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Liver and onions: an excellent combination

Liver and onions are an easy recipe to prepare. It can be served with grilled polenta or when it is warm weather it can be accompanied by a fresh salad.

Liver alla Veneta or Veneziana is one of the best known and most famous dishes of the Venetian cuisine. Its origin comes from an old Roman recipe. Animals but especially pigs and geese were fed with figs to make their liver fat or the liver was cooked with figs.

Venetians replaced figs with onions, that they added to pork and calf liver, cut into strips. They considered bovine offal as a valuable constituent of their diet because of its contribution to high value nutrients. The sweet taste, that the liver assumes, comes from the encounter with white onions. They are the only type of onions there are in the Veneto region, and they are produced in Chioggia. When they are cut they have to be thinly sliced.

There are other kinds of liver that are cooked in Veneto. The Venetian liver differs from the Vicentina for the use of vinegar instead of wine.

Ingredients for 4 people:

600 grams of pork liver

2 white onions

50 grams of butter

4 spoons of olive-oil


Salt and pepper

How to prepare it:

Cut the onions into slices. Put oil and butter in a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions with some salt and reduce the heat to a medium-low. Cook them for 20 mins until they are soft and add some water if needed. Put the liver alongside with the vinegar and some salt. Cook for not more than 6 or 7 mins until the liver browns.

When it is ready serve it immediately and do scrape the pan juices onto the liver.

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