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Liver with Bacon and Onions

Liver with Bacon and Onions
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Liver with Bacon and Onions is a popular dish of the classic British cuisine. Like any traditional dish this one has a variety of cooking options. Jamie Oliver prepares this dish with balsamic vinegar, Nigel Slater serves the onions and the bacon separately. Nevertheless the result is the same: a delicious dish where the liver ideally pairs with sweet onions and salted bacon. Mashed potatoes make a great classic side for the liver.

Calf’s liver is traditionally used for this recipe, but it is not always available, so beef or lamb liver is a good substitution. To get a tender liver it is important to cook it just for a few minutes, literally 3-4 minutes. Overcooking will make it tough.

If you wish, you can soak the liver in milk for a few hours before cooking. Sometimes it helps to get rid of some bitterness in the taste and makes liver a little bit more tender.

Before you start frying, you will need to prepare all the ingredients and have them handy as the cooking process proceeds rapidly, so extra minute of heating could ruin the dish by making the liver stiff and hard to swallow.

In this recipe I used sweet Marsala wine to glaze the onions. I think that Marsala (or a wine with a similar sugar content) plays an important role in creating the bouquet of this sauce.

Here is my version of Liver with Bacon and Onions, tender steaks with a complex flavor of a very tasty sauce. This is very simple, delicious and mouthwatering traditional British dish – an excellent addition to autumn-and-winter recipes.


Serves 4-6


  • 4 thin beef liver steaks (¼ ” thick, or lamb liver)
  • 4-6 strips not very fatty bacon, cut into small pieces (I used smoked bacon from Polish Deli)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced (or sweet onion, or red onion)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 25-30 grams of butter
  • 2-3 tbsp Marsala, Madeira, sweet vermouth or port



Pour flour in a dish (dinner plate is fine). Add salt and pepper.

Pat dry liver with paper towel.

Heat a half of the olive oil and a half of the butter in a large pan.

Dip the liver in flour, shake off the excess four (but do not throw away), and fry for 2 minutes, turn over and cook another 1-2 minutes. It is OK, if the liver is slightly pink inside.

Transfer the liver steaks on a platter, cover with foil.

Prepare the sauce.

Using the same pan add the remaining olive oil, bacon bits and onions. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat.

Stir in 1 tbsp of flour and cook for 30-45 seconds.

Add Marsala and cook to deglaze the onions for about 2-3 minutes or until the liquid evaporates.

Add 1 ½ cups of water, the rest of the butter, salt, pepper, and cook over very low heat for 2-5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Pour the onions and bacon over the liver steaks and serve immediately.

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Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!


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