Liver and Onions is a offal based dish that has its roots in British history. Since Nigeria was colonized by the British, it would make logical sense for us to have taken on the dish as one of ours. Growing up in Nigeria, my mum sometimes made Liver & Onions on the weekends for breakfast and I’ll be honest, I haven’t had it since I left Nigeria. It was always tasty, chock full of nutrition and usually eaten with boiled yams, sometimes, bread.
Liver & Onions, obviously not an American dish is not popular here and will rarely (if at all) be found on menus in any restaurant, unless they lean British. That said, I always saw beef liver on display at the African store I frequent, but never thought to purchase it, I always walked right past it, straight to the goat meat and turkey sections.
Not sure what moved me this time, but I purchased some with the intention of making Liver & Onions. Since I haven’t had it since leaving Lagos and never having attempted it, I knew the liver was pan-fried and the onions, cut in rings and sautéed, but just to be sure, I called the head chef in my family, my mum and she confirmed my ideas, but added the extra bit of rubbing some salt in the liver.
It’s one of the most straightforward dishes you can ever make and doesn’t involve a whole lot of ingredients. If you like/love offals (animal organs), you will like/love Liver & Onions and likewise, if you don’t care for offals, this dish would be absolutely repulsive to you. I love offals and have eaten them since I was younger; I’ve eaten tripe/shaki, tongue (which I love and also haven’t had since Lagos) and kidney (also haven’t had in a while).
Moving on, here’s what you’ll need to make Liver & Onions,
Recipe Cost: $8.48 Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30-45 mins Difficulty: Beginner Serves: 1-2
- 4-6 pieces beef liver, thinly sliced
- 1 m yellow onion
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp salt
- Canola oil, for frying
1. Rinse liver slices under running water
2. Put rinse liver slices in a strainer and let excess water drain
3. Transfer liver to a bowl, sprinkle salt over and rub it in. Leave for 1-2 minutes before rinsing. If necessary pat dry with paper towel
4. Add 2-3 tbsps oil into frying pan, let heat up over medium heat. Once hot, add first piece of liver
5. Once underside has started to brown, flip over for other side to start browning
5b. Continue frying process
5c. Continue frying liver until it begins to darken considerably
6. Once it’s cooked, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess grease
7. Fry the rest of the liver in same oil, add some more oil if necessary
7b. Let fry over medium heat for 5-7 per side or till browned and completely cooked
8. Add cooked liver to rest of batch resting
9. Thinly slice onions into circles or semi-circles
10. Add sliced onions into same pan used to fry liver, add crushed red pepper
11. Let onions continue cooking over medium heat, till it starts to wilt
12. You’re all done, plate your dish!
- Liver being an offal, is full of vital nutrients, most especially iron and it is also houses a lot of whatever the animal is fed. If you are anywhere in the West, I’d recommend grass fed beef instead beef that might have been pumped full of hormones, because you’d invariably ingest those hormones as well, not good.
- Once the liver hits the hot oil, the outer edges will immediately shrivel up and as it cooks, there will be pockets of blood coming out from various points in the liver as in step #4. The longer it cooks, the less you’ll see the blood coming out.
- As it starts cooking, it will start browning on the outer edges first before the rest of it starts to brown. You can poke it with a knife to see how cooked it is. When it is cooked, it should have no blood coming out, it might have its cooked juices come out, but definitely no blood.
- You don’t have to season the onions with crushed or ground red pepper, you can just sauté it as is, the pepper just adds a teeny tiny amount of heat. I like the onions to have some crunch to it, so I don’t let it get all the way soft.
- You can also fry tomatoes with it if you’d like.
- You can eat this anytime of day, it doesn’t have to be for breakfast.
- Use leftover liver for fried rice if you wish.
- You can use red or white onions instead of yellow onions. I prefer yellow onions as they are generally sweeter tasting.
- You can use ground red pepper if you don’t have crushed red pepper.
- You can also add a teaspoon of any all purpose seasoning if you’d like.
I planned to have this with a baked sweet potato as in the ingredients photo, but changed my mind and had it with a slice of organic flax seed bread. You could also use yam or even white rice.
Algerian Bouzgene Berber Bread with Roasted Pepper Sauce
Prep 20 m
Cook 20 m
Ready In,40 m
- Preheat your oven’s broiler. Place red bell peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet, and roast under the broiler for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally. This should blacken the skin and help it peel off more easily. Cool, then scrape the skins off of the tomatoes and peppers, and place them in a large bowl. Remove cores and seeds from the bell peppers.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapenos and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and transfer the garlic and jalapeno to the bowl with the tomatoes and red peppers. Using two sharp steak knives (one in each hand), cut up the tomatoes and peppers to a coarse and soupy consistency. Stir, and set sauce aside.
- Place the semolina in a large bowl, and stir in salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Gradually add water while mixing and squeezing with your hand until the dough holds together without being sticky or dry, and molds easily with the hand. Divide into 6 pieces and form into balls.
- For each round, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Roll out dough one round at a time, to no thicker than 1/4 inch. Fry in the hot skillet until dark brown spots appear on the surface, and they are crispy. Remove from the skillet, and wrap in a clean towel while preparing the remaining flat breads.
- To eat the bread and sauce, break off pieces of the bread, and scoop them into the sauce. It will slide off, but just keep reaching in!
Prep 15 m
Cook 25 m
Ready In 2 h 10 m
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Place flour in a large bowl, and stir in salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the corn oil and yeast mixture. Add the remaining water in small amounts until you have a soft moist dough that can be handled. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for at least 5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Deflate the risen dough, and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball with a rolling pin so it is oval shaped, about 6 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick. Use a fork or dull knife to draw three lines on the top of each loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet. Mix together the egg and remaining tablespoon of water; brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture. Sprinkle caraway seeds over the tops, if using.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the loaves are shiny and golden brown.
Black Glutinous Rice Porridge
Prep 15 m
Cook 30 m
Ready In 45 m
- In a saucepan bring water and pandan leaf to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pandan leaf and stir in brown sugar and white sugar. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and remove from heat.