Liver and Onions


Here is a breakfast of liver and onions cooked in pastured lard. The oysters were lightly cooked in pastured butter. This breakfast packs a powerful nutritional punch and costs about $2.00 a plate. There is no reason eating nourishing traditional foods has to cost a fortune.

Liver and onions was once a common breakfast. Your grandparents would have eaten it once or twice a week, if they could get it. Now, many people are frightened by eating organ meats. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say: “Aren’t those dangerous? Aren’t organs full of toxins?”Of course, I am thinking about liver from an animal that has lived its whole life on pasture and has never required medication. I don’t think I would like to eat the liver from an animal that had spent its whole life in a confinement operation, heavily medicated just to survive its very stressful, short life.

I would like to share my favorite liver and onions recipe. Please do not be frightened by organ meats. Just make sure the liver you are enjoying is from an animal that has lived a good life on pasture, and did not spend its last days gorging on grains. Organs are very nourishing foods. In fact, organs are superfoods. The secret to great liver is not to over cook.

1c calf liver, sliced thinly
1 large organic onion, cut in half, sliced thinly
2-3T organic butter
large pinch of sea salt
Slice the calf liver into thin 1/3 inch slices. Set aside for later. Saute in a cast iron pan the thinly sliced onions and sea salt in some of the butter until the onions are golden brown. Place the sauted onions on the serving plate and cover. Don’t let the cast iron pan get cold. Melt the remaining butter over medium high heat. Quickly put the slices of liver on the hot pan in one layer. As quickly as you can turn the liver slices over. Remove the liver slices from the pan onto the serving dish. Be quick about it. Cooking for 10 seconds a side is about right. The liver should be pink in the middle. Eat each piece of liver with the browned onions. Add a bit more sea salt if needed.

If you are feeling more adventurous after enjoying liver, please read Gourmet Organ Meat Recipes from the Weston A Price Foundation.


This is my breakfast of beef liver with buttered onions. The side dish is garden fresh zucchini sauted in butter and garlic, topped with Gort's raw gouda.

5 thoughts on “Liver and Onions

  1. I have some frozen moose liver that I am a bit unsure what to do with, having never prepared any kind of liver before. Do you have any idea if it might work as substitute for calf liver in a recipe like this?


  2. My mom loves liver and onions but I’m afraid to make it. It’s her birthday tomorrow so I’m going to try but every time she orders it she complains that its rubbery. Do you have any idea to stop that from happening, so her surprise will be great? Please and thank you.

  3. Hi Tricia,

    The secret of cooking liver is DO NOT over-cook. As in the recipe, fry the onions first in butter and some sea salt and after the onions have browned, remove from the fry pan onto the serving plate. Add some more butter or lard to the cast iron fry pan. On high heat, add the 1/4″ slices of liver to the hot pan. As quickly as you can, flip the liver over and remove to the serving plate with the onions. The liver should just be “seared” on the outside and basically raw on the inside. If you do not know what searing is please see:

    I hope your Mom has a wonderful birthday!

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