Liver is the super-est of superfoods!
Liver isn’t as sexy as açaí berries (my first time using the fancy c, btw!) and, in fact, when I googled “superfoods” not a single list on the first page – and some of these were lists of 50 things! – even mentioned organ meats from well-raised animals!?!? Clearly we have yet another word without a real definition that is used to market and confuse.
Much like “sustainable” and “grassfed” the word “superfood” is not really defined anywhere and really doesn’t mean much, especially when being used to try to sell you something. Present company included. But I’m going to explain myself a bit.
First, I am happy to admit when I am wrong about something (despite what my family might tell you) and one of those things, is liver. I used to believe that you really shouldn’t eat liver because it is a giant filter and it’s holding on to lots of bad things the way a sponge does. Turns out that is not at all true and not only is it not bad for you but it’s actually said to be one of THE BEST things for you! What?!
The liver does not hold onto bad stuff – it deals with it!
Maybe we should be more like the liver! 🙂 The liver is not actually acting like a filter or a sponge but more like a chemical processing plant. From Mark’s Daily Apple: “The liver receives shipments, determines what they contain, and reacts accordingly. It converts protein to glucose, converts glucose to glycogen, manufactures triglycerides, among many other tasks, but its best-known responsibility is to render toxins inert and shuttle them out to be expelled – usually in the urine via the kidney. It doesn’t just hang on to toxins [it deals with them and gets them out!]…” Not only does it not hold on to bad stuff, it’s actually FULL OF GOOD STUFF! Specifically: vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, folic acid and all of them are ready to be absorbed by the body!
The chart above is from Chris Kresser’s website, from an article titled “Liver: Nature’s Most Potent Superfood” and is worth reading. What’s interesting is that I do not think this data is from animals raised with the goal of nutrient-dense meat (like is Together Farm’s goal) so an assumption could be made that our numbers are even better.
Move over kale there’s a new superfood powerhouse! For some of you that is probably amazing news because you are already liver lovers, but for others of you, that’s probably just as disappointing as kale.
That’s all great – but I hate liver!
Good news! You can eat liver lots of different ways, fried liver and onions is not the only option. Some people cut it into tiny pieces and then freeze it (raw) and then eat them like little tiny vitamins or cut them into such small pieces they can simply be swallowed. The more “rare” liver is the less livery it will taste.
Other people simply slice it (do this when it’s still partially frozen and it will be much easier), dredge it in some coconut flour seasoned with a little black pepper and salt and pan fry it in lard…..simple but crazy delicious.
Others simply grill or sear it crisp on the outside while leaving the inside meltingly tender and creamy. Only overcooked liver has a shoe leather texture.
If you are a fan of the pâté route (I am using all the fancy letters today!), then I have two options for you:
Note that there a few things you can do if you want the liver to taste less liver-y. First, the type of liver matters. Beef liver will have the strongest flavor while pork and lamb will be more mild. Second, overcooking it will bring out more liver taste – so watch those temps! Third, bacon and cream can cover a multitude of sins.
- 1 lb TF Beef, Lamb or Pork Liver
- 1 lb TF Bacon ends work great
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 cup Heavy cream, milk or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp Lemon juice optional
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper optional
- Cook the bacon in a cast iron skill until just beginning to turn translucent. Don't drain.
- Remove bacon from skillet and add liver (if there is any white connective tissue on the liver, cut it off). Cook the liver in the bacon fat until just beginning to brown. This will only take 2-3 minutes. Note: The more “rare” the liver is cooked the less livery it will taste.
Add bacon and liver to the blender or food processor. Salt generously and optionally add a dash of cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Pulse until combined.
At this point if you want a creamier texture you can add ½ cup cream or milk – adding more or less depending on the thickness you prefer – if you want the texture smoother/creamier then add more. Can also add coconut oil instead of, or in addition to, the cream/milk.
- Serve on crackers or any other pâté vehicle of your choice!
- The easiest: just get a spoon and eat it right out of the package!
- You can eat braunschweiger directly as a spread on a cracker or toast, this seems to be the way most people have done it, but my favorite way is to fry it.
- Simply slice a piece of our braunschweiger off and then fry it in lard and once crispy, remove from pan and then fry a couple eggs in the deliciousness left behind, essentially deglazing the pan with your eggs. So good. Note that it will be a bit crumbly and so some care is needed when flipping it over in the frying pan, but our braunschweiger contains bacon so that's the reason this works pretty great and I am baffled as to why more people don't do this....my young daughters even love it this way and request it!!! 🙂
- Lastly, you could make our braunschweiger-based pâté recipe.
Instead of starting with liver, because honestly most recipes that contain the words “food processor” seem like too much work to me, consider starting with our braunschweiger! Here you have three, actually four, options.
First, you can eat braunschweiger as a spread on a cracker or toast, this seems to be the way most people have grown up doing it, but my favorite way is to fry it! In lard!
Simply slice a piece of our braunschweiger off and then fry it in lard and once crispy, remove from pan and then fry a couple eggs in the deliciousness left behind, essentially deglazing the pan with your eggs. So good. Note that it will be a bit crumbly and so some care is needed when flipping it over in the frying pan, but our braunschweiger contains bacon so that’s the reason this works pretty great and I am baffled as to why more people don’t do this….my young daughters even love it this way and request it!!! 🙂
Or, you could make a braunschweiger-based pâté. No food processor needed and no touching raw liver – which I know from my freezer meal workshops some people like to avoid touching raw meat of any kind really.
- 8 oz TF Beef or Pork Braunschweiger
- 8 oz Cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp Onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
- Chill and serve on crackers or your other favorite pâté-carrying food.
- Optional: Pâté Ball! Going to a party? Roll into one big ball, chill for at least an hour and then roll in parsley flakes, chives, bacon bits....wherever your imagination (and pantry) take you! Pâté Bites! Roll into bite-sized balls, chill and then roll in bacon bits, nuts, whatever you like best and enjoy a satiating fat bomb!
Lastly, there’s a final way and it’s the easiest of all and the one I actually do the most: open package….eat with spoon.
Talk about fast food! Doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
Move over açaí berries there’s a better superfood out there that’s just as convenient and even more nutritious!
How do you love your liver? Let us know in the comments!
Reminder: not only are the foods from our farm nourishing to your health, they are also supporting local communities and functioning environmental systems! win-win-win
Featured Together Farm’s products:
- Beef & Pork Braunschweiger
- Bacon (ends or otherwise)
- Liver: Beef (the strongest flavor profile, Pork & Lamb
Lots of Love! ❤️
Stephanie & The Good Food Crew