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Lambs Liver and Onions Cooked in Port

Lambs liver and onions is a delicious and simple recipe that features pan-fried thinly sliced liver served with sticky port and sage onions.

The onions take around an hour to cook but can be made days in advance and store well, but the liver cooks in right around 10 minutes, and that includes resting!

Fried lambs liver and port onions on polenta with chives.

Quick Pan Fried Liver

I’m rather fond of a bit of offal! Whether it is haggis in balmoral chicken or in this haggis pasta, or this black pudding risotto I always view it as a treat.

This wonderful pan-fried lambs liver and port onions recipe joins a more traditional braised liver and onions recipe, a superb chicken liver stew, a lambs liver curry, and a wonderfully spicy peri peri chicken livers recipe.

I’ve also got a glorious devilled kidneys on toast recipe.

It is easy to beat up on offal! But as a meat it is nutritious and frugal and if looked after well it tastes stunning.

Here it is thinly sliced and quickly pan-fried, and when I say quickly, I mean a minute or two on each side.

It is served with some sticky port cooked onions with sage. These are inspired by the onions on my veal burger. The sweetness complements the rich and earthy lambs liver perfectly.

Close up overhead fried lambs liver and port onions on polenta.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of liver?

You can cook this identically with calves liver, the flavour is different but the combination with the port onions still works well.

I would personally avoid pig or beef (ox) liver which to my mind is much better if cooked for longer.

Why do I need to rest the liver?

Resting the liver allows the meat to relax and it will also continue to cook. If you do not rest the meat it will likely bleed all over the plate.

Can I use something other than port for the onions?

Decent substitutes include marsala wine, Madeira or even a bold merlot at a push, however, nothing will quite taste the same.

Do I need the sherry vinegar?

No, you can omit it from the final flourish with the lambs liver, but it does add a wonderful flavour.

You will need a little sharpness in the port onions, but you could use red wine vinegar as a substitute.

Can I use dried sage?

Yes, use around 1 teaspoon of dried sage.

How long will the onions last after being made?

These onions will last in the fridge for at least a week and you can even scale them up, they are superb on a burger and even on cheese on toast!

Close up fried lambs liver and port onions on polenta with chives.

Serving Suggestions

The obvious decision for a side for this pan-fried lambs liver and onions would be mashed potato. Although celeriac mash would be a good shout too.

However, I have gone for something a little different in the pictures, a delicious cheesy polenta.

I used nutty gruyere cheese rather than the cheddar mentioned in my recipe for polenta and it is glorious with the sweet onions and iron-rich liver.

I’m also fond of serving this dish with braised cavolo nero or roasted savoy cabbage.

This would also be stunning served on top of a crispy potato rosti!

Overhead fried lambs liver and port onions on polenta.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I believe they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Medium saucepan (15-16cm or 6-7″).
  • Large frying pan, not nonstick if possible (28-30cm or 11-12″).
  • Chopping board.
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Pan fried lambs liver and sticky port onions on cheesy polenta with chives.
Yield: 2 Servings

Pan Fried Lambs Liver Recipe and Port Onions

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This delicious pan-fried lambs liver recipe is as simple as it gets and it is served with slowly simmered sticky port onions which are the perfect accompaniment to a piece of meat that is woefully underused!


  • 350g (12oz) Lambs Liver
  • 1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 25g (1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp) Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar

For the Port Onions

  • 300g (2 Cups) Onions
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Ruby Port
  • 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 25g (1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp) Butter
  • 6 Large Sage Leaves
  • ½ Tsp Salt


  1. Cut the onions in half then peel them and slice them into 1cm (½") thick half-moon shapes.
  2. Heat a small 15-16cm (6-7") saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter for the onions.
  3. When the butter begins to foam add the onions and cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly.
  4. Shred the sage leaves and add them to the onions and cook for another 30 seconds stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the sherry and add the brown sugar, sherry vinegar and salt, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes until most of the port has reduced and the onions are sticky and soft.
  6. If your liver is not sliced and cleaned cut it into thin (4-5mm or ¼") slices.
  7. 12-15 minutes before you are ready to serve season the liver with salt and pepper then dredge it with the flour.
  8. Heat a wide 28-30cm (11-12") frying pan or skillet (not nonstick if you can) over a high-medium heat and add the oil and butter.
  9. Add the liver and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, add the sherry vinegar, swish the pan to coat the meat, then remove and rest covered with foil for 2-3 minutes before serving on the onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 914mgSodium: 1186mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 57g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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