This is how to cook beef liver on the stove perfectly to tender. Add caramelized onions and lightly breaded meat for a protein packed meal. If you loved our Instant Pot liver recipe this is another way to do it well.
How to cook liver on the stove is easy, comes out great. There is a little prepping you will want to do so it becomes as fork tender as possible, but no biggie. Seasoning is important and onions are a must if you ask most people. Get your your skillet and let’s get started. (affiliate links present)
How is Liver Supposed to be Cooked
Just like how to cook beef heart this is delicate so it doesn’t need long. You definitely want something in the pan like butter (best option) or olive oil to keep it nice and moist. Adding salt and a bit of sweetness like brown sugar with onions is usually the most popular method. Organ meat does have a strong flavor that isn’t always enjoyed.
If you saute it with a sweet and savory mixture of flavors you can kinda’ counterbalance the strong beefy flavor. Yellow onions are your best bet, even minced garlic would be fabulous. As far as seasonings on the meat itself, salt and pepper is really all you need. Coating it with flour will create a nice crust, the best way I say.
Should Beef Liver be Soaked Before Cooking
Um, yes. This will help tone down the strong liver taste as well. Some prefer buttermilk, a long time, raw milk, etc…. I have to use Lactaid for a lactose free version for my husband and that works just as well for this. For this batch we used the following ingredients;
- 2 lbs liver that is fresh or thawed, do not use frozen beef for this
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup of milk or a dairy free variety if you need it to soak it in milk
Making a batch of caramelized onions while your meat is resting is ideal when cooking organ meat. I mean they’re a must y’all. Don’t start counting calories like at this point. 😉
- A yellow or white thinly sliced onions
- Brown sugar
- A few tablespoons of butter, salted is best
How Long to Pan Fry Liver
You only need about 6 minutes. Soak the liver slices in a bowl submerged in milk. Leave for 20 minutes (or an hour or two in the refrigerator). Pour flour into another bowl and add salt, spices, and mix.
- Remove the liver slices from the milk, pat dry and cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Coat liver pieces in flour on all sides so that it is covered.
- Transfer the liver pieces to a pan over medium high heat with already heated olive oil.
- Fry in a large skillet for 3 minutes on one side and 2 -3 minutes on the other side.
- This way the liver will remain pink inside and very soft.
- Total timing depends on thickness of course
- The internal temperature for organ meat should be 160 F in the thickest part.
- Remember that proteins will rise another 5 degrees as they sit but much higher will make it dry out and be too firm.
- Transfer the fried liver to a napkin to absorb excess oil.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft and caramelized.
Add sugar and fry the onion for another 3-4 minutes until the sugar has melted completely. Transfer the onion to a plate and place sliced right over the top of them to serve.
How to Cook Liver Beef
Beef Liver and Onions
If you have had this dish and thought it will still too strong of a metallic flavor you might try calf liver instead. That has a milder and sweeter taste than beef, which is more intense. Which liver is best to eat? Well beef is the most common of them all with the highest nutrition levels overall.
How do you pick a good liver?
I mean sounds silly I guess but just like chicken it should be the proper color, meaning the veining is all the same. The texture on the outside should be springy too when touched, and doesn’t depress and stay there. And then there is the scent. There will be a natural smell to it but it shouldn’t stink like it’s rancid.
When you eat liver you might want something other than just onions. Most will likely serve this next to or on top of a bed of taters or something like our mashed potato balls. A healthier lower carb choice might be a bowl of roasted vegetables, a side salad or cauliflower rice maybe.
How do you store leftover liver
You know how I hate wasting food so this is the next thought when you’re done right? To keep it moist store it in a container smothered with the onions and sauce in that pan. If all you have is the meat then wrap tightly in foil. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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How to Cook Beef Liver
- 1 pan
- 2 lbs liver
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 c milk
- Caramelized onions
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- Put beef liver slices in a bowl and pour over milk. Leave for 20 minutes (or an hour or two in the refrigerator). Pour flour into another bowl and add salt, spices, and mix.
- Remove the liver slices from the milk, pat dry and cut into 2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of liver in flour on all sides so that it is covered.
- Transfer the liver pieces to a pan over medium high heat with already heated olive oil. Fry for 3 minutes on one side and 2 -3 minutes on the other side. This way the liver will remain pink inside and very soft. (timing depends on thickness)
- The internal temperature for organ meat should be 160 F in the thickest part. Remember that proteins will rise another 5 degrees as they sit but much higher will make it dry out and be too firm.
- Transfer the fried liver to a napkin to absorb excess oil. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft and caramelized. Add sugar and fry the onion for another 3-4 minutes until the sugar has melted completely. Transfer the onion to a plate and place the liver pieces
Friday 21st of April 2023
Adding bacon is always good - not as healthy as frying liver in Olive oil. I usually drain all the grease from cooking bacon in skillet. Use bacon grease as base for cooking onions. Mushrooms can also be combined in the skillet. - Just a thought.☺️