Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

“Recipes” for Liver: How to Eat Beef Liver (Without Tasting It)

February 9th, 2011 · 65 Comments · Recipes, Super Foods, Upgraded Nutrition

recipes to eat liver

If you’re not ready to look at raw liver, you might want to find something else to read today. Strap on your big girl pants today, folks, it’s time to get that package out of the freezer and feed it to your families!

We’re going to talk about how to prepare and eat beef liver in particular today, simply because that’s what I have experience with. Beyond “liver and onions,” there are plenty of other meals we could call “liver recipes” that won’t get you kicked out of your house (or at least your kitchen) by your families or loved ones. You might recognize some of them:

  • Spaghetti
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Chili
  • Tacos
  • Meatloaf
  • Beef Jerky
My Liver Eating Story

Like many of you, I knew organ meats were supposed to be healthy to eat, and the liver at the farm where we get our grassfed meat was so doggone inexpensive, I was certain it was the one to try. (The heart was inexpensive, too, but I didn’t realize it wouldn’t come “ground”…and that’s another story the size of a soccer ball that I might tell before the post is out!)

I bought a package of beef liver, and there it sat. In my freezer. For months.

Sound familiar?

I finally figured out a few ways to get it out of the freezer and onto the table, and only one of them got the, “Don’t ever do this to us again,” treatment.

If you’re determined to complete this week’s Monday Mission: Try Organ Meats, you’ll find some inspiration here for sure!

Capture the Liver’s Nutrients in Stock

The very first strategy I tried was to use the liver in my first attempt at beef stock. I figured that some of the nutrients from the liver had to get into the stock, which would be better than not eating it at all, right?

I used Kelly’s method and Nourishing Traditions and simply slipped the ubiquitous meat in there (slipped being the operative word – this operation is not for the squeamish). It came out looking a little bit like a very thick rubber shoe insert. I didn’t take a photo because I was rather afraid of the whole process; sorry to deprive you of its loveliness.

I also figured there had to be something left in the liver, too, right? I’m guessing iron probably doesn’t cook out of the meat and into the stock. I used my food chopper to hack the liver into very, very tiny pieces, then froze it in ice cube trays. Whenever I remembered, I’d add a few cubes – only 1-3 at a time! – to any recipe that called for ground meat. It is noticeable sometimes, but not bad.

While I don’t think is the perfect system for eating liver properly, it’s better than giving up and throwing away the frozen package after a year, right?

Why I Don’t Eat Liver Once a Week

image

source: Kevin Walsh

Although many Weston A. Price Foundation sources recommend liver once a week, I don’t stress out about that figure. Considering traditional foods, the way it seems that God created certain things to be eaten, I think we have to keep ratios in mind. There’s ONE liver in each cow. One. A cow typically has over 200 pounds of usable meat. So for every 200 pounds of beef you eat, you should consume one or two pounds of liver. That’s not going to come out to 3 oz. per week for anyone I know. Correction: 200 pounds was the amount of ground beef last time I priced a whole cow. How much meat is in a cow? Maybe it’s more like 400-500. However, as one commenter taught me, the liver itself could be 13 pounds! So perhaps my theory is flawed. Drat. :)

For a person to eat liver one or even two times a week, they’d have to have more than their fair share of the cow. That means someone’s got to go without, and then we’re creating food inequalities and relegating the less healthy eating habits to the poor or uneducated, most likely. I’m okay with getting a little liver in here and there until it averages out to one per cow.

Take Two: Liver and Onions Recipe

In case you haven’t guessed, it was the time I went with the standby of liver and onions that my family revolted. Even my 5-year-old, who would eat practically anything at the time, wasn’t having it. image

source: Edible Aria

I picked an amazing liver recipe that I thought would give the best chance of success. A quick, quick fry, a little bacon, caramelized onions, unique herbs…and it was still an 80% fail. Three out of four Kimballs wouldn’t eat more than their “no thank you bite” and I could eat it, almost appreciate it, but not relish it.

