Sunday, January 8, 2012

Paleo beef-liver pate (now with bacon!)-- the way to get yer liver on

Liver is one of those "super foods" that you really ought to be eating. Its nutrient-dense quality delivers a punch that few other foods can match.

But it tastes like liver. Yeah, I know.

But just how grossed out are you? I know a lot of people, myself included, who like liverwurst just fine, but actual liver is still a bit, er, livery. If you are one of those folks, the solution may be to make some beef-liver pate. It's like liverwurst without the casing. So, maybe you want to give this a whirl... and, by the way, this recipe is not a burst of originality from me. It is an amalgam of a few that I found in my Google travels. And now, as of 1/16/12, it is modified a bit at the very bottom of this post to incorporate bacon, if you like (and you do).

Paleo beef-liver pate

--1 lb. grassfed beef liver. No, not just "organic." Grassfed. This is the effing liver we are talking about here. It processes all the nastiness of the world. You want your liver-donating cow to have dined solely on grass, not grain-based feed that cows are not supposed to eat. You wouldn't want to eat your alcoholic friend Bob's liver, so why would you eat the liver of a cow that has been poisoning itself on grain? Get grassfed.
--some rosemary
--some thyme
--a shot or two of some bodacious Scotch whisky. And for the love of all that is good and right, please tell me you are using a single-malt. Bonus paleo-drummer points for using one from Islay or Skye.
--at least a 1/2 cup of grassfed butter (Kerrygold is great).
-- some garlic
--a small/medium onion

Fry up the liver and onions in a pan in a little bit of the butter. Make sure the onions are caramelized and the liver fully cooked. Then add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and whisky to the pan. No, I don't know how much garlic, rosemary or thyme to use. Just use some until it feels right. (Hint: everything will feel much closer to right if you pour a little of the whisky for yourself, or, for that matter, for me).

Keep on frying/cooking with the lid off the pan to get rid of a little of the liquid. Maybe 5 minutes or so after you added the garlic, etc. I don't know. I am not a cook.

Put contents of pan (that's everything you've cooked so far) plus the rest of the butter (softened in microwave if you like... it's easier that way) into a food processor and process that baby until it is creamy beautiful. Add more butter to the processing if it seems too dry.

You can store it in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. If you drizzle a little melted butter on it before refrigerating or freezing, it comes out extra-awesome. My liver was a hair less than a pound, so I split it into three containers. Most recommendations that I read say that 1/4 pound of liver a week is a good level of intake, so three or four little containers will get you through about a month. Put one in the fridge and freeze the rest.

Here's a pic of the finished product because Kate (vs. Food) tells me I need more pics on here. Note Philly Cowshare package to prove authenticity of grassfed liver. Yes, it looks like little containers of mushy poop. No, it does not taste that way. Enjoy.

The vaunted "bacon modification":

Instead of cooking everything in a bit of the butter, fry up two slices of bacon for every 1/4 pound of liver. Put them aside and then cook the whole shebang in (some of? all of? your call) the bacon fat instead of butter. Do everything else as in the main recipe. Then crumble the cooked bacon and mix it in with the finished product once you have made the pate. Ooh la la. I suppose you could add the actual bacon *before* the food processor, but then you would not have crunchy bits in the pate, and that would be wrong.


  1. I use it like a dip with vegetables, usually carrots, celery or cucumber. But I have also been known to smear (schmear?) it right onto whatever meat/eggs/vegetable concoction happens to be breakfast.

  2. Thank you, my leftover grass fed liver, bacon and onions is about to become pate!

  3. Just FYI, just because the liver helps neutralize toxins doesn't mean that it stores them.

    "One of the roles of the liver is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons); but the liver does not store toxins. Poisonous compounds that the body cannot neutralize and eliminate are likely to lodge in the fatty tissues and the nervous system. The liver is not a storage organ for toxins but it is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins."

  4. preferred sippin' scotch is Dalwhinnie, but you'd want a heartier libation like Talisker for grass-fed beef liver, wouldn't you? Yes...

    I do believe I'll make this at some point this weekend. And for those who wonder, pate - and steak tartare - is wonderful on Belgian endive leaves. Omnomnomnomnom.

  5. I really enjoy this recipe! I've been using this version: because I'm not always successful with guesstimating "looks right" the first few tries. Only recently did I (finally!) follow the link to see from where her AIP version came - I'm sorry it took me so long to find your blog! Many thanks to you for posting your ongoing thoughts!