How to Cook Beef Liver

I learned how to cook beef liver many years ago. When I was young and a new mother, we did not have much money for groceries or anything else. Beef liver became a very important part of my weekly menu, as it did with my mom. It provides protein and other important vitamins, minerals and “brain healthy” nutrients. 

How to Cook Beef LiverHow to Cook Beef Liver

Back when I was trying to feed my family, I could feed all of us liver for twenty nine to forty nine cents per meal. No other meat could provide all the health benefits this cheaply. Not really being fond of this food myself, I had to learn how to cook beef liver that we all would enjoy eating.


How to Cook Beef Liver and OnionsHow to Cook Beef Liver and Onions

Everyone loved the way Mom cooked beef liver smothered with onions; that is except me. Starting with the way Mom cooked it, I decided to change it to fit my taste buds. Liver is very tender and if it is cut thick, to me the texture is too mushy and the taste is overwhelming. I started cutting my liver in thinner pieces. After rolling in flour and browning it in hot grease, it is crisper and chewier which I really like. After browning all the pieces, I remove it from the skillet to a platter. I then fill the skillet with a lot of sliced onions (The amount is up to you; I love lots); green bell peppers are also good with the onions.  Now I reduce the heat to medium low and place all the liver pieces on top of the onions. Cover the skillet with a lid and steam until the onions are tender; stir it all together if you like. I started serving this to my family and everyone really loves it. OPTION: if you like, add 1 cup dry white wine when you cover to simmer.

Beef Liver and OnionsBrowned Beef Liver
Cooking OnionsCooking Onions
Combine Onions and Beef LiverCombine Onions and Beef Liver


Have you heard that saying “What am I, chopped liver”.  This was very common when I was young. I always took that saying to refer to liver as awful, worthless or the like because everyone seemed to hate liver, of all types.  Other people say this quote is meant to be that “chopped liver is a side dish rather than a main entrée. Whatever the reason for this saying, chopped liver is a popular Jewish dish but also a traditional German recipe. Various recipes can also be found in Britain, Canada and South Africa.

  • 1 Pound baby beef liver, chicken livers or a combination
  • 2 Medium onions (Fresh or sautéed in the fat)
  • 2 Hard boiled eggs
  • Salt/ pepper
  • Schmaltz or other fat (See below)

Sautee the liver in fat until cooked through. 

Grind the liver, onions and eggs together; season with salt and pepper.

If mixture seems too dry, add more fat; serve with bread or crackers as an appetizer.

WHAT IS SCHMALTZ? This is a rendered fat from chicken or goose used for cooking, sautéing or frying. When I boil a chicken, after it gets cold in the refrigerator, I can scrape the fat off the top. 

HOW TO COOK BEEF LIVER Broil, bake or deep fry

Beef liver can be cooked by various methods. Besides frying it like my mom did, it can be broiled, baked or deep fried. In all ways of cooking, keep it thinly sliced; about ½ inch in thickness. 

To broil liver, place it on a tray and brush it with melted butter or oil. Place tray on the oven rack about 3 inches from the heat. Quickly cook the liver on each side until the color changes; about 3 minutes on each side.

To bake liver, dip it in seasoned flour and place on a greased tray. Place strips of bacon across the top of the liver; bake in a preheated oven with temperature at 350F degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes.

To deep fry liver, marinate first in Italian salad dressing about 45 minutes. Remove pieces from dressing, dip in beaten egg and then roll in fine bread crumbs. Drop liver in hot oil and fry until lightly brown; drain on paper towels and serve.

Deep fried Beef LiverDeep fried Beef Liver


Beef Liver SkewersBeef Liver Skewers
  • Beef liver (Thin strips about 1 ½ inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long)
  • 1 Inch square chunks of mild white onions
  • Sliced bacon cut in half

Thread on skewers a strip of liver, a piece of onion, a piece of bacon.

Continue threading ingredients on skewers making each as large as you like and as many as you need.

Place on a tray and brush with melted butter; place under broiler.

Cook until bacon is crisp and liver is done turning to cook evenly; brush with butter as needed.

Season with salt and pepper to serve.

Uncooked Beef Liver SkewersUncooked Beef Liver Skewers


Beef Liver in a Loaf Serve with a Horseradish Cream SauceBeef Liver in a Loaf Serve with a Horseradish Cream Sauce

NOTE: This is rich when hot but has a milder flavor when served cold.

  • 1 ½ Pound beef liver
  • 3 Tablespoons dry potato flakes
  • 1 ½ Cups white sauce (Recipe below)
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Simmer liver in salted water until cooked; run through a food grinder.

Combine in a large bowl the liver, white sauce, potato flakes, egg, paprika, anchovy, onion, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Mix until well blended; put mixture into a greased loaf pan.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour; serve with horseradish cream sauce. (Recipe below)

White Cream Sauce:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Cups milk

Melt butter over low heat; add flour, salt and pepper and stir until blended.

Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk; return to heat stirring constantly until thickened. Makes 2 cups.

Horseradish Cream Sauce:

  • ½ Cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

Whip heavy cream until stiff; fold in horseradish, lemon juice and salt.

Beef Liver Mixture Ready for OvenBeef Liver Mixture Ready for Oven


  • ¾ Pound beef liver
  • 1 Small finely chopped onion
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Hard cooked eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon tarragon
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Boil liver in salted water about 15 minutes until done; set aside.

Sauté onion and garlic in melted butter until tender.

Grind liver; add onion and remaining ingredients.

Blend mixture well and spread on bread for sandwiches; makes 4 sandwiches.


  • 1 ½ Pounds beef liver
  • Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Fresh peaches peeled and sliced

Heat oil in a heavy skillet; roll liver in flour and brown liver in hot oil.

Cook on both sides; add onion, tomato paste and simmer about 5 minutes.

Add peach slices; cook until thoroughly warm. Serves 6.


Learn how to cook beef liver with a crispy crust and Italian Flare.

  • 6 Tablespoons butter (Divided)
  • 1 Large onion (Slice and separate rings)
  • ¼ Cup flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Pound calves liver 
  • ¾ Cup rolled oats
  • ½ Cup sherry
  • ½ Cup chicken stock

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat.

Sauté onion for 5 minutes turning occasionally.

Remove onion from skillet and keep warm.

Combine flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow bowl.

In another bowl beat egg and milk together.

Slice liver thinly on a diagonal; rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Dip liver pieces in seasoned flour until covered completely.

Dip floured liver in egg-milk mixture; coat liver with oats pressing them in.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet used for onions.

Place liver pieces in the skillet over medium heat.

Cook until crisp and browned about 3 minutes on each side.

Remove liver from pan to warm shallow serving dish.

Arrange sautéed onion rings on top of the liver; keep warm.

Stir in remaining seasoned flour into fat in skillet; stir 1 minute.

Stir in sherry and chicken stock; bring to a boil.

Season with salt and pepper if desired; spoon over the liver.

Garnish with fresh parsley or green if desired; serves 4.