Liver and onions. You really can’t say the former without saying the latter, at least here in the United States. Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding anyone that’d even try and tackle beef liver in many of my cookbooks. Instead, I had to scour the internet for something palatable. Your typical online liver and onions recipe calls for sautéing the liver for a few minutes on each side, and then throwing some onions on top to simmer until they’re cooked through. While that does effectively mix the onion flavor with the liver, it also can easily result in a gray, overcooked and dry liver.
US Wellness Meats recently sent me a package of their beef liver to make a recipe for their site; the liver comes from grass-fed, antibiotic-free, non-added hormone cows. As far as organs go, it was beautiful! I thought this was the perfect time to try a liver recipe I’ve been cooking up in my head for a while now. The process uses a combination of sautéed liver, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon to create a textured and slightly complicated taste from a dead simple ingredients list. I think it turned out pretty well.
1 package US Wellness Meats beef liver (1 lb)
1 large onion, sliced
4 strips of uncured, nitrate-free bacon
2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp each salt and black pepper
Liver thaws relatively quickly, so it should only take a day in the fridge to get ready.
In a cast iron skillet, fry the bacon on medium heat and set it aside. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet, and reduce the heat to med/low. Let the bacon drain on some paper towels, then chop it into pretty big chunks.
Add 1 tbsp of clarified butter to the bacon grease, and allow it to heat up. Add the sliced onion, stirring every few minutes.
Allow the onions to brown, stirring often, until they are reduced and caramelized. This process takes a while, around 30-45 minutes. Turn the heat to low if the onions start to burn.
When you’re done you should have a beautiful mound of caramelized onions. Set them aside, and let’s cook up some liver.
My package of beef liver came with two long slices of liver. Take them out and gently rinse them in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Cut the liver pieces in half at the mid-point. Season each side with the salt and pepper.
Add the coconut oil and the rest of the clarified butter to the skillet, and bring the heat up to med/high. Let it heat for a few minutes, but don’t let the butter burn. Sauté the liver for two to three minutes, then flip the pieces and sauté for another two minutes. If the liver tries to curl, pin it down with some tongs. The liver is ready when it is slightly springy to the touch, and should be slightly pink in the middle.
Smother the liver with the onions, then the bacon. Serve immediately.