A delicious recipe of 4-ingredient liver and onions in a slow cooker that will turn juicy and soft. All you will need is to caramelize a little bit of the onions and to cook the livers for 35 minutes in the slow cooker until perfection. Also, you will find the secret ingredient that will help you remove the smell of the livers that someone may dislike.
Today, we’re diving into a simple yet transformative recipe: liver and onions. This dish, slow-cooked with butter, oil, and a splash of brandy, is anything but ordinary.
Liver can be polarizing, but when it’s cooked slowly, it becomes tender and rich. The caramelized onions and butter add sweetness, while brandy brings a sophisticated edge.
If you’re skeptical about liver, this recipe is likely to change your mind. The slow cooker ensures juicy livers with a creamy texture, and the brandy helps neutralize any strong liver smell.
I’ll share tips to avoid bitterness and achieve the perfect texture, encouraging you to tweak the recipe to your liking.
Get ready for a comforting, memorable meal that’s bound to convert you into a liver enthusiast. Let’s get started!
👩🍳 What You Will Find in This Post?
- How to clean the livers to get a nice and smooth texture.
- How to eliminate the smell of the livers.
- How to cook livers that will be in the end juicy and creamy?
- and much more…
👩🍳How to Make it?
- Melt the butter and caramelize the onions.
- Add brandy and cook for another minute.
- Drop the livers over the onions and cook for a few minutes.
- Close the slow cooker and let everything simmer for 30 minutes.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- This liver and onions recipe is a beautiful blend of savory, sweet, and rich flavors that will dance on your palate. It’s an exciting culinary adventure that will have you eagerly anticipating every single bite.
- By adding the brandy to the recipe, we will give a more unique taste to the dish.
- For a sweeter taste, we will caramelize the onions.
- As we are making it in the slow cooker, it will require minimum effort to make this recipe. This recipe is a breeze to make, requiring minimal hands-on time and easy-to-find ingredients. The slow cooker does most of the heavy lifting, giving you more time to relax and enjoy the delightful aromas filling your kitchen.
- This is a one-pot dish, and you will not have a mountain full of dirty plates.
- The livers will have a creamy texture and an aroma of butter and prunes.
- By slow-cooking the liver and onions, we’re reinventing this classic dish into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience. This recipe is sure to change the minds of even the most skeptical liver eaters, as it elevates the humble ingredient into a truly scrumptious meal.
- Livers are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This recipe is not only mouthwateringly delicious, but it’s also a nourishing meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.
- The rich flavors of caramelized onions, butter, and brandy create a symphony of tastes that will delight your friends and family. This dish is perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or even a cozy night in with loved ones, as it’s sure to impress everyone at the table. Yes, even those who don’t like livers.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Livers. I used chicken livers for this recipe but you could follow the same instructions also by using turkey liver. If you decide to make this recipe with beef, pork, lamb, or rabbit livers, keep in mind that you should adjust the cooking time.
- Onions. I used white onions, but you could also use red ones instead. The role of the onions in this recipe is to give the sauce a sweet taste. Also, because of the onions, the livers also will be juicier. If you don’t have onions underhand, you could replace them with leeks.
- Butter. I used unsalted butter to give a creamy texture and extra flavor to the dish. If you opt for salted butter, be careful to reduce the amount of salt that you have to add additional.
- Vegetal Oil. I used refined sunflower oil. You could replace it with any other oil that has a high smoke temperature in order to avoid burning the butter during cooking.
- Brandy. I used brandy to remove the specific smell of livers and to give a special aroma slightly similar to dried plums. If you don’t like the idea of using alcohol in food, you could replace the brandy with soy sauce. If you are going to use soy sauce, exclude the salt. In the end, you can taste the dish and adjust the salt if needed.
- Salt & Pepper. Besides them, you may consider adding a few chili flakes if you prefer spicy food.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
First of all, we should clean the livers. Wash them well and let them drain. Remove all the pieces that you don’t like how they look.
Also, I will recommend cutting the liver membranes because, during the cooking, those will harden and will ruin the fine texture of the livers.
After this, cut the onion into slices julienne.
After you have all the ingredients ready, preheat the slow cooker to high heat (300°F / 150°C). Put the vegetable oil and butter in the preheated slow cooker and wait until the butter melts.
Right after the butter melts, add the sliced onions, salt, pepper, and other spices you have decided to use.
Mix all the ingredients well and let them caramelize for about 8 minutes at high heat (300°F / 150°C).
Periodically, mix the onions to avoid sticking them to the bottom of the slow cooker pan.
After the onions are slightly caramelized, add brandy and mix all the ingredients. Let the alcohol evaporate. This should take about 1 minute.
After the alcohol from the brandy has evaporated, put the livers on top of the caramelized onions and mix all the ingredients.
Let the livers fry on high heat until they become a little firmer in texture. In my case, this took about 6 minutes.
After this stage, you can close the lid of the slow cooker, set the low temperature ( 195°F/90°C ), and cook them for approximately 25-30 min.
Quick Note: As slow cookers can vary from one model to another and the quality of the liver can be different, I recommend you to check how cooked are the livers after 25 minutes and if is needed to add a few more minutes. In my case, it took 30 minutes.