The problem with cooking liver, if you want to know, is that when no one eats it, the leftovers get progressively worse every second they’re in the fridge. So even though I liked the liver recipe on day one, I could only tolerate it by day two, and the next time I attempted to finish the leftover, I couldn’t do it anymore.

There are also some liver eating tips in the comments at Monday’s post for those of you who want to try a real liver recipe as a main course. Good luck to ya!

Take Three: Gradual Integration

My most recent eating liver method is probably the one I recommend you try if you’ve got that package staring you down from the deep freeze.

I thawed the liver, but just barely:

DSC00061 (475x356)

Cut it into chunks:

DSC00065 (475x356)

Then did this in a food processor:

DSC00067 (475x356)

Then this:

DSC00056 (475x356)

And into the freezer.

I use 2-4 liver cubes at a time in any recipe that calls for ground beef. The hardest part is remembering to grab it out of the freezer! You can add the frozen cubes without thawing right to the pan where you’re browning ground beef, which helps.

The very best way to hide the flavor completely is something spicy like chili or tacos. I highly recommend starting there. I don’t ever lie about whether there’s liver in a meal, by the way, because I don’t like being sneaky about food…but I don’t exactly shout it from the rooftops if no one asks. My husband would rather not know most of the time, so this arrangement works out well.

Be sure to start with small amounts until you learn your family’s flavor threshold. I recently added quite a bit of liver to my beef jerky, and although my husband likes it, it turns me off just a little (may be the over-sensitive pregnancy tastebuds working there). Jill of The Diaper Diaries tried a piece on the ride to Blissdom, and she wasn’t having any of it. I tried not to be offended when she spit it out and said, “Oh, no. No way.” Smile

It’s Okay to Cheat: Capsules

liver capsules (1) (475x356)

I recently got the opportunity to test a product that makes the whole eating liver thing much easier to swallow, literally. Dr. Ron’s makes a really well-sourced “Organ Delight” capsule, and “The tissues we use are taken only from grassfed, inspected animals, raised without the use of pesticides, hormones or antibiotics in New Zealand – where mad cow disease has never occurred.”image

Six capsules equals about an ounce of organ meats, so a daily supplement of 3 pills would easily get you 3 ounces a week. Organ meats are especially important foods for fertility and during pregnancy, so I feel like even traditional cultures might have saved a greater percentage of that one liver per cow for those of child-bearing age.

Tweeting about the first time I took “organ delight“, a blend of heart, liver, thymus, brain, kidney, spleen, pancreas, and adrenals was hilarious. I got some interesting questions! Click here to view all Dr. Ron’s offerings.

Does the Source Matter?

Most sources I read recommend sticking with organic, grassfed liver for a variety of reasons. Although it may be a myth that hormones/antibiotics/chemicals/toxins build up in the liver of animals – many say they only build up in the fat – it still seems safest to find a well-sourced farm for your liver purchases.

Here’s one source on liver and another that recommends organic calves’ livers only, because their short lifespan would make them less likely to have buildup of toxins. That second link is a good read about how to make sure your liver is fresh.

Here’s 10 Questions to Ask Your Farmer to help you find a good source of meat in your local area. If you’re in a dead zone for local foods, there’s always ordering online, either actual liver or the capsules from Dr. Ron’s, or also desiccated liver powder, which I just received yesterday, from Radiant Life. I’ll let you know how that goes in a few weeks with a spotlight on their products!

A Note on Raw

Many people also recommend cutting raw, frozen liver into capsule sized pieces and popping them like pills. Well. If you’re going to try it, apparently you have to freeze the liver at least 14 days to kill bacteria. I have no idea how that works. Please don’t sue me for sharing that. Smile You know what the government would say in an asterisk about consuming raw meat.

What About Other Organ Meats?

I realized I didn’t list many options in the Monday Mission but got hung up on the health benefits of liver. You can visit that post for the update listing other options, including beef heart, which is in my opinion the best place to start if you’re afraid of strong flavors.

