Recipes for calves liver and onions are simple and basic since you don't want to overpower the flavor of the liver. Just be careful not to overcook the liver and the rest is easy.
Most recipes for calves liver and onion include coating the liver with flour before frying it. Here's the step by step:
First, remove the skin and any large veins from 1 lb. of liver. You may want to soak the liver in milk overnight to make it more tender and falvorful, but this step is optional. Once you have the liver prepared, you will need:
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 cup flour
- 5 oz. butter, divided
- Salt and pepper
Julienne the onions by slicing them into long thin strips. The best way to do this is to cut the ends off the onion, peel the skin off, and then cut it in half lengthwise from top to bottom. Next, place the onion on your cutting board and cut it across the grain into about 1/4 inch slices. If you can get it into 1/8 inch thick slices, all the better.
In a saucepan, melt 1 oz. butter and add the onions. Using a low heat, slowly cook the onions, stirring them occasionally until they caramelize. This means that all the sugars in the onion have been brought to the surface and are turning brown, which can take a few minutes. When caramelizing, the idea is to go low and slow. The more time you take with this step the better. If you prefer, you can swap out oil for the butter.
While the onions are cooking, cut the liver into 1/4 inch slices. You can go as thick as 1/2 inch if you like but it's important is to keep them as close to uniform as possible so they cook in the same amount of time. Remember: overcooking will result in a liver very much like shoe leather, and we want to avoid that.
Once the onions are nice and brown, it is time to cook the liver. Start by coating the liver with some flour. You may want to add some salt and pepper to the flour or you can add the seasonings to the liver while it cooks.
Heat 4 oz. butter in a skillet. Once it is melted, add the liver. Cook the liver for about a minute or two on each side.
Then, put the liver on a plate and smother it with the onions. This can feed up to six people.
The Sides and the Options
When cooking recipes for calves liver and onions, the sides that you can serve it with are endless. Some ideas are Asparagus, Spinach, or Potatoes.
Creative Recipes for Calves Liver and Onion
Recipes for calves liver and onions can get more creative, too. If you prefer, you can prepare the liver as before by removing the skin and veins and slicing it into strips. You will also need:
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 oz. butter
- Salt and pepper
Put the tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, celery, and onions into a pot and bring to a simmer.
Add the butter to a pan and brown the liver quickly, then add it to the sauce and cover. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the liver is tender. This is great served over rice.
A Classic Combination
Liver and onions is a classic combination and there are endless variations on the recipes for calves liver and onions. Once you have mastered the basics experiment with some variations.