Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: Liver & Onions

Last week we discussed the powers of vitamin B12. The richest sources of B12 come from meat, eggs, and milk. And the absolute stand-out source is a little something called liver. My local grocery (KTA) carries grass-fed beef liver for a very reasonable price, so I knew my time had come.

I had a vague memory of my dad eating liver when I was a kid, so I called him up when it was time to prepare it. His mom, a single parent to five children, served liver and onions regularly in their South San Francisco home. True, liver is one of the cheapest cuts of meat out there, but hearing my dad (now a pescatarian) lovingly describe how to cook it to the perfect medium-rare, made me look at liver as a comfort food rather than something my grandma served just to survive.

Dad describes liver as having its own mild flavor. It definitely does; sort of a mineral taste, sort of rich, but subtle and mild all the same. Texturally it reminded me of a tender steak, which was a relief since I was expecting mush. Even my husband liked it, and he's a little picky when it comes to strange foods.

This photo explains what I thought of it.

Liver & Maui Onions with Alii Mushrooms and Sauteed Chard
serves 2

1/2 pound grass-fed beef liver, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
1 Maui sweet onion, sliced
1 cup Alii mushrooms, sliced
2 TBL mac nut oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the mac nut oil, onion, and some salt & pepper and saute until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute some more, maybe another 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and onions have begun to brown.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, pushing the onions and mushrooms to the side of the pan so they don't burn. Add the liver slices, seasoning as you go with salt & pepper on both sides. The liver should be cooked between medium-rare and medium. If you cook it longer it gets rubbery. I cooked mine for 2 minutes on each side, but be sure to keep an eye on it, it cooks very fast.

Plate the liver by spooning onions and mushrooms on top. Using the same pan, over medium heat, squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and scrape the browned bits off using a wooden spoon of spatula. Don't even think about throwing this out! Add your chopped chard, some salt & pepper and saute until it cooks down, but retains its bright color, maybe 5 minutes. Add chard and juices to your plate. Serve with a lemon wedge if desired. Enjoy!

Liver, oil, and salt purchased at KTA. Onions from Costco. Mushrooms from the South Kona Green Market. Lemons and chard from my garden.

Want to participate in Sustainable Sunday? Learn all about it here.


  1. I can't even believe that you went home and prepared this tonight after your long day of cooking competition ... you are unbelievable - congratulations to the first place winner of Kau Coffee Candy!!!!

  2. Your liver dinner looks so tasty! I like how you describe the taste of it....I've never been able to describe it very well. We're having liver for dinner this week too!

  3. I never had liver before. I remember growing up and seeing a lot of Nickelodeon shows making fun of liver. I think the most famous one was Doug. LOL So, I've always had it in my mind that liver is bad without really trying it. I should try it.


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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