I tried a pound of beef heart from a local butcher, but it seemed a little pricey. I was so excited when I saw $1-something a pound at our farm, but boy, was I surprised when my friend pulled the whole heart out of the bag when she delivered to my house! Gah! That sat in the freezer for a while, intimidating me, let me tell you!

Ultimately I just strapped on the big girl pants, thawed it, cut it into small pieces and food processed it exactly like the liver above. Heart has a much, much milder flavor than liver. It’s a lot like ground beef, but I would classify it as “sweeter.” Whereas I’d only add 2-4 cubes of liver to any dish, it’s pretty easy to add up to a quarter pound of heart to a pound of ground beef, even in grilled hamburgers.

How do you like to eat your liver?

[interactive_links]

For even more, Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a really good post in her archives on the health benefits of liver, along with some tips on how to prepare it from experts (Kelly herself is kind of in my boat!).

Other Resources:

———————————————

I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Amazon and Dr. Ron’s, which means I will receive a percentage of any sales made through these links. It doesn’t cost you any more to start here, so it’s win-win! Thanks! Dr. Ron’s and Radiant Life sent samples free of charge for my review. See my full disclosure statement here.

I’m part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop this week.

Tags: ·····

65 Comments so far ↓

  • Terri

    Katie, I did the same thing to my family just last week: I finally pulled out the package of chicken livers and made liver and onions. The taste was fine, actually–even good–but the texture was something I couldn’t handle. My husband gallantly finished his portion, but the kids just ate a bite. Me? I muscled down about 3 bites :(

    I did chop up the leftovers finely and have been mixing them into ground beef. Are beef livers better for you than chicken? I know that chicken livers are supposed to be MUCH milder in flavor.

    Congratulations on #3, by the way! I just had my third in September, and it has been so wonderful! We are loving every minute of our baby’s sweetness!

    [Reply to this comment]

    pat Reply:

    You might add some nuts or something crunchy to it so that you get another texture sensation. Or add mushrooms, portebello, shitaki, or reishi (which i hear is medicinal), or mitaki. Mushrooms have similar texture and if you think you are eating mushrooms, you might fool your mouth.

    [Reply to this comment]

    pat Reply:

    You might add some nuts or something crunchy to it so that you get another texture sensation. Or add mushrooms, portebello, shitaki, or reishi (which i hear is medicinal), or mitaki. Mushrooms have similar texture and if you think you are eating mushrooms, you might fool your mouth.

    You might want to note that freezing liver might kill some some of the nutrients, like b6 and vitamin c. (but so does cooking).

    It is also helpful to soak liver in lemon juice to reduce any toxins. i think my friend said to soak it for 24 hours.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jackie @ Crest Cottage

    Good note on the beef heart flavor. It sounds so much more intimidating than liver, since we have all heard about “liver and onions” and whatnot. Heart is even less mainstream. You just gave me the courage to try it out!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jen @ Oh no! I really do need to eat my vegetables!

    I need to update my post about liverwurst – but that is our favorite way to eat beef liver. I still notice it, but when liverwurst is in a sandwich topped with good raw cheese -then I’m just eating yummy sausage :) Soaking the liver in lemon juice helps a lot too.

    Other types of liver are much milder – I mush up the chicken organs and just mix them in with the rest all the time – no-one notices too much. Meanwhile – my 18mo loves raw liver :)

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Dani

    I think I might be brave enough to try the heart or liver in a ground beef recipe… probably in taco meat, sloppy joes or chili as you suggested. My kids are still young enough where they don’t have any negative feelings about liver… In fact if their daddy eats it chances are they will too. They ALL eat sushi *shiver* and prefer plain raw fish over cooked.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • vanessa

    I don’t know what the big deal is about liver – I’ve had both chicken and beef, and I found both quite delicious! Both were prepared fairly simply. No weird taste at all; tasted just like their non-organ counterparts to me. And you’re talking to a former longtime vegan here! Maybe I just got some really good liver???

