Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beef Liver and Mushroom Paté (nutrient-dense : grain-free : gluten-free)

Liver is a true superfood, providing abundant iron, vitamin A, all of the B vitamins (including folic acid), CoQ10, and trace elements such as copper, chromium, and zinc. Yet, when liver is unadorned, many people find its flavor to be overpowering and unpleasant. Beef liver is especially strong-flavored, but this nutritional powerhouse can still be a welcome addition to our diets with the right preparation techniques. A great example is this recipe for Beef Liver and Mushroom Paté.

I start by soaking the beef liver in kefir overnight. This mellows its flavor considerably.  Then I combine it with some great flavor additions in the form of grassfed butter, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. I also lighten the liver flavor by including ground beef in the recipe. The results are a delicious paté that can be enjoyed by many.

Beef Liver and Mushroom Paté
  • 3/4 lb grassfed beef liver, sliced
  • ~3/4 cup whole milk kefir or buttermilk, just enough to cover the beef liver
  • one large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, preferably grassfed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1&3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
  • 2 Tb heavy cream
  • 2 Tb sour cream
  • Equipment needed: large, heavy-bottomed skillet and food processor
The day before you will make the pate:
  1. Carefully trim any membrane from the beef liver. 
  2. Place the liver in a glass container with a lid and add enough milk kefir or buttermilk to cover the liver. Stir as needed to ensure that all of the liver is in contact with the kefir/buttermilk. 
  3. Put a lid on the container and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
The following day:
  1. Melt 2 Tb butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and a tiny sprinkle of celtic sea salt.  Saute the onion for ~5-10 minutes, stirring as needed but not too often. Let the onion get a bit of browned color, which indicates that it is caramelizing and releasing its natural sweetness. In the meantime, slice the mushrooms.
  2. Add 2 Tb butter to the skillet, and then add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little salt and saute the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes, until they have released their moisture and cooked down a bit.
  3. Crumble the ground beef into the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook ~5 minutes until it is mostly browned.  
  4. Add the remaining 4 Tb butter to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the liver to the skillet and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring and flipping the liver slices occasionally. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. The liver should be browned on the outside with a slight hint of pink remaining inside.
  5. Turn off heat and allow to cool for ~ 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the meat and veggie mixture into a food processor. Add the heavy cream and sour cream. (I have a 7-cup food processor. If you have a smaller food processor, you may need to process half of the mixture at a time with half of the heavy cream and sour cream.) Pulse the mixture a few times and then turn the processor on until all lumps are gone and everything is thoroughly mixed.
  7. Scoop the paté into a storage container and refrigerate several hours.  I also like to freeze some of the paté for later use.
  8. This paté is excellent when served as a dip for veggie sticks, or spread on bread or crackers with a little mayonnaise. I love to top it with coleslaw and fresh tomatoes for a superb meal. Fermented bread and butter pickles also complement the flavor of this pate nicely.

 

Does your family eat liver? What is your favorite way to eat this superfood?



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