Liver and Onions – Midwestern Style


The Heartland of America is known for many things: fertile fields, dairy farms, and small communities where everyone knows your name. There are many treasures in these small Midwestern US towns, from that corner diner that serves the best corn bread you’ve ever had to that small antiques shop that has your next family heirloom in it for an incredible price. You’ll also find many amazing home kitchens serving up incredible dishes on a consistent basis, and nothing speaks of the Midwestern farm more than a simple meal of liver and onions.

It’s true that not everyone is partial to a cow’s liver as a good dinner. Adding onions to the organ meat just seems to add insult to the injury for some! The secret to having good liver and onions is to make sure it is cooked properly. If the liver is undercooked, it is spongy and tastes like your sucking on a piece of iron candy. Cook it too much and it becomes a piece of chewy rubber that is so tough, you could replace the soles of your shoes with them!

Here’s the Secret To a Great Piece of Liver…

Why is liver and onions made on the farm such a wonderful experience? Because to really cleanse a piece of liver, you need to soak it in milk. The best milk to use is raw milk that you just got from the cows, but any milk is better than no milk at all. You need to cover the liver completely with milk for at least an hour, but a couple hours is usually best. This is the most effective way to remove the bitter taste from liver that makes everyone pucker up and scrinch their nose at you when you even mention it!

While the liver is soaking, you can start up on the onions if you wish. Slow cooking the onions is best because you want the flavors of the cooked onions to be ready for the liver that will soon be cooking with it! Using a couple tablespoons of butter, heat up the pan just enough so that it can melt the butter and make it bubble a little. Then put in the onions and let them soak up that butter. Bigger onion pieces take longer to cook thoroughly, so slow cooking them can take the hour or two you’re using to soak the liver.

Make Sure You Give Your Liver a Nice Flour Coating!

When you’re ready to start cooking the liver, make sure you get a nice flour coating on it. Mix some salt and pepper in with the flour and maybe some garlic too if you’re brave. Then take the liver out of the milk, coat both sides with the flour mixture, and then put into your onions pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. You might need to put in more butter to help the liver brown properly. Cook until nicely browned on each side and then you’re done! The best liver has just a little bit of pink left in it.

That’s really all you need to do for awesome liver and onions. Do you do anything differently? Share your liver secrets below!

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