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My Mom and Dad loved liver and onions. I did not, in my early years, but, kind of developed, at least a tolerance for it later. My Dad taught me how to cook it for him when I was a teenager. Later when I was on my own and married I had attended an after party for a dance recital, and could not believe, of all things to have, I thought, at a dinner party, liver!
Well, I guarded myself up to at least take maybe three bites to try to choke down, and was really surprised at how tender and absolutely delicious this was prepared. I went straight to the hostess and asked just how this was prepared! She graciously gave me the recipe, and was delighted that I loved every bite. That was the first time I had ever been able to eat a whole portion of liver. So, that goes to show, if prepared properly, liver can be a flavorful, wonderful experience. It is so good for you, and gives you a lot of natural iron your body needs.
Liver and Onions with Bacon
1 lb calves liver, sliced 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1 cup milk
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp margarine or butter
8 slices bacon
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Soak liver in milk for 20 minutes.
While liver is soaking, cook bacon in 12 inch skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Reserve 2 1/2 tbsp of fat in skillet, transfer remaining fat to a small bowl.
Cook and stir onions in margarine or butter until tender. Remove from skillet, add the bacon to the onions and keep warm.
Heat shortening in the same skillet until melted. Coat liver slices with flour. Fry liver in shortening over medium heat until brown, 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the onion and bacon mixture during the last minute of cooking to heat through. Makes 5 servings.
** Be sure to discard the milk after soaking liver.
Controversy Over Soaking Liver in Milk
Some people say you shouldn't soak liver in milk because it would make the iron content in the liver useless to your body. Milk contains calcium and that binds with the iron in the liver, making it less available to your body as a mineral.
But, soaking liver in milk lessens the strong flavor that most of us have a problem dealing with no matter how many onions or bacon it is smothered with!
Hence, the milk just gives the liver a milder flavor, so the onions and bacon can shine through infused in the liver. Really doesn't have anything to do with the tenderizing, though. That's on you!
However, if you don't want to reduce the iron in the liver then, soak it in water that's lightly salted. Just a little sprinkle of salt. This also helps in slightly tenderizing the liver a little, and also helps the flavor without minimizing the iron content in the meat.
There are different kinds and cuts of bacon. I have found, through hard experience, that when you're shopping for bacon as an ingredient in a recipe, you must think about its role in what you are cooking. In this recipe you will probably do well with your regular thin cut bacon like you have with your eggs in the morning.
But, there are always things to watch out for. For example, if you get thick cut bacon or pepper bacon. Besides being more expensive it also takes longer to cook, makes more fat in your pan and by the way, it's not really healthy to save fat anymore with all that we have learned on how to eat healthy and live longer. Now, if you are making black eye peas or a nice pot of pinto beans then the thicker bacon would serve you well for adding flavor. But, for this recipe you are just wasting your money and upping your cholesterol. So don't go for thicker.
Australian Red, preferably!
You would be surprised at how well this particular kind of wine goes with this dish! I kid you not. The light yet, robust flavors of these wines are hard to beat.
Liver is one of those meats thats hard to pair with anything. But, as long as you go with something even slightly robust, you can't lose!
Really Cool Liver and Onions with Bacon Video
Found this helpful, insightful, fun video on YouTube, because if you're like me, sometimes you just want someone to show how it's done while they are talking. Very nicely done! Also has a recipe with it, so you can choose which one you like. But, they're both pretty close so, enjoy.
Variety Condiments for Liver
Liver, brains, tripe, sweetbreads, heart, and tongue are excellent sources of many essential nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, iron, and phosphorus.
In fact, liver is so rich in iron and vitamin A that if your family won't eat it plain, offer it with barbecue sauce, catsup, or onions.
Liver and other variety meats are more perishable than other meats so, cook and serve them as soon as possible after you buy them.
Chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards are a whole new level of cooking from just Liver. They're smaller, easier to burn, and tougher to tenderize, if you even can! So, I have provided a helpful YouTube video that I found.
My Dad taught me how to make all of his favorite things, they were not necessarily my favorite! Sometimes he would have me cook them with onions and peppers, maybe some potatoes.
Sometimes kids will eat the Chicken livers when they won't eat liver. That trick was played on me and I fell for it. Maybe yours will too! They are smaller and much more fun to eat. However, this never worked on my kids so, good luck with it. ; D
Chicken Livers and Gizzards the Soul Food Way!
I really think that you are going to enjoy this instructive video I found on YouTube. This is down to earth, and the best one I've seen for this. Or maybe it's just because I'm from the south! : ) Enjoy! Ya'll.