    [Reply to this comment]

    Andrew Reply:

    I agree with you. I linked to this site from google while looking for a new recipe to cook my liver, I usually just use a steak or chicken rub and a few spices on beef liver and it’s delicious! I was quite surprised to read this article about how hard it was to make tasty. Not everyone has the same taste buds as us I guess. haha.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shannon

    I did a post at ND on 5 tips for cooking liver that actually help us eat it: http://www.nourishingdays.com/2010/06/four-tips-for-cooking-liver-that-had-my-husband-going-back-for-seconds/

    Our favorite way to eat liver is the chicken liver with gravy over mashed potatoes recipe in my winter cookbook. It’s actually pretty yummy.

    One reason that we try to eat liver and other organ meats a little more often is because I bet you, me, and everyone else reading this is nutritionally recovering from the SAD diet and has not eaten nutrient-dense foods like liver, seafood, grass-fed dairy, and cod liver oil their whole lives. Instead we are all deficient in those fat-soluble vitamins and minerals that our bodies need so bad.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shannon,
    Now that’s a very good point, to eat more to make up for lost time, so to speak. I’ll have to check out your post, although sadly, I’m not even sure our farm includes the chicken livers when I buy a whole chicken. That hardly seems fair… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Andrew

    At this stage, I don’t think equality has to be in the mind’s eye. Nobody wants to eat the stuff. That’s why the price is so low. Every time I mention eating liver people freak. The inequality is that only those who are well educated understand the value of liver! For equality sake, eat more liver! Make it more popular. Drive the price up. And let everyone know its healthy and not that darn bad.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • LuAnn

    Yeah, in my family, I’d be opting for #3 and hiding some in the ground beef while DH is on the computer. *lol*

    [Reply to this comment]

  • WashingtonPharmGirl

    I have never been a fan of beef liver. I do love me some venison liver and onions. I don’t know what the difference is. I just like the tang, I guess.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kelly

    Love the stories! :) I was an odd kid, I loved brussels sprouts and liver and onions, but then again, we raised our own cows; just a few in the little back pasture we had. I’m sure the flavor was pretty mild though I do remember it. I tried chicken livers fried up with poblanos recently and did the soak in milk overnight thing first to make the flavor more mild. They were pretty good, had that liver flavor I remember. I did add in some thigh meat pieces too just in case we had a revolt. I heard no complaints, but it wasn’t a clean your plate night either! I’ll probably add them to chili next time like you suggest. My mum prefers heart to liver. Don’t see those as often though.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Rachel Wisdom

    I find it kind of interesting that liver should come up on your blog right now. See I just ground up my (quarter) beef liver a few weeks ago with the intention of hiding it in ground beef recipes. And it sits in my freezer in little blobs (flash frozen like drop cookies). I didn’t realize that wretched process was going to make me so grossed out, because I’m not usually very squeamish. But it did. The first thing I tried was chili, thinking those flavors would cover up any liver flavor. But I could taste it. Maybe it was too soon after I processed it and I was imagining that irony taste? Last night I tried it in meatballs and served it with a red wine demi-glace and it worked! I think the red wine covers up the liver taste pretty well, because the ratio of liver was higher in the meatballs than the chili.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jill

    When I was growing up my mom would use the hand grinder and grind the liver, mix it with sausage and make patties out of it. Those weren’t too bad if you used ketchup. I found some organic liver and being too lazy to dig out that metal grinder I threw the liver in my food processor. I processed a bit too long. My one daughter saw it and ran out of the room with her hand over her mouth. Stubborn I am, as I continued on acting like the smell and look of it was nothing at all. I made a mix of the liver, some organic sausage and some organic ground beef. I threw in an egg, some oatmeal and spices and made a meatloaf. The baby, actually he was almost 2 at the time couldn’t stop eating it, the others all ate it, liked it, but all claimed to have a mental problem with it and would work on getting over it. So, next batch will be meatloaf, with some good sausage to cover the taste somewhat. One more thing, for beef heart, my father would disguise it in a large pot of chili. He would cut it in small cubes and brown it along with cubes of beef and throw them both in the pot of chili. It all blended right in and made it palatable.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stuart Carter

