Liver, Onions, and Gravy.

Madam Bad Wolf and I were discussing menus, tasks, schedules, and planning for the following “sprint” in-house. Finally, she commented, “You have not made liver and onions since we moved from the old house. I like your liver and onions. You should do that soon.” With my best Cylon imitation, I replied, “By Your Command!”

Having committed to this, I realized I’d not made this in years and was less than prepared to deliver a meal that would meet her expectations. A quick run on the information superhighway turned up many recipes, but none that made sense or aligned with my vision. But a glimmer of a process and the prerequisite ingredients did come together.

In my research, I discovered the one place that should have this nailed did not have a recipe; maybe time to fix that problem.

From Wikipedia:

Liver and onions is widely eaten in the United States, United Kingdom and in Germany, where it is usually eaten along with boiled or mashed potatoes. Beef or veal liver is common in the USA, veal or lamb liver are the usual choices in the UK. Liver and onions is often accompanied by fried bacon.

In the French traditional recipe the liver is fried with butter and bacon. In Catalan cuisine olive oil is used, instead of butter, and fried garlic is added to the mixture. In Italian cuisine, the fegato alla veneziana (“Venice-style liver”) recipe includes a dash of red wine or vinegar and the fegato alla romana (“Rome-style liver”) a dash of white wine and is cooked in lard.

In the United States liver and onions has long been an iconic staple of many diner-style restaurants. It is served either dry, with the liver, onions and sometimes bacon simply sauteed and heaped together, or the onions can be turned into a gravy or sauce, with stock and flour added, and with the liver returned to the gravy briefly before plating. This form is sometimes called “smothered liver and onions” but that name is only common in the Deep South states of the USA. Liver and onions is especially common in the regions of Pennsylvania and the Midwest with a strong Germanic culture, for instance in Amish and Mennonite communities, although there is nothing exclusively German about the dish. In large Eastern cities such as New York and Philadelphia, it is simply popular urban diner food.

Liver and Onions with Gravy

A simple supper packed full of flavor
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Main Course, PubGrub
Cuisine American, British, Global
Servings 2
Calories 600 kcal


  • 4-6 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
  • 2 ea Onions Small, peeled, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 lb Beef Liver Sliced Thin
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 1 cup Milk


  • In a glass bowl, soak the liver in the milk for 30 minutes
  • Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, fry off the bacon and remove and reserve 2 tbsp bacon grease
  • Return the skillet and bacon grease to the stove, and bring to temprature
  • Add the onions and fry until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Drain the liver coat it in the flour mixture
  • Fry dusted liver in remaining bacon grease (if the skillet is dry, add a little vegetable oil first).
  • Once the bottom is golden brown, flip, add the onions back on top, and brown the second side.
  • Remove and cover.
  • Add leftover flour to the drippings (no more than two tablespoons), whisk to form a roux, and loosen the fond from the bottom of the skillet. Add the stock and whisk, and heat until pan gravy forms.
  • Serve the liver with a side of mashed potatoes, and smother with the gravy. Garnish with the fried bacon.


A simple, wholesome meal.  Straight from my youth.
Add a side of greens and a biscuit, and you have a feast fit for a king.
Don’t skimp on the onions!
The gravy ties this dish and meal together, do not skip it.


Calories: 600kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 40gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 374mgSodium: 1130mgPotassium: 924mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 19388IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Gravy, Liver, Onion
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: American, Autumn, British, Fried, German, Uncategorized, Winter

Be the first to write a comment.

Your feedback

You must be logged in to post a comment.