out that Mr. Scrimp and I both had a taste for it, especially with onions. Make sure, by the way, that you have enough onion to go with your liver. The sweetness of the onion compliments the richness of liver perfectly.

Ingredients (makes 2)

  • 1-2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1-2 generous pinches of sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons lard, butter, or peanut oil (lard is best)
  • 2 servings liver (the poundage will depend here on what type of liver you use. We use beef, usually)
Soaking your liver for a few hours in lemon juice before cooking will improve the texture and make the flavor slightly less liver-y.

Begin by warming up your fat over medium heat. See the photo up top? That isn't butter I'm using--it's lard. It's that yellowy color because the lard came from the barbecued pork shoulder we made earlier this week. Add onions and stir thoroughly to coat. Let them sit for a long, long time. I cooked mine for probably 20-25 minutes, stirring every few minutes and keeping a close eye on them.

When the onions begin to reduce and caramelize, add the zucchini and stir well. Cook this mixture for another 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked as much as you want it to be. 

If you're like me, you're going to be very impatient here and throw the liver in with the onions and zucchini. This is not the best idea, because it's going to turn everything in the pan brown and unappetizing. I can prove it. I took a picture (with a little tomato to brighten it up) and couldn't even put it above the cut:

Before I added the liver, those onions were still a beautiful red, and the zucchini was greener. I ate that, and so I know it's delicious, but looking at it... well, it isn't the most appealing thing in the whole world, I do admit.

Anyway, do your eyes a favor and take the onions and zucchini out of the pan. Leave behind as much oil as you can. 

Make sure your liver is trimmed so that any weird membranes or other bits have been removed. If you want, you can coat it in some flour (no need for egg wash; liver is sticky) before you throw it in the pan. Add a little more fat to the pan if you don't think there's enough, and then put your liver into the pan.

Liver browns fairly quickly, so you'll want to keep an eye on it from this point out. You can eat it pink (some people like to eat it raw, which I am just not able to do). Don't overcook it, or it will get very tough. As soon as it's cooked through, pull it off the heat, heap it high with onions and zucchini, and serve. 

A note on liver: the liver is an organ that cleans toxins out of the body. To get the healthiest and best-tasting liver, make sure you look for livers of grassfed, pastured animals. These have been subject to less stress and fewer toxins.

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