In the end, you will have a liver that has been evenly cooked, soft, and juicy on the inside with a nice creamy texture.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
You can enjoy these old-fashioned livers with onions as they are, or serve the liver near a plate of mashed potatoes or other root vegetables. The mashed potatoes will soak up the delicious sauce, creating a perfect harmony of flavors and textures.
Another option will be to serve the livers along with boiled rice, quinoa, or barley for a wholesome and satisfying meal. The grains will balance the richness of the dish and provide a lovely contrast in texture.
Serve the slow-cooked livers and onions alongside some warm, crusty bread to soak up the flavorful juices. This simple yet delightful pairing will have your taste buds singing with joy.
For an Italian twist, serve the liver and onions over a bed of creamy, soft polenta. The smooth, rich texture of the polenta will complement the tender liver and sweet onions beautifully.
For a lighter meal, serve the liver and onions on a bed of mixed greens or a simple arugula salad. The freshness and crunch of the greens will cut through the richness of the dish, creating a delightful balance of flavors.
As an alternative, you may toss the liver and onions with your favorite pasta or noodles for a unique and delicious fusion of flavors. Consider using egg noodles, fettuccine, or even spaghetti to create a delightful spin on a classic dish.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Remove the white membranes from the livers because after cooking they will harden and will destroy the fine texture and the main idea behind this dish.
- Clean well the livers and make sure that there are no parts with a slightly greenish color on them because this means that the livers have been in contact with the gall bladder and you will get a bitter taste.
- If you don’t like how the livers smell, use brandy or soy sauce to remove it. Also, you can soak the livers in milk for at least 30 minutes to an hour before cooking, and then drain and pat dry before proceeding with the recipe. This essential step will help mellow any strong flavors and ensure a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Besides onions, you could also add carrot or leek for a surplus of vitamins and a sweeter taste.
- Be patient and take your time when caramelizing the onions, as this process is crucial for developing their natural sweetness. Cook them over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until they’re a beautiful golden brown color. This might take around 20-30 minutes, but trust me, it’s worth every minute.
- Layering the ingredients: When placing the liver and onions in the slow cooker, layer them evenly to ensure proper cooking and even distribution of flavors. Start with a layer of onions at the bottom, followed by the liver, and then top with another layer of onions. This way, the liver will be surrounded by the deliciousness of caramelized onions.
- Keep an eye on the cooking time, as overcooking the liver can lead to a tough and chewy texture. Depending on the thickness of your liver slices and your slow cooker settings, the cooking time may vary.
❄️ Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating:
Can You Make it Ahead of Time?
You can cook the livers with onions a day before you plan to eat them and keep them in the fridge because the taste will not change much.
How Long Does It Last in the Fridge?
Wait until the liver cools down and put them in an airtight container then move them to the refrigerator where you can keep the onion livers safely for 2-3 days.
Can You Freeze This Dish?
Do not freeze the livers because they will change their texture and taste after defrosting.
How to Reheat The Livers?
I prefer to reheat these livers with onions on the stove and mix them from time to time. In this way, I can control how hot I want them.
Quick Note: If you decide to reheat the livers in the microwave oven, be careful that if you will keep them for more than a minute, they may explode and stain all your walls in the microwave oven.
📙 Answering Your Questions
Should Livers Be Cooked Fast or Slow?
You must first cook the livers at a high temperature so the livers will get a crust that will keep their inner juice inside, and then you can lower the temperature and cook the livers slowly to make sure that they will be well cooked.
Do You Wash Livers Before Cooking?
I advise you to wash the livers well before cooking. Also, even more important is to remove the white membranes from the livers because they will harden during the cooking and will destroy the fine texture of the livers.
Also, make sure that the liver does not have greenish spots on them because this means that they have been in contact with the gall bladder and it will have a bitter taste in the end.
What to Do With Liver and Onions Leftovers?
If you are a pâté lover, you could remove the livers from the dish, mix them, and then by using the sauce that you just removed to adjust the density and texture of the pâté.
How Do I Know When The Liver Is Cooked Through?
The liver is cooked through when it’s no longer pink in the center and has a tender, slightly firm texture. You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be around 165°F (74°C) for the chicken livers.
Is It Necessary To Use Brandy In This Recipe?
While brandy adds a rich depth of flavor to the dish, you can replace it with another alcohol like red wine, sherry, or port. For a non-alcoholic alternative, consider using apple juice or beef broth for deglazing the pan.
📋 Recipe Card:
Liver and Onions in Slow Cooker (4 ingredients)
- Clean well the livers and remove the excesses.2 lb Liver
- Preheat the slow cooker to 300°F/150°C and pour in it oil and butter. Wait until the butter will melt.2 1/2 oz Butter, 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Add the sliced onions, salt and pepper . Cook everything for about 8 minutes.13 oz Onion, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Add brandy, mix everything and cook for another minute until the alcohol will evaporate from the brandy.2 tablespoons Brandy
- Add livers over the caramelized onions. Cook them for about 5-6 minutes.2 lb Liver
- Set the lower settings (195°F/90°C ) and let the liver simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Enjoy your delicious livers with onions cooked in a slow cooker.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