    I have been eating liver in the form of pate since I was a kid. If you kick up the garlic and add a hint of hot pepper it becomes an amazing treat served on slices of freshly baked bread!

    http://www.addictedtocanning.com/wiki/moin.cgi/Pate_(calf_liver_pate)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Linda

    DH and I have been eating beef liver now that I have gotten used to it again. That’s fine because DS is away at school. There is no way I can have it for dinner when he’s home. He is suspicious of everything I make as it is. I’m like you Katy, that I don’t like to lie to him about what is in the food. One time last year I did cook up a little of it with ground meat for a spaghetti sauce. He didn’t know and ate it right up. That is what I will have to do when he is home, but if he asks, I’ll have to leave out the part about the liver.

    I agree with the comment below about not everyone eating liver so we should go ahead and eat it more often. After all, don’t want it to go to waste! I just don’t want to drive the price up. Meat is expensive enough!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jake Paris Reply:

    Actually Linda, meat is really cheap! Amazingly cheap, in my opinion; and as a vegetarian, I’m always amazed how expensive seafood & veggies are.

    Unless of course we’re talking locally, naturally raised, grass fed, blah, blah, meat, which most people aren’t. Mass produced meat is way too cheap for anyone’s ultimate good.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Linda Reply:

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about – local, naturally raised, grassfed meat.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Esther N

    Beef heart and tongue are delicious! The only way I ever had them is just cook them for a while (would have to ask Mom how long) then cool completely. Then you just slice it thin and put in a piece of bread with mayonaise, cheese, and salt. The tongue is the best if you don’t think about where it all was:)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah W

    Have you ever heard of the blog Offal Good? He’s got a great video on how to butcher a beef heart. http://www.offalgood.com/videos/how-to-butcher-a-beef-heart
    Once I saw someone else handling the heart just like it was any other piece of meat, it made me much less squeamish about it and I could look it at as just lean muscle meat. Now the tongue is supposed to be “just a muscle” too, but I haven’t tried that one yet and I have two in my freezer!
    (BTW, I was not nearly as adept as Chris in the video at butchering the heart. I had a lot of scraps which I gave to the neighbors to give their dogs.)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stuart Carter Reply:

    nice link, thank you!

    Tongue is good when done properly. Our local tacqueria has a *divine* tongue taco – moist, juicy, and very delicately seasoned.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I can’t do it while pregnant! I just can’t. I did okay with it in a beef soup and tacos before I got pregnant but now I just can’t.

    I do intend to make some capsules though.

    You may have given me the push I needed to try heart, though. We just bought a whole cow so I have both liver and heart in the freezer!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Julie

    I am surprised to see you mentioning liver pills – since it isn’t “real food” it doesn’t seem to fit with the general ethos of your blog.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Julie,
    Just because it’s crammed into a capsule doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not real food. I can blend up apples and cinnamon and then dehydrate them, and they look very little like apples, but it’s still apples. In that capsule is liver and only liver, so I’m cool with that. Sometimes you can’t or don’t want to get all the kinds of “real” food recommended. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)

    Thanks for the tips on how cheap heart is! I might try that next time we’re at the farmer’s market now that I know how to prepare it!!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Suzy

    Great point about 1 liver per cow. However, I just got the organs from a cow, and the liver weighed 13 pounds! Then you’ve got the heart, kidneys, tongue, and I’m sure other delicacies to finish up while you’re working on that 200 or so pounds. So maybe that would mean a bit every week–sorry! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Oh. Um. I didn’t realize the whole thing was so huge! I do think I was way off on that 200 pounds thought – my memory failed me – I’m pretty sure that’s the amount of ground beef in a whole cow, so there are lots of other cuts making up 100-200 more pounds. Still, perhaps my theory is flawed after all! Drat. Thanks for showing me the light! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • christina

    I pureed it with onion and garlic then mixed that with egg and breadcrumbs and fried it in coconut oil. Pretty good and very kid friendly!
    http://thatstuffyoumade.com/?p=234

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Earth Angel Mumma

    This link might interest you :)
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/organ-meats/

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Wow, that’s a great breakdown, and with so many lovely photos! Phew, I have a long way to go. ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Ren

    So sorry to hear that your kids didn’t like my liver recipe :-(

    Have you tried using ground beef heart in (partial) place of ground beef? Excellent flavor, densely nutritious; try it in chili or beefy mac-n-cheese!

