Old Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy

Old Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy is a delightful meal for Jimmie and I. We don’t make it very often, but we should. It’s a great source of iron! And it’s really delicious! It seems people have really strong feelings about beef liver or chicken liver. They either love it, hate it, or refuse to try it.


Strange as it may seem, I don’t know how Bradley feels about it, but Zac and Noah wouldn’t even give calf’s liver a try when I prepared it for supper this past Sunday. Jimmie and I love it, though, and know how good it is for us. Calf’s liver is packed with 1129% DV (daily value) of Vitamin A, 23 grams of protein, 1128% DV of B12, and 598% DV of copper. There are plenty of other good vitamins and minerals in one slice so eating it a few times per month has some great health benefits.

It’s also low-carb at only 3 grams per serving, low fat at 5 grams, and low calorie (154). Dusting with flour and frying in oil with sautéed onions ups those numbers a bit, but not significantly. Plus onions and the good fats from oils such as olive or coconut have a boat load of wonderful health benefits. Substitute the mashed potatoes and gravy with steamed cauliflower or broccoli for a healthier plate. I had some fabulous leftover sautéed cabbage with bacon on the side of my liver and onions since I’m on a low-carb diet. 🙂

Shoney’s restaurants served up some of the best liver & onions I’d ever had. Unfortunately, the one in my town closed. I used to order it there every time. Since they’re now gone, I’m going to have to put it back in the supper rotation. Jimmie and I have missed it so.

Calf’s liver is more tender than beef liver so is most often used in this recipe, but you can use either. It usually comes prepacked frozen and in 4 slices. The secret to making this dish great is caramelizing the onions really well. You want them totally wilted and nicely browned.

If the liver isn’t pre-sliced, partially freeze it to make slicing into 1/2” thick slabs easier.

The general rule for making a white gravy or sauce is 1 tablespoon of oil or butter for every 1 tablespoon of flour to make a roux. Heat the oil or butter (or in this case, the grease that’s left in the pan from browning your onions and meat; estimate the number of tablespoons of grease), add the flour, and stir while cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk or broth for every 1+1 tablespoon of fat and flour to make a white sauce or gravy. Stir while cooking over medium heat until thickened. Always salt and pepper to taste. 🙂

Old Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy

  • 1 pkg. calf’s liver, 4 slices or about 1 lb.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dredging flour, + 2 tablespoons
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 lg onions or 4 small, sliced
  • 2 cups milk

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Stir the onions every 2-3 minutes until tender and well browned, approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

While onions are cooking, carefully open the package of liver over a colander in the sink and let it drain. Do not pound out. Dredge each piece in flour on both sides.

Turn the heat to medium, add the other 2 tbsp. of oil to the pan, and brown a couple of pieces of liver at a time. Lightly salt and pepper each side as it’s cooking. Remove from pan as browned.

When all the liver has been browned on both sides, return all back to the pan and layer with the reserved sautéed onions.

Cover with a lid and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until completely done, rearranging the pieces in the pan half-way through cooking. Don’t overcook or the liver will become tough. Remove all liver and onions to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Turn the heat to medium-low and scrape up the bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan. Assuming about 2 tablespoons of oil remains in the pan, sprinkle the 2 tbsp. of flour into the  grease, and stir constantly while cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add milk, then salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring, until the gravy thickens.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

  • Old Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Old Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
  • Gravy | Culinary Craftiness
Old-Fashioned Liver and Onions with Gravy | Culinary Craftiness

Happy eating! 😊




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