Madame Begue's Liver & Onions

Madame Bégué's Coffee Shop was located in the French Quarter on the present day site of Tujague's Restaurant. She became famous for her "second breakfast" or brunch which was served to the workers during mid-morning break. One of her best known dishes was smothered liver and onions. The liver was carefully selected and cut by her husband ---- the French Market butcher, Hippolyte Bégué.


  • 3 pounds calves liver, sliced
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 cup seasoned flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock (see recipe)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In a heavy bottom skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove, drain and allow to cool. Chop bacon and reserve drippings for sauteing. Season liver using salt and pepper. Dust liver in flour, shaking off all excess. Reheat bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Pan-fry liver until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a drain board and keep warm. Into the same skillet, add onions and saute over medium-high heat. Stir-fry onions until caramelized, approximately 20 minutes. Return chopped bacon and liver to the skillet. Pour in chicken stock, bring mixture to a rolling boil and cook for 10 additional minutes. Season to taste using salt and pepper. When ready to serve, place liver in the center of a 10-inch dinner plate and top with caramelized onions and bacon.

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