Liver and onions

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Liver and onions
Tortillas con biste de higado.jpg
Tortillas con bistec de hígado, a Venezuelan dish of liver and onions
Place of originunclear
Main ingredientsLiver and onions
Ingredients generally usedBacon, butter, and lard, olive oil
VariationsFegato alla veneziana, fegato alla romana
Chicken livers and onions served at a restaurant
Fried pork liver and onions (Sanok, Poland)

Liver and onions is a dish consisting of slices of liver (usually pork, beef or, in the United Kingdom, lamb) and bulb onions; onion is favoured as an accompaniment to liver as the sharp flavour of onion "cuts" the somewhat metallic flavour of liver, which can be off-putting to some eaters. The liver and the onions are usually fried or otherwise cooked together, but sometimes they may be fried separately and mixed together afterwards. The liver is often cut in fine slices, but it also may be diced.[1]


Liver and onions is widely eaten in the United Kingdom and in Germany,[citation needed] where it is usually eaten along with boiled or mashed potatoes. Veal or lamb liver are the usual choices in the UK and is often accompanied by fried bacon.[citation needed]

In the French traditional recipe the liver is fried with butter and bacon.[2] In Catalan cuisine olive oil is used, instead of butter, and fried garlic is added to the mixture.[3] In Italian cuisine, the fegato alla veneziana ("Venice-style liver") recipe includes a dash of red wine or vinegar[4] and the fegato alla romana ("Rome-style liver") a dash of white wine and is cooked in lard.

In the United States, liver and onions enjoyed widespread popularity during the 20th century. However, organ meats such as liver are rarely consumed today.[5][6] The dish can still be found on the menus of retro diners and American home-style restaurants.[5] It is especially common in the regions of Pennsylvania and the Midwest with a strong German culture, although there is nothing exclusively German about the dish.

Beef liver and onions is still widely popular in Latin America (Spanish: hígado (de res) encebollado, Portuguese: fígado (bovino) acebolado), where it is often eaten along with tortillas or rice. In Brazil, the traditional recipe calls for potatoes or other root vegetable, prepared most commonly boiled and puréed or as home fries.[citation needed]


There are variants of this dish using chicken and lamb livers. These are popular in Spain, among other countries.[which?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rombauer, I.S.; Becker, M.R. (1975). Joy of Cooking. Scribner. p. 501. ISBN 978-0-02-604570-4.
  2. ^ Foie aux oignons (in French)
  3. ^ Fetge de vedella amb ceba
  4. ^ Fegato alla Veneziana
  5. ^ a b Pillsbury, Richard (1998). No Foreign Food: The American Diet in Time and Place. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. p. 196. ISBN 0-8133-2738-5.
  6. ^ Neman, Daniel (June 8, 2016). "Our Changing Tastes Means Disappearing Delicacies". St Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 18, 2019.[dead link]

External links[edit]