Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Liver and Onions

It's getting to be a bad habit - no pictures with this!  I must make it again and get photos on here!

I remember making liver and onions for my two eldest grandsons when they were pre-schoolers. They asked what I was fixing.

"Beef. It's beef, like hamburger is beef, but it's not ground like hamburger."

No lies, right?  They weren't interested in the onions and I told them they didn't have to eat them. Good for them, they won a concession from Grammy! Good for me, I like onions!

We were all doing very well - liver and onions, mashed potatoes for the gravy and I forgot which veggie or salad with it, along with rolls. Plates were being emptied when a daughter came in.

"Ewwww!!!!! Liver and onions!"

Grandsons responded accordingly, and have since. Fortunately, my Beloved Husband loved it then and loves it now and we fixed some for supper. We've never had a recipe, we've made it the way our mothers did -- both of them fixed liver and onions the same way, so I was prepared to cook like his mother (that's a good thing!) Not the way you'll find in the Better Crocker Cookbook, nor most of the recipes I found running around the web.

In our kitchen, we start with about a pound of calves' liver. The kind we buy is sliced and cleaned, almost ready to cook but has to be cut into serving pieces.

We also need a very large onion to cut into onion rings, these are placed in a hot skillet, along with a couple of tablespoons of oil. (Add more if you are really onion lovers.) Keep an eye on them while preparing the liver - they need to caramelize without burning. I lower the heat, add some water and cover to get good caramelization.

We use enough flour to cover those liver pieces front and back. I have a large serving spoon I use to fill with flour and put on a plate.

Mix salt, pepper and whatever flavor/spices you like into the flour. We just use a seasoned salt and fine grind pepper.

Rinse the liver pieces, place on a paper towel to absorb the liquid, then dredge in the flour, covering front and back completely. It will stick.

Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside while the liver is browned on front and back.

To this point, the only difference I've found in other recipes would be the spices used. These recipes call for cooking about three minutes on each side then serve. Not us.

Our Moms went on to pour water on the liver and returning the onions atop that and letting them simmer for another ten minutes, making it's own gravy and making the liver very tender - fork-cutting tender.

See? That doesn't take long at all. Of course, it takes a bit longer to make obligatory mashed potatoes that must accompany this dish. Any veggie would make a good side dish (Janet's 42 Carrots on this site would do just fine), a good roll to help corral the gravy and a favorite dessert.  Tonight we topped ours off with a piece of Helen Crussell's Lemon Pie (also on this site.)

Comfort food at it's finest, right?

1 comment:

  1. Just the words 'Liver and Onions,' brought me back to my childhood when my mom would make it for my father. I couldn't stand the smell and would lock myself in my room as she would cook it. It's been years since I have even seen liver and onions but just the thought now brings back memories that are warm and remind me of my father. No longer do I cringe at the thought. I think if I ever have a chance to taste it again I will. :)