How do you cook your liver and onions?

I watched* Silence of the Lambs* on TV last night, so now I’ve been thinking about making liver and onions for dinner tonight, with mashed potatoes and – thanks to the movie – some fava beans too. In the past, I’ve just sauteed the sliced onions in a pan with a little oil or Brummel and Brown, and then just added the liver, essentially pan-frying it. This might be sacreligious (or sacrelicious), but I tend to like it with ketchup or barbecue sauce on the side. Do other people bread their liver first, or cook it a different or better way? And I don’t think I’ve ever had fava beans before–do they come in a can, or will I have to soak them?

I might consider a nice Chianti as well, but I’ve never had that before either. Is it an expensive wine? Is it sweet or dry?

Try this:Fry 3 or 4 slices of bacon till crisp; set aside. Discard most of the grease, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry onions till soft; push to side of pan. Dredge liver (I prefer calves’, but beef works just fine) in seasoned flour, fry till done to your liking. You can either eat the bacon on the side, or crumble it into your mashed potatoes. YUMMMM! Chianti is not expensiveas a rule, though there are some that are. I personally don’t like dry Italian wine, but chacon a son goute, as they say. Fava beans are not that easy to come by; they are best fresh, if you can find them. Cook them the same way you would fresh green beans (steamed is my preference).

I think you can get favas canned or dried. If not, the most similar thing would be lima beans or butter beans. I imagine he would have had them sauteed or steamed and dressed with herbs and olive oil.

Chianti is a dry, red wine and you can find good ones in a reasonable price range.

I don’t.


I usually don’t bother with the onions, but if I did, here’s how:

  1. Melt butter in frying pan on medium high heat. When it starts to foam, add onions.
  2. Dredge liver in bread crumbs.
  3. When onions are soft, set them aside. Put liver in the pan.
  4. Cook 3-5 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crunchy. Flip the liver over, and cook 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve.

Most important: do not overcook the liver. It should be just barely pink in the middle. Anything more and it becomes tough.

Favas I get fresh at the grocery–they look a bit like oversized peas. There’s usually two or three fava beans in each pod. Peel the pod to get to the beans. Once you get all your beans, add them to salted, boiling water, and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender and bright green. Throw 'em into a colander to drain, let cool, and peel by slipping them between your thumb and forefinger.

I love liver and onions (and bacon). It’s one of the daily specials at a nearby restaurant, and they fix it just right. Fried, slightly crispy, but not overcooked.

It’s gotta be sliced fairly thin though, half an inch at the most. Any thicker, and there’s too much liver taste and not enough crispy crusty goodness.

My mother would broil the liver for about 10 minutes each side.

Even I weren’t a veggie, I would not under any circumstances eat liver.

TMI spoiler alert Any other woman ever notice that menstrual blood clots look exactly like uncooked chicken livers?

But… you can’t live without your liver!

Chianti (pronounced key-AHN-tee, not key-AAN-tee) can be found quite cheap ($5 a bottle, and it still tastes pretty good). The grape is actually Sangiovese, so if there isn’t anything at your local liquor store with the actual “chianti” label you can get a dry red sangiovese (ask the clerk, they should know what’s good).

I recommend the Macaroni Grill Chianti as it’s very drinkable, cheap as heckfire and readily available all over the country at larger liquor stores.

I’m confused. I pronounce “AHN” and “AAN” the same – pretty much as “ON.” What’s the difference?

In Silence of the Lambs, Lecter pronounces it “Key-ANN-tee,” like Ann, the girl’s name.

This is key to preparing good liver. I also like to soak liver in milk anywhere from 1 hour to overnight. With calf’s liver, I don’t always bother. With beef or pork liver, though, I like the way the milk tames some of the more bitter off-flavors.

Soaking calf’s liver in milk?

How many Biblical dietary laws were broken in that statement? >Yiddish icon<

I cook 'em on the hood of my rocket car.

We used to use the milk trick as well. I dont remember it being fully milk though, my mom would just add a cup of milk to a bowl of water with the liver in it. It sure seemed to work wonders.

Liver, ick, never touch the stuff, why would i want to eat a filter anyway

cook up an organ that filters out the waste and impurities from the blood?, sounds yummy…

…now where’s that vomit smiley

carmelized/sauteed onions on the other hand… MMMMMMM

In Australia the traditional thing to have is lamb’s fry - a lamb’s liver. You soak it in milk or water to remove the membrane around it. I slice it about as thick as a coin. After cooking the bacon and onions until they are crisp and soft respectively, I cook the liver as fast as possible, maybe about 30 seconds each side. The process is so quick that I have the gravy ready made to pour over it and serve.

Well, I made it tonight, but didn’t bread it or soak in in milk. I got some thin-sliced beef liver at Publix, but it was frozen. Luckily, it was so thin that it thawed quickly once it hit the hot pan. I sliced up two big Vidalia onions first, and sauteed them in oil and Brummel and Brown until they turned translucent, then removed them and sauteed the liver until it was pink on the inside (hee hee). :wink:

Meanwhile, I made mashed potatoes (instant, of course!), creamed spinach (microwaved frozen stuff), and actually got creative with my can of fava beans: I made a nice Italian vinaigrette salad by draining the can of beans, dicing another half of an onion and two tomatoes, chopping up a lot of fresh basil and cilantro from my windowsill herb garden, and splashing in some EVOO (that’sextravirginoliveoil!) and lots of red wine vinegar. That was good when I got it nice and chilled.

It was good. Dr. Lecter might be proud. I have more than enough for lunch tomorrow, and another meal or two after that. My roommate told me I’m usually a great cook, but the liver just smelled gross and looked even worse. Everyone’s a critic.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up! Instant mashed potatoes? And I was believing that you were a good cook?

Illusions shattered, Snicks backs out, muttering, holding her head.

I like pig liver best of all (strange really, as it is generally considered inferior to lamb and even ox liver)

Slice and wash the liver in running water, removing any gristle etc.
Dredge in seasoned flour
Fry until golden
Place on top of sliced onions in a casserole dish
Add streaky bacon rashers, rolled up tightly.
Pour over red wine and stock
Cook in a moderate oven for several hours.

Serve with coarsely-mashed potatoes, boiled carrots and steamed savoy cabbage.