    Cheers,

    Ren

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Ren,
    Yes, I do use ground heart as often as I can remember to get it out of the freezer! I liked your recipe quite a bit! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Laurel

    About the opinion that we shouldn’t eat liver once a week because there’s only one liver per cow: The North American aboriginals solved this problem, according to Weston Price, by feeding the muscle meat to the dogs while the humans ate the more nutrient-dense organ meat. Perhaps this was traditional in other cultures as well.

    I also don’t think we are depriving the poor and uneducated by eating liver once a week. I think the rich and “educated” are more likely to turn their noses up at liver. I’ll bet the majority of liver eaters in the world are “poor and uneducated.”

    About liver capsules: I believe they are “defatted” (my Solgar dessicated liver tablets are) which means you are getting lots of great B vitamins and minerals but not the fat soluble A and D vitamins that you get in whole liver.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Laurel,
    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’ll have to look into the liver capsules – but I think that Dr. Ron’s is really on top of WAPF philosophy and would keep the fat in there. I’ll check! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Joanna

    I’m wondering a bit about the safety of partially thawing and refreezing the liver…I thought that you weren’t supposed to thaw and refreeze meat without cooking it first. Is anyone else concerned about this or should I just get over it? :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Joanna,
    I know, that does seem to be the rule everywhere. I’m hoping it’s just a bit overprotective of the US Government. There’s almost no way to avoid eating frozen and thawed meat if you shop at a grocery store, since it seems much of their refrigerated chicken, for example, is shipped frozen. They thaw it for you, so if you want to buy in bulk and freeze, you don’t even realize you’ve “re” frozen! Anyway…I’m just hoping it’s okay! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jac Reply:

    Although not recommended, it’s totally fine, so long as you cook it properly.
    On the other hand, the suggestion that freezing liver for 14 days will kill the bugs is laughable. We regularly grow bacteria from frozen food samples – they’re just hibernating in there. Not that it would stop me eating anything raw… so long as the animal was healthy, the bacterial assault should be no bother to a healthy person (with the exception of pregnant, elderly, very young).

    [Reply to this comment]

  • enas ghaly

    Actually I love to eat liver.
    I usually take it out of the freezer, thaw it, cut it to medium chunks
    Chop onions in food processor, add salt and pepper and put them on top of the liver from the morning until afternoon( I have to go to work)
    Take out however much you would like to eat at one time and fry in a pan with real butter on slow to cook it through and eat as fast as you can handle it, perfect while it is hot, I even go through the butter as quickly as I can handle the pot after the fry, and it still full of all the liver vitamins and iron.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • triplel

    I am incredulous that nobody is making pate, what’s up people–it’s delicious! My children beg for it. Though I must say I like pork liver pates the best.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lisa

    haha! I thought I was ready to try, but I think I’m like Jill. “Oh, no. No way” sounds about right. Maybe the capsules. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Melissa

    Excellent timing of this post. I just made beef liver for the first time last night. I made it according to the recipe for Liver Stir Fry in Sally’s Eat Fat, Lose Fat book. It was actually good. We were scared but then pleasantly suprised. However, I still have liver left over. It was good to see how you use it. I think I’ll try the frozen cubes thing.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kim

    I did just recently use the organ meats that come with my chicken for the broth–then threw them out. I haven’t tasted that batch of broth yet, though.

