Meal Ideas: Liver and Onions

This post is part of the Meal Ideas series. Finding something to eat that is simultaneously affordable, quick to prepare, healthy, AND delicious can be next-to-impossible sometimes. In this section I post pictures of the food I make, links to recipes I love, and some tips for saving time and money while still cooking great-tasting healthy food.


Grass-Fed Beef Liver and Onions with Mashed Rutabaga

It took me a long time to work up the courage to try making this meal for the first time. Like many people, I grew up with a socialized prejudice towards organ meat, especially liver. This was not helped by the fact that one of the only times I ever tried it  was in a restaurant where they’d overcooked it. (Yuck). When I started eating paleo and decided to seek out the most nutrient-dense foods, I discovered that grass-fed beef liver is one of the most powerful superfoods out there. It’s full of vitamins, including (but not limited to) iron, zinc, B12, folate, A, D, and K2. Still, I was hesitant to try it because all I could think of was that overcooked liver taste.

This is now one of my favourite go-to meals for several reasons. First for me, of course, is nutrient density, but believe me when I say that that would not be a good enough reason to put it on the table in my household. My non-paleo boyfriend couldn’t care less about nutrition and nutrient density, but he loves this meal — the first time I made it he asked if we could have it “every night”. This is for three reasons. First, it’s inexpensive: organ meat is some of the least expensive protein around, and I buy 1.5 lb bags of grass-fed beef liver from a local farmer for $3. That’s $2 per pound! Second, it’s quick to make, so it’s an excellent candidate for a quick weeknight dinner. Third, if cooked correctly, it tastes really good. The trick is to not overcook it.

The instructions below are just for liver and onions. I recommend having one other side vegetable as well, but the type of veggie is totally up to your own tastes. My favourites with this meal are Mashed Faux-Tatoes from Practical Paleo or mashed rutabaga because they are useful to soak up the liquid from the onions. Both of those suggestions take awhile (around 45 minutes with prep usually), so if you don’t have that time, I recommend just putting something like carrots or broccoli on the stove to steam while you prepare the liver and onions.


  • 3 large white or yellow onions
  • 2 Tbsp cooking fat, separated (I usually use bacon grease or tallow for this)
  • 1-1.5 lbs grass-fed beef liver, strips
  • red wine (or red wine vinegar), to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Large-bottomed pan (preferably stainless steel)


  1. Slice onions thinly
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp cooking fat over medium-high heat
  3. Add onions to the pan; sauté until translucent (usually 15-20 minutes)
  4. When onions are done, remove from the pan
  5. Melt the second Tbsp of cooking fat in the pan
  6. Add strips of beef liver to the pan
  7. Cook for 60-90 seconds on each side (just until the outside is all browned — the inside should still be pink)
  8. Remove liver from the pan
  9. Add onions back to the pan and deglaze with a splash of wine or vinegar
  10. Sauté a few minutes longer (until all the tasty brown bit from the bottom of the pan have become part of the sauce)
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste
  12. Serve onions over liver and with a side of vegetables.

Posted on October 7, 2013, in Meal Ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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