Monday, November 17, 2014

Liver and Onions with Bacon

We have been very fortunate to have a few deer to put in the freezer this hunting season. So it's been back to "The Shop" to cut it up, then a jaunt back to Mom's kitchen to wrap and label. Dad even bought a new little freezer this year to store the extra meat in, which means we have certainly been blessed with meat to last us quite a while.

Our family has always taken it upon ourselves to cut up our own venison, then we bring it to our local Locker Plant to have the scraps made into burger, deer sticks, summer sausage, and Polish sausage. The steaks, tenderloins, stew meat, and roasts are wrapped and popped in the freezer while we wait for the rest to be ready, thinking about that first juicy burger that will hit our plate soon.

Mom's a bit squeamish about all the blood involved, and has to take a break now and then, but she's a trooper for sure. She is a "Professional Meat Wrapper", and beyond the "Neck Soup with Barley" that Dad makes out of the neck meat right away, she is the creator of all the yummy meals that use what Dad worked so hard to provide for us.

It's a family event that has been mastered over my Dad's 62 years of deer hunting.  He wields the knife and saw like the pro that he is.  He has not missed a year in the woods since he was 10 years old, and he now takes The Kid and I out with him to pass on his legacy. I can't imagine a better man to teach us.

Back in the day, when I was a younger gal, Mom would use the liver from the deer to make "Liver and Onions". Nowadays, you have to worry about diseases, and it's not recommended that you use the organ meat from a deer. But let me tell you, if a friend or family member happens to buy a cow, and is willing to bring us the liver, the skillet is comin' out folks.

Liver and onions is one of those dishes your kids are gonna freak out about.  In my house we have a rule, The Kid has to try ONE BITE of something new, as much as he doesn't think he will like it. Then if it's as gross as he figures, he doesn't have to eat any more of it. Happily this rule has lead to him to liking A LOT of foods that he never would have known he really liked. He even enjoys some of Grandpa's creations that even I can't swallow, like radish sandwiches and raw onions. 

If you are so inclined, and you have no health issues (liver is high in cholesterol and iron), dietary or personal preferences that would keep you from making this dish, give it a go. Just the fact that it's smothered in bacon and onions makes you want to at least try a bite.  This is a dish we only get to make once every few years or so, and to say we enjoy it is an understatement.

We have found that serving liver with a bit of classic yellow mustard gives it an awesome tang, and cuts back on the gamey flavor of the meat.  Our side dish is always boiled potatoes, topped with melted butter and some salt and pepper.

LIVER AND ONIONS WITH BACON               Printable Version

Beef liver
1 lb. bacon
1 large yellow onion
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Boiled potatoes
Classic yellow mustard

Separate the bacon into slices.  Slice up the yellow onion. In a large skillet, fry the bacon and onions until the bacon is cooked and the onions are soft.  Remove from the pan to a plate, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.

Stir together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Slice the beef liver into 1/4" thick slices.  Dip the liver in the flour mixture and coat both sides.  Fry in the bacon grease until browned on both sides.  Add the cooked bacon and onions back into the pan.

Pour onto a large platter.  Serve with a squirt of yellow mustard for dipping the liver, and boiled potatoes with butter.

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