I remember my grandmother made liver and onions when I was a kid. Just the smell would make me run from the kitchen. The sizzling meat had a strong iron like aroma and I wasn’t yet into onions! “It’s good for you” seemed to be the sentence that always came out of her mouth when I would protest. “Eat liver, It’s good for you.”
When I was a dietetics student in the late 90’s, the trend was against all things with fat and cholesterol. Organ meats were discouraged…despite their being a rich source of other vitamins and minerals.
Now, new research tells us that eating dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect blood cholesterol as much as we thought. We are also becoming a society of people that are overfed and under nourished. The processed foods many of us eat are devoid of anything “good for you” as my grandmother would remind me.
Liver has ALL of the B Vitamins…in fact, it’s an excellent source of B-12 and Folate
Liver is rich in Iron
Liver is loaded with bioavailable Vitamin A (great for your eyes and skin)
Also has copper and trace minerals missing from our modern diets
Liver and onions still make me walk away…but I’ve discovered that I LOVE “chopped liver” or pate.
It’s important to choose high quality chicken livers–check your local farmer’s market or butcher for free range, organic, or pasture raised chicken.
My first attempt was a hodgepodge of ideas from pinterest–I basically combined a 2 slices chopped bacon, a large sweet onion, a peeled and chopped tart apple, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 bay leaves, with some chopped sage. I sautéed them all and added 2 tbs butter at the end.
When the butter sizzled, I added 1 lb chicken livers. I followed a recommendation to rinse and pat the livers dry before use and generously coated the livers in sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. I let the livers cook until most of the pink had disappeared–about 5 minutes for me with the other ingredients in the pan. I threw in about 1/4 cup sherry at the end to deglaze the pan and cooked for 1 minute longer.
Next–I whipped out the food processor that has become one of my most treasured wedding gifts!
I won’t lie–the mixture smelled wonderful from the garlic and onions and apples….but the metallic smell of the liver was still there. I added 1/4 c of heavy cream to the mix and loved the smooth creamy texture.
I divided the mix in to 1/2 cup ramekins. I ended up with six. Last, I topped the mixture off with melted clarified butter, or ghee. Most recipes recommend this step to stop the liver from oxidizing and turning an unappetizing color. These four got wrapped up and placed in the freezer. The other two have almost been devoured.
My son and I are the only ones who like it. I have a metabolic disorder that makes it difficult for me to absorb folate and he has a history of iron deficiency. I think we benefit a lot from incorporating this very nutritious food into our diets.
Obviously, this is very rich and high in fat and calories. We split a half cup–and it was very satisfying.
Send me a shout if you have a favorite liver recipe! I would love to hear it.