Mum’s recipe: Liver in Onion and White Wine Sauce

This sauce is simply gorgeous. Sweet carrots and onions, white wine and soft liver with a hint of garlic and parsley on a bed of buttery soft mashed potatoes – heaven!

The basis for this delicious sauce is a mixture of onions and grated carrots, cooked until dark golden brown. This is typical for Croatian meat sauces (see also Venison Stew Hunter’s Style). You will also notice that the garlic is not added with the onions, but roughly half way through the cooking or later, so that it does not mellow down, but it imparts a fresh zingy taste to the dish. You may omit the parsley if you must, but I wouldn’t because it really contributes to the overall taste of the dish. Celery leaf is something that is used a lot in Croatian cooking, e.g. in sauces or in soups, but it can be replaced with extra parsley. Any kind of liver can be used. This recipe is my mum’s.


Liver in Onion and White Wine Sauce



SOURCE: Mum’s recipe


COOKING TIME: 40 min min

CUISINE: Croatian (Dalmatian)

SERVES: 3 – 4



Vegetable/olive oil

2 onions, chopped finely

1 large carrot, grated

500 g liver 


Tomato pure

3 – 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

a small handful of parsley, chopped finely

a bit of chopped celery leaf

2 bay leaves

2 dl white wine

salt, pepper



1. Fry the onions for a little in some vegetable or olive oil. Add grated carrots. Fry the carrot and onion mixture, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft, and the onions become slightly browned. Be patient, as this can take a while. Please donโ€™t be tempted to do this quickly, this is important, and it will form the base of the stew, in which the onion acts as a thickening agent.

2. After the onions are done, add the liver. When it’s cooked, add a little water and stir. This will further soften up the onions, so they are almost melted. When the water evaporates, and some more, and repeat the process until you get a mushy saucy mixture.

3. Add a little of tomato pure, garlic and the herbs and some more water to cover the liver. Cook until it becomes soft. Then, add the wine and the bay leaf, and cook until the sauce thickens, or for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes, and a side dish of lettuce/salad leaves with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and red wine vinegar.




This week Weekend Herb Blogging is hosted by Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, whose blog I love! So, time to take part in this event again, once again with using parsley, the herb that’s ubiquitous in Croatian cooking!

Leave a comment


  1. Maninas, I love onion in red wine sauce. I am sure your little twist is equally deliscious.

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. This looks so good. I swear by your Croatian recipes. I tried the stuffed peppers and they rocked! The book arrived by the way and it is gorgeous and full of amazing, simple recipes. BIG HUG

    Hi Mallika! BIG HUG to you too! I’m glad you like the book! and my recipes of course! ๐Ÿ˜€


  3. This sounds just delicious. My own mother used to cook liver and onions with bacon, and most of my siblings would turn up their nose, but I loved it.

    mmmm liver, onions and bacon – sounds like something my English husband would like! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you got the recipe? Thanks!


  1. Croatian picnic in London « Maninas: Food Matters

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