How to cook deer liver perfectly on the stove. Venison liver recipe with crispy onions sauteed in a skillet on stovetop to tender. If you have only made beef liver but want to try others this is a great way to cook it well.
Venison or deer liver cooks up nicely if done right. We will talk about what other ingredients go well and how long to soak it in milk to tone down the gamey flavor. NO more wasting parts of the animal, how to cook organ meat is here, it seriously can be delicious and this is how. (affiliate links present)
Deer Liver Recipe
This isn’t a whole lot different than how to cook chicken liver really. I mean it is obviously from a different animal but you basically follow the same steps of soaking, seasoning and sautéing it in a skillet but still keeping the insides nice and tender. Once you get the hang of cooking organ meat you will be able to cook the whole animal and eliminate waste.
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Maybe you have been apprehensive about making this as is, and not in another dish like venison chili. I mean that is amazing too and you can easily have enough in one animal to make them both, but there is a trick to cooking it alone.
Just like with pork liver you are going to want to soak this in milk or buttermilk for a few hours, at least 60 minutes. It isn’t as though you can’t cook it without this step but the flavors will be quite different. Most people aren’t used to the strong flavor that liver has, it has a bit of a metallic taste to it otherwise.
In order to tone that down and make it a bit more palatable for this day and age people began soaking it in a liquid. Dairy is better than water but some use lemon water instead. Whether you use a pan on the stove to cook it or make pressure cooker liver the ingredients remain the same.
- 1.5 lbs deer, store bought or wild game liver
- 3 slices bacon diced
- Onion sliced
- Salted butter
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- Milk for soaking the liver, or salt water if that is all you have
- Cast iron pan is my preference
If you were to use your Instant Pot you would brown using the saute button. It is just as if you were cooking on the stove. Once done follow the instructions in the post above in regards to pressure cooking under high steam. It doesn’t take long. I prefer this method for this protein though so it gets a bit of crisp.
How to Cook Deer Liver
You do not have to use onions or bacon at all, but ummmmm that is a must for us. Once again it is a way to tone down the strong natural meat flavors. With the fat of the pork and texture of the yellow or white onions it is a great combo together. Even my kids (when they didn’t know what it was) said it was pretty yummy this way.
- Decide how thick you want your slices to be. You can leave as is or if cutting the liver do so now just remember the thinner they are the quicker they will fry up and cook.
- If you want to lessen the gamey flavor, first rinse pieces and place liver into a bowl filled with milk. Leave it for half an hour or an hour in the refrigerator.
- Remove the liver from the milk and dry it by blotting outsides with paper towels.
- Heat the pan over medium heat and fry the liver in oil for 5 minutes on one side.
- If the pieces are thin, then you can fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Flip over and fry for another 4 minutes.
- cook time will depend on how thick your liver slices are
- Melt the butter in a different pan and start making some quick fried or go all out to make caramelized onions.
- Turn on low heat and stir.
- After 5 minutes, add sugar and mix, fry for another 3 minutes or until caramelizes.
- Add chopped bacon, increase heat to medium high heat, stir and fry for another 3 minutes.
Transfer the fried liver to a plate. Put the fried onions with bacon on the liver and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice for freshness if you like.
Deer Liver and Onions Nutrition
These pieces are nutrient dense organ meat that are rich source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Here are some details; Deer liver is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It is very high in vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, skin, and immune function.
An excellent source of vitamin B12, which is important for the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. A good source of iron, which is essential for the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells and a rich source of copper.
How to Store Deer Liver
Whether this is from a kill or bought at the store you should look for liver flukes which are worms that look like leeches. When slicing look for them, if found your pieces should be discarded and not kept or cooked.
- Refrigerate immediately after obtaining it, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible. This helps to slow the growth of bacteria that can cause spoilage.
- Use airtight packaging to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before storing in the fridge. This helps to prevent contamination from other foods and also prevents dehydration.
- Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator, which is usually the back of the lower shelves. This helps to keep it at a consistent temperature and reduces the risk of spoilage.
You should definitely freeze for long-term storage though. If you’re not planning to use it within a few days, you can freeze it wrapped in saran wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a freezer bag. Label the bag with the date and store for up to six months.
How to Cook Venison Liver
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
- 1 pan
- If you want to lessen the gamey flavor, first rinse pieces and place liver into a bowl fillled with milk. Leave it for half an hour or an hour in the refrigerator.
- Remove the liver from the milk and dry it. Heat the pan, sprinkle seasonings on both sides and fry the liver in oil for 5 minutes on one side. If the pieces are thin, then you can fry for 3-4 minutes. Flip over and fry the liver for another 4 minutes.
- While the liver is fried, melt the butter in another pan and start frying the onion. Turn on low heat and stir. After 5 minutes, add sugar and mix, fry for another 3 minutes or until caramelizes.
- Add chopped bacon, stir and fry for another 3 minutes. Transfer the fried liver to a plate. Put the fried caramelized onion with bacon on the liver and serve.