For many people, liver and onions is a throwback recipe that reminds them of their grandparents. For me, it’s still a relevant dish that should have a place in every hunter’s kitchen. After all, you’ll find a liver in every animal you kill, and there’s no sense in wasting such a delicious and easy-to-use ingredient.
I slice my livers into thin strips, about 3/16 inch thick, and then soak the slices in a solution of water and lemon juice. This removes some of the blood and mellows out any pungent flavors. Soaking is optional for animals up to about 1 1/2 years of age.
The end result is earthy and tender and goes perfectly with the sweet taste of the caramelized onions. My mom liked to cook hers in bacon grease. I haven’t found any good reason to do it differently.
1 deer liver, sliced into 3/16 -inch-thick pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp bacon grease
1 red onion, sliced into rings
Splash of bourbon, to taste (optional)
- Put the liver in a medium-large bowl and barely cover it with water. Add the lemon Juice. Let it soak for a few hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove the liver slices from the water, dry them, and weigh out 1 pound of sliced liver for this recipe. Use the whole sliced liver if you’re feeding a crowd, and just up the onions in the recipe. If not, save the liver for use later that day-it spoils quickly, so it’s hard to save much longer than that.
- Season the slices liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large sauté pan or cast-iron frying pan and add the bacon grease. Swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the onion and season with salt and pepper; add the bourbon if using. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the onions until they are deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
- Add the liver to the pan. If needed, add a little more bacon grease or vegetable oil.
- Cook the slices for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. You want to cook them until the liquid starts to run clear, but not longer. They should still be pinkish inside.
Serve the liver with the onions.