Liver is the gateway to eating all of the organs of an animal, for supercharged health and mental balance. In times and cultures before ours, liver was greatly preferred over steak, the effects it would have on the eater were so vast and powerful. Ounce per ounce, liver contains more nutrients than any other food, including highly usable forms of iron, B12, Vitamin A, folic acid, trace elements, and CoQ10.
Emerging wisdom suggests that eating meat in a balanced way has huge benefits on our body ecosystem. Not limiting meat in our diet, but instead matching our meat consumption with the whole structure of the animal. An animal is not just flesh - it's also made of bones and organs, including skin! For all the healing benefits of animal based products the new/ancient idea is to regularly eat meat, bone broth, as well as organs. Usually this means the need for increasing glycine-rich bone broths and nutrient-rich organ consumption REGULARLY in our diet. (And speaking of the organ, the skin, it feels like cheating, but eating chicharones/pork rinds has completely satiated all our cracker/chip cravings and definitely contributed vastly to our organ consumption. The baby even loves them, ha!)
Most folks do not enjoy the thought of eating organs, or eat fried liver and onions on rare occasion. Myself included! Something needs to be done to actively integrate these special foods into our diet. For several years, I have made beef liver & heart capsules for our family to eat daily. Capsuled organs have been hugely helpful in our house, to make sure we're eating organs daily even though we're not super keen on cooking fresh organs. Whatever isn't available from the butcher, I purchase grassfed organs in capsule form - including brain, pancreas, lung, and more, as well as glands like the thyroid, pitutary, and adrenals.
We've also hit on a delicious recipe to make liver inexpensively, which I'm excited to make and share with you today!
I was inspired on a Nourishing Traditions podcast last year or so. On the show, was a mother who made pate in bulk. She would fill mason jars and freeze them. Each week at soccer practice, she and the kids would devour 1-2 jars full of liver-rich pate on sourdough bread, along with raw cheese, and some fermented veggies. As a busy mom, she said that she liked to offer "cold lunch" a few times a week with items such as these that she could just lay out on the table. Snack style, but with full nourishing, real-food benefits any time there was no time to cook a real meal - sourdough bread, raw cheeses, pate, fermented meats like salami, and raw kefir. YUM!
I made Jacques Pepin's Liver Pate recipe listed on Food & Wine for a long time but came across this new recipe recently on the NY Times website from Javier Huerta/Sam Sifton. I like it quite a bit more than the sweet onion-flavor of Pepin's, and have adapted the recipe further to bring out the herbal, savory, salty flavors that further tone down the liver, to want to keep eating and eating!
1 pack Pasture-Raised, GMO-FREE Chicken Livers
4 tbs. Butter
5 cloves Garlic
1 tbs. Thyme
1/3c. Port Wine
2 tsp Raw Cream
1. Firstly, you can marinate your pack of chicken livers in milk overnight. This is known to neutralize the iron-y flavor of the liver. I personally do not always remember to do this and the recipe is delicious either way. But if you are new to pate, and are feeling finicky, definitely soak the liver in milk!
2. Heat 4tbs butter with 5 garlic cloves.
Cut garlic a few times. Doesn't have to be fancy because you're just going to blend everything up. Garlic lends a more savory flavor than onion
Heat until foaming on medium heat
While the butter is warming up...
3. Clean 1 bag of chicken livers:
Rinse livers in cool water
Cut white, ropy membranes from livers
So you are left with clean fresh livers
4. Add livers to foaming butter/garlic
5. Add 1tbs thyme Add 1/3c port wine
Lightly cook on lowest heat. Make sure the livers are still pink and tender inside
6. Let cool in the pan. Add mix to blender
Use 1-2tbs. Raw Cream to the consistency of your choice. Start on the low side and add more if you need it.
And salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the best flavor, serve chilled the next day. However, it is still delicious fresh! Enjoy. Pack in a glass jar and eat within a week. Or, freeze for later. Babies enjoy it too!
For folks fearful of overeating liver, please consult this article to learn the health benefits and more.
Cheers to health, good food, and a happy life!