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Recipe: Mexican Liver and Onions


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Need a tasty way to include liver in your diet? Higado Encebollado is a traditional Mexican dish.

Type of dish: Entree, Breakfast
Equipment: Skillet
Servings: Makes 2 to 4 servings


  • 3/4 pound beef liver, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 tsp lard or traditional fat of choice
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch dried rosemary
  • roughly chopped cilantro and sliced avocado for garnish


  1. Heat the lard in a large skillet or pot.
  2. Add onion and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until onion is softened.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in oregano and rosemary.
  4. Lay the liver slices on top of the onions and cover pot. Let cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Flip the liver slices and this time place them on the pan bottom, covering with the onions. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Stir onions and flip liver one last time, cover and cook for a final 3 minutes.
  7. Check to see if it’s done by slicing one liver in half. It is done if there is no more blood.
  8. Serve sprinkled with cilantro on top and avocado on the side.


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Chris Kresser in kitchen
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Join the conversation

  1. I cook/eat liver since i was a kid, I grew up in Italy until 20 years old, and we use it in many dishes..ragu’ has it, and sometimes we just marinate in some oil, garlic, and cloves and cook it on the pan…
    I have to try this one though, Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I have tried every way to cook liver, the best way i have come up with is doing half liver half mince and making a bolognese then using zucchini/sqaush spaghetti.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I recently bought your personalised paleo code, and am excited to start the program in the next few days. So far I read most of the pdfs: a lot of really helpful information.
    Today I have a different health question, where I am really unclear about how best to proceed (Sorry for hijacking this post): I was recommended to take a intravenous detoxification treatment by my doctor after seeing that i had high lead levels (took this urine test by Doctors Data: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/urine_toxic.html ).

    For the first session he injected the following into my body within 10-15 minutes.

    Phosphotidylcholine 1000mg ( undiluted )
    Glutathione 1000 ( diluted in 50ml )
    High dose Vitamin C 10gm ( diluted in 100ml normal saline )
    EDTA ( Fast formula ) 3gm ( diluted in 100ml normal saline )

    After that I had pain in the center of my body, felt dizzy and had a hard time breathing for a a few minutes, and had to stay in the clinic lying down, until i felt less dizzy.

    Since then I have read/or heard from people that injecting any liquid in that amount (~500 ml) that fast is a big strain on ones heart and that mostly this sort of treatment happens over a longer period on a drip.

    I am supposed to have the next session in a few days, and the doctor already said he would put me on a drip, but i just wanted to know if in that case, it is save, or in general a good idea to continue. What do you think?

    A german doctor that I contacted said that as long i dont feel symptoms of lead poisoning, he would not continue the treatment.
    ( I am a german woman living in Shanghai).

  4. Is there any concern about the heavy metals in organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc)?

    I’ve read cadmium exposure can be minimized if eating grass-fed calfs, and that possibly most of the metals are in the fat…

    What about taking liver pills?

  5. And do YOU like this Chris? I cannot get into the liver of ruminants. The only context in which i can palate liver is Mark Sisson’s recipe for “silky smooth chicken liver pate” and only then with the maximal amount of butter and some extra citrus added. When you announce that you like a recipe for liver I’ll try it- until then, I will remain scarred from past experiences.

    • I’ve made this recipe and, like pretty much all of his recipes, I think its really good. Then again, I eat chicken liver for breakfast several times a week (sometimes even without onions or bacon).

  6. Chris…this looks tasty enough. I wondered how you felt about liverwurst…I think Applegate might have something like this and I thought maybe that would be a good way to get more organ meats into the diet.

    Thanks as always…