This Ain’t My Mother’s Kitchen! – Bacon & Onion Calf Liver

I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but there are some things that do not appeal to me and I am not willing to try them. This may be closed-minded, but in comparison to what I ate as a kid and teenager, I’ve come a long way.

Part of the reason I didn’t eat a great variety of foods until I was an adult, was because my mother only cooked foods that she liked. If she didn’t like it, find it appealing, or pretty much want to cook it, it didn’t have a chance in hell of getting cooked in her kitchen. Even if my father really liked something, if she didn’t like it or want it, she would tell him flatly, “I’ll not have that in my kitchen!

This went for innocuous things like sweet potatoes and mushrooms as well as not so innocuous things like calf liver, fish, shellfish, or chicken livers. My father grew up eating all these things, but once he married my mom, unless he ordered them in a restaurant, he never had them again.

I never understood why my mother took this attitude when it came to food preparation. She was very giving in other aspects of their relationship, but when it came to food, it was her way or no way, and my father wasn’t the only casualty. I am not a huge fan of nuts in baked goods. In fact, there are very few desserts I’ll eat that contain any type of nut. My mother knew this and yet because she liked nuts, everything she baked or dessert she made where nuts were called for, she put them in. She wouldn’t even bake a few cookies without nuts in them for me before putting the nuts in for the remaining cookies. I either had to pick the out or do without.

Once I had my own kitchen and started preparing food for others, I tried to find out what my guests liked eating and then prepared that. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. Just because I was making something I might not like, didn’t mean I had to eat it. I’d just make two meats, sides, desserts, or whatever. I especially enjoyed making foods for Hubby that he liked but I didn’t and when we were first married, there were a lot of these.

Many years have passed now and having made these foods for so long there are quite a few  I have actually acquired a taste for. There are still a few that I just can’t bring myself to eat, but if he likes them, I’m happy to make them for him. This recipe is one of those meals — Calf Liver. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t want to eat it. I know a lot of people rave about it, but at this point in my life, I am still content not knowing what it tastes like. As to whether this is a good recipe of not, Hubby assures me that it’s definitely a keeper.

Bacon & Onion Calf Liver

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb. Calf’s Liver, ½” thick, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk, Buttermilk, or Water
  • 8 Strips Thick Cut Bacon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, diced
  • ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper


  1. Soak liver in milk or water in a bowl for 2-3 hours or overnight. (see note)
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
  3. In same pan, saute onions in bacon grease until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and add bacon; keep warm.
  4. Remove liver from milk or water and pat dry. Discard liquid.
  5. Combine flour, salt and pepper in shallow bowl.
  6. Dredge liver in flour, shaking off excess.
  7. Using pan bacon and onions were cooked in, heat pan over medium-high heat until bacon grease is hot but not smoking.
  8. Cook liver, turning once, until browned but still pink inside, about 4 minutes total.
  9. Serve liver topped with onions and bacon.

Cooking Note

There are varying opinions as to whether it is necessary to soak liver in water or milk or if there is really any benefit to be gained by doing so. Some suggest that the milk helps to temper the iron taste, remove the bitterness, tenderize and/or deodorized the meat, while others claim it does nothing. I can’t say I know if it does anything or not, however, my Hubby’s mother never soaks her liver while I soak mine in either milk or buttermilk (whichever I have on hand) and Hubby says that my liver is far better tasting and more tender than his mothers. Hubby isn’t one to tell me this unless it’s true, because he knows my only goal is to make something he enjoys eating, regardless of where the recipe came from.


Recipe by:  Tilly Frueh – Simply Grateful Cooking 2018

I know the saying goes, “Children learn what they live,” but in the case of my mother and what to cook and not to cook, what I learned was how NOT to be, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.


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