Before you snarl your nose, hear me out.
I’ll be honest. Taste-wise, liver is not my favorite food.
But on a nutritional scale of 1-10, it gets an 11. And since nutritionally there are literally no foods that can take its place, liver is something I’ve learned to incorporate into my diet – and I think you should, too.
Think of it like a veggie phobic getting my “Veggies: Eat Them Because You Want To, Not Because You Have To” ebook and deciding that kale can have a place in their menu – at least, sometimes.
My culinary adventures with liver started well over a decade ago after reading Sally Fallon’s excellent book, Nourishing Traditions.
I did not grow up eating liver, so everything about it was just – weird. The texture, the flavor, the color…
But over time, I’ve continually experimented and found that liver can actually be, dare I say it, GOOD.
I’m still not much of a fan of straight-up liver (unless it’s chicken liver, lightly sauteed in lots of butter and served with mustard), but liver pate is pretty damn delicious.
If you’re new to the land of liver, I highly suggest starting with chicken liver, due to its mild taste and delicate texture.
Beef liver, especially from a full-grown animal, has a much stronger flavor. (It is, however, richer in nutrients than chicken liver, especially when you source it from grass-fed cows. Funny how that works out.)
If you’ve been dragging your feet to try offal, suck it up and make this grass-fed beef liver pate. Okay? You can always make a mini batch just in case!
At the very least, you’ll have a good story to tell your friends. (Remember that time I tried beef heart?)
Grass-Fed Beef Liver Pate
- 1 lb grass-fed beef liver (or pasture-raised chicken liver)
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 4 Tbsp ½ stick butter (from grass-fed cows)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- pinch of black pepper
- 4 oz heavy whipping cream (ideally from grass-fed cows)
- With a paper towel, pat any excess moisture off the liver. Sprinkle with salt, thyme, pepper, then the arrowroot powder (arrowroot is a gluten-free alternative to flour).
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add butter.
- Cook liver until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the food processor.
- Meanwhile, add onions to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned and soft.
- Add heavy cream to deglaze the pan (scraping up any caremelized bits with a metal spatula).
- Transfer contents of pan to the food processor.
- Process/pulse until you have a nice, thick pate. Taste test and add additional salt if needed.
- Transfer to small mason jars, ensuring no air bubbles are present. Use within 1 week or freeze jars for later use.
How to use grass-fed beef liver pate:
- The classic way to eat pate is smeared on crackers or bread (if you go this route, go heavy on the pate!).
- If you eat grain-free or low carb, try it on slices of cucumber or kohlrabi – or even serve it as a dip with an array of fresh vegetables (like you would with hummus). I think it’s delicious with fresh carrots.
- Not a fan of straight-up pate? Mix a few tablespoons into any recipe that uses ground meat. For example, try adding it to lasagne or meatloaf (You’ll notice the Grass-fed Beef Meatballs and Low-Carb Shepherd’s Pie recipes in my book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, feature liver).
Nutritional benefits of liver pate:
Liver is extremely rich in vitamin A (the real stuff), choline, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, folate, and a whole host of other nutrients crucial to health, especially for pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive (as I explain in excruciating detail in Real Food for Gestational Diabetes).
And yes, contrary to outdated prenatal nutrition advice, liver is safe to eat during pregnancy.
Pregnant or not, even a few tablespoons of liver pate per week is hugely beneficial to your health.
Before you head out to the butcher, I’d love to hear from you:
- Have you tried making liver or liver pate?
- What’s your take – delicious or not?
Until next week,
PS – Wondering why I’m so insistent on using liver from grass-fed/pasture-raised animals? Read this.