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Fried Beef Liver with Herby Onion Gravy

25 mins
35 mins
Romel Bruno
25 mins
35 mins


Fried Liver
  • 1½-2 pounds beef liver, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups canola oil or any other neutral oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
Herby Onion Gravy
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 whole yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (as needed)
  • cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives and parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chef notes

Beef liver is a terribly overlooked and passed-over protein. With the proper prep and cooking techniques, it is truly one of the most delicious comfort foods you can make. It's also packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients. Here, I took the old-school combo of liver and onions and turned it into an easy, elegant, updated dish that everyone will love.

Technique tip: I would cut your liver thin for this recipe. The taste of liver can be overpowering if cut thick. You can ask your butcher to cut it thinner, which will also help keep the liver crispy.

Swap options: You can swap the liver out for a nice thin piece of steak to make chicken-fried steak. I know liver isn't for everyone and that's OK! You can also swap out the buttermilk for whole milk when soaking the livers.


For the fried liver:


Rinse the livers off and cool water and place in a medium-size bowl, season with adobo, cayenne, celery seed, onion powder and black pepper. Pour buttermilk over it enough to cover the livers and let this sit for about 30 minutes.


Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan (Dutch oven would work here) to 350 F.


While your oil is heating up, take the liver out of the milk, shaking off a bit of the excess, then coat with flour.


Place your liver into your hot oil and cook for about 2½ minutes, then turn over and cook for another 2½ minutes. The outside of the liver should be nice and crispy. Place on a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

For the herby onion gravy:

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and frying oil and place the onion rings in to caramelize lightly, about 6 minutes on medium heat.

Add the flour bit by bit and cook for 3 minutes. (You want to cook out that raw flour taste.) Then add the beef stock and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the gravy thickens. Add the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

Plate up your livers, spoon some gravy over the top and serve.