Duck Liver and Onions

Duck Liver and Onions Recipe

Growing up, my parents always ate quite traditionally. There were roasts every Sunday, plenty of casseroles to be had, seasonal puddings to be snaffled and, of course, liver and onions. As you’re probably aware, most children won’t go within touching distance of offal. The same was true in my mother’s kitchen. That attitude could never last for long, however; liver is too scrumptious not to be appreciated. This recipe for Duck Liver and Onions is fast becoming a favourite.

Once you get past the fact that offal is what it is, you really start appreciating it. Liver, in particular, is easy to come by, frugal in the extreme, wonderfully flavoursome and has a really appealing texture; an almost soft-as-butter feel. Of course, as with any meat it has to be cooked to perfection. Don’t worry about a bit of pink; that’s how things should be. That’s how you know it’s tender.

Cooking Liver and Onions

Cooking liver and onions takes so little time that it’s the perfect easy weekend lunch. No matter what revelry has taken place the night before. Even if you’re basically crawling from your pit of slumber, you’ll be enjoying a hearty slice of sourdough toast topped with succulent duck liver and sweet onions in no time, topped with that all important sprig of fresh thyme.

Got some leftover liver hanging around? Check out my recipes for Duck Liver on Toast and Chicken Liver Pate…

Duck Liver and Onions Recipe

Serves 2


  • 2 whole duck livers
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • thyme to garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil and begin to sauté the onion over a medium heat. Wash your livers and chop each into 4 large pieces.
  2. Add the mustard and vinegar to the onions and stir until incorporated, season with a pinch of salt. Pop your bread on to toast.
  3. Add the chunks of liver to the pan and brown on each side, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, they should have a tinge of pink on the inside.
  4. Spoon the liver and onions onto the toast and serve with a sprig of fresh thyme.

Recipe for Duck Liver and Onions How to Cook Liver and Onions

Cook: I believe all I’ve needed to say to convince you of just how cheap liver is. Using even the best quality produce, each liver should set you back only 50p. Liver is dirt cheap…

As such, this lazy weekend lunch for two should set you back no more than around £1.60.

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23 comments on “Duck Liver and Onions

  1. cookinginsens
    April 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for this recipe, Frugal. It looks and sounds wonderful. I just happen to have a duck liver supplier 🙂

  2. MonkeyBreadandSweetPea
    April 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    This reminds me of my childhood! Once a week my mom served liver and onions!!

  3. Randy Goldberg (@DrGaellon)
    April 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I grew up with calves’ liver and onions, and hated it. The eye-burning misery of slicing and caramelizing half a dozen onions. The shoe leather texture of overcooked broiled liver. It was my least favorite meal my mother ever made, and she made it about once a month. Now, my grandmother’s Passover chopped liver, on the other hand, was divine.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      At least it was only once a month! At least you do actually like it if cooked properly.

  4. jdubs
    April 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    looks amazing. i love duck liver… really need to figure out where to find it here…

    • frugalfeeding
      April 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you! Do you have a local butcher near by?

  5. Eha
    April 27, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Well, in my case in semi-rural Australia, chicken livers will just have to do 🙂 ! This is a most unctuous recipe to be enjoyed occasionally, but you have forgotten some apple to go alongside the onion and the cognac ‘flame’ 😀 !! Superb photography!!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Chicken livers are also yum. I’d have used cognac, but we’re trying to be frugal here. Also, I don’t have any at the mo!

      • Eha
        April 29, 2014 at 1:28 am

        [Laughter] Sorry, forgot about the ‘frugal’ bit 🙂 ! But have loved chicken livers, onion and apple cooked together since my early marital days – if you have any idea who Vincent Price is: from his tome of a marvellous cookbook – he was a better chef than actor 😀 !!

        • Eha
          April 29, 2014 at 3:18 am

          May I swear?? Your recipe so brought the Vincent and Mary Price book to mind, I went ‘shopping’! Darn it at times living Down Under!! Oh, I could get a first or second print copy for under $US40, but the postage would be over $US70!!!!!!!!! Trust husband #1 demanding he keep it!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Eha
            April 29, 2014 at 7:02 am

            Look, what you have done!!! [laughter !!] Have just bought a wonderful copy Ishould have so many years!!] Thank you 🙂 ! And, please, do NOT ask about the postage, but I HAVE IT!!!!!!

          • frugalfeeding
            May 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

            Glad I inspired you to buy it 😀 – I’ll have to look it out!

  6. Conor Bofin
    April 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Love calves liver, onions and streaky bacon. A treat that brings one back to childhood.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      I think we’re going to pick up some calves liver soon. Tempted to fry it or batter it or some such.

  7. Karen
    April 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I love liver and onions. I had a similar dish in Strasbourg but it was served on top of rocket.

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