Wątróbka wołowa w sosie własnym

Liver and Onions in Gravy

“Polish pre-war cookbooks showcased an array of offal recipes, including the nostalgic and worth-revisiting Liver and Onions in Gravy. This hearty dish features pan-fried beef liver with onions, braised in beef stock, resulting in a rich, velvety gravy. Ideal atop a bed of kluski or creamy potato mash.”

How to pronounce it?
von-true-bkah vo-wo-vah v-soshieh vwas-nim
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Liver and onions and gravy

Liver and Onions in Gravy is a nostalgic (perhaps even a bit old-fashioned) dish, but definitely worth revisiting. 

Sliced beef liver is dredged in flour, pan-fried with onions and then braised in beef stock. That stock turns into rich, velvety gravy.  

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Liver and Onions is a nutrition-packed comfort food, and the perfect thing for serving over a pile of potato mash. In this recipe, we’re using beef liver – its flavour is quite intense. If you prefer milder aromas – swap it for chicken liver instead.

Polish pre-war cookbooks were packed with a variety of liver recipes. Why not try this one next time?:

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Liver and Onions dish?

You’ll need roughly 1.1 lb (500 g) of beef liver for this recipe. 

Liver (and organ meats in general) are rising in popularity, more and more stores sell it on a regular basis. If your local shop doesn’t – ask, perhaps they can order it for you. If possible, choose the ‘grass-fed’ over the ‘conventionally raised’ meat option. 

If you’re not a fan of beef liver, try this recipe with chicken, pork or veal liver instead.

What could you serve with Liver and Onions in Gravy?

This recipe is versatile. I serve it alongside potatoes in any form (baked, boiled or puréed). You can swap the spuds for cooked buckwheat, pearl barley, couscous or another grain of your choice. Dumplings such as Kopytka are great too.

Veggie-wise, braised beetroot, braised carrots or buttery green beans are a great side option for a cold evening dinner. Other than that, sharp dill pickles are a great all-rounder.

Can you make this Liver and Onions another way?

If you tend to avoid frying / sautéing, you can bake the liver instead. Here’s how.

Baked Liver and Onions: Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C). Place all the ingredients in an oven-proof dish and cover it with aluminium foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, removing the foil for the last five. Note, that liver won’t be as crispy using this method.

What diets is this Liver with Onions and Gravy suitable for?

This Beef Liver recipe can be adjusted, so it becomes gluten-free and low-carb/keto-friendly. Just skip the step that calls for dusting with flour. Don’t worry, the liver will fry nicely without it.

Moreover, this Liver and Onions recipe is perfect for those who struggle with iron deficiency.

How long can you keep this Liver and Onions in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 3 hours.

If you want to store any leftovers, leave them to cool. Move them into a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator. Consume within 2 days.

Can I freeze this Liver in Gravy?

Yes, this recipe can be frozen, but please remember to freeze it as soon as it has cooled. Move it into a freezer-friendly container with a lid, mark it with a description and a date. Aim to eat it within the next 3 months.

How do I reheat this Liver and Onions in Gravy?

From chilled: Place in a microwave-friendly container with a loosely fitting lid. Heat for 4-7 minutes, until piping hot. Alternatively, reheat it in a saucepan, on the stove. Start on a higher heat, then reduce to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes (stirring continuously) until hot throughout.

From frozen: Allow livers to thaw, you can leave them overnight in the fridge. Heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes, then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes or until piping hot. Alternatively, reheat the dish in a saucepan as per the instructions above.

Faq & Troubleshooting

Here you’ll find answers to the most common questions regarding Liver and Onions.

🤔 How to cook Liver and Onions without flour?

You can fry liver and onions the same way – with or without flour. Make sure that the liver is well-dried with a paper towel before frying, that’s a key step.

If you find that the sauce is too thin, consider thickening it by adding cornstarch, tapioca starch or arrowroot powder. Alternatively, you can move the sauce into a small pot, and then (using a hand-held blender) add in a soft-boiled potato.

🤔 How to make gravy for Liver and Onions? 

In this recipe, we’re cooking the livers in beef stock, which transforms into a rich gravy. There’s no need to make any additional sauce.

Liver and onions with gravy with mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables
Yield: 2

Beef Liver and Onions in Gravy

Liver and onions and gravy

This recipe is the most tender and delicious version of liver and onions I ever had. The beef stock (together with some flour off the liver) makes a very nice, velvety gravy.

Perhaps a bit old-fashioned dish, but definitely worth revisiting.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1 lb (approx. 430 g) beef liver
  • 2 cups of milk, for soaking
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or pork lard
  • 2 (roughly 7.7 oz, 220 g) white onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 tbsp mild mustard
  • Solid pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika spice
  • 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Remove the thin membrane surrounding the liver. To do so:
    • If the liver is already sliced, trim the edges
    • If it’s in one piece, get your finger underneath the membrane and then pull it away.
  2. Gently rinse the liver under running water. If the liver is whole, slice it into pieces. When it comes to beef liver, I prefer smaller chunks, roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick cubes. But they can be larger and/or flatter - the exact size and shape is up to you.
  1. Move the liver into a bowl and cover it with milk. Set aside for an hour. Soaking in milk improves the flavour.
  2. In the meantime, slice the onion into half rings and mince the garlic.
  3. Move the liver onto a paper towel, make sure to dry it from every side. 
    Important: Traditionally, we don’t salt uncooked raw liver at all. It is said to make the meat tough.
  4. Heat two tablespoons of oil (or lard) on a large frying pan. Add sliced onions and saute them on a medium heat until they start to turn golden. Add minced garlic and stir with a spatula.
  5. Dust liver pieces with flour and place onto the frying pan, try not to overcrowd it.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high.To retain the juices within, we have to sear the liver on a fairly high heat.
  7. Observe the liver as it cooks, the flour will disappear, the surface will start browning.
  8. Add in a tablespoon of mild mustard, a pinch of ground pepper, one teaspoon of dried marjoram and one teaspoon of sweet paprika. Stir everything with a spatula.
  9. If you’re frying pan is shallow, move the dish into a cooking pot. Otherwise, just continue using the same pan.
  10. Pour in enough beef stock to cover the livers. Bring to a near boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Braise for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time. I leave the lid on for the first 10 minutes, taking it off for the rest of the time. The sauce thickens as it cooks.
  11. Take the dish off the heat and season it with salt generously. Stir again with a spatula to spread the salt evenly. Serve with a side dish of your choice - in my case with mashed potatoes and braised vegetables.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 718mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g

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