    If we’re taking fermented cod liver oil do you think it’s still essential to eat the organ meats? I’m queasy just reading your blog. A mental thing, I’m sure.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kim,
    Oh, yeah. Definitely essential. Double for you, just because. ;)

    I’m kidding. That’s a really good question, but I think the organ meats still have something on the oil only, especially iron and B Vitamins (in beef livers at least). Nom. ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kim

    So do I understand you correctly that when you’ve put the liver into spaghetti or chili, that the leftovers do not taste good? Because those are the only leftovers I can get my family to actually eat!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kim,
    Luckily for your family, I only meant that the leftovers of liver and onions straight up were just awful. Part of that is a texture thing – a big part! – so with it all ground up it’s no big deal. Start small in highly seasoned things. You can do it!!! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Melody Joy

    Soooo grateful for this post. While I was pregnant we tried a liver and onions recipe and it was definitely a no-go. Our dairy farmer actually GAVE us 2 livers from his grass-fed cattle and the other liver is still “staring me down from the deep freeze.” I was just thinking about it this week when my husband actually brought up eating organ meats. So….perfect timing! I will have to give those liver-cubes a try, we like to do taco night pretty regularly, so it’s the perfect opportunity!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Recipe (kinda): Chicken Livers and Onions

    [...] then, just the other day, I ran across this post at Kitchen Stewardship on how to eat liver without tasting it. LOL! But it reminded me that I [...]

  • Chickiepea

    Bookmarking this for later when I can really soak it all in. Just found your site and am loving it! <3

    [Reply to this comment]

  • MrsH

    What about liverwurst? My kids LOVE when I get it for them (from what I think is a reputable source, but not as good as our local farm!). Is that something that can be made at home? It’s so intimidating!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Mrs H,
    I’m positive it can be made, but I’ve never done it. I’d Google for a recipe and look for real food bloggers! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sharon

    Growing up, my Mom made “meat sticks” which one day we found out was actually liver! I still love it to this day, but only eat it using her recipe. And yes, making it yourself is a bit unappealing as it’s slimy and just kinda gross to see uncooked.

    Here’s the recipe I use:

    Cook 4 pieces of bacon in a frying pan. After removing bacon, leave grease in pan. Slice liver into short, small strips (1/2 inch wide x 2-3 inches long). It’s easier to cut if it’s still partially frozen.

    In another dish, combine 1/4 C flour, 1 tsp salt, dash of pepper.

    Coat liver sticks with flour mixture. Put liver strips in skillet (which still contains bacon grease). Cook 4 minutes on each side.

    Serve with bacon (torn into small pieces).

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie

    I’ve never had beef liver, but will be getting some in a couple of months, and I’m quite excited to try all the organ meats. I’m a huge fan of chicken liver, and most of the people I know either hate both or like both – so I’m hoping I’ll be a fan of the beef, as well! If not, I guess I’ll be mixing it into other dishes as well :)

    I’m lucky to have grown up eating chicken organ meats, so the idea doesn’t bother me at all – which I know is half the battle for a lot of people.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • jessica

    I don’t know what the problem is, I love liver and have since I was a child. Taste and Texture; it is my favorite food.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Justine

    I found your website recently when I bought 1/4 cow and didn’t know what to do with the liver. Thanks for the facts on how healthy it is, and the motivation to eat it! I successfully snuck a “cube” of ground liver into this recipe yesterday: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2010/03/taco-pasta.html. My husband didn’t notice with so many other flavors going on, and while I was suspicious of every bite, none of them tasted weird!
    Also, to someone’s comment about refreezing meat: I pureed and then browned the liver and stored it already cooked in the ice cube tray. As far as I could tell, it worked fine when I used it yesterday!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Justine,

    Way to go! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sherry

    I don’t like liver, so when we had our own half of a cow butchered. I decided to try cutting the liver into little strips, dipping in batter and frying it. It went over well. All three kids liked it and even I enjoyed it. My husband already liked liver, so he was happy just to get some.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Eleanor

    My husband LOVES liver and onions. He has even ordered it at restuarants before… but he also grew up on things like oxtail. Just a different culture than my plain “white” american family.

    I am glad to see this post though because it will be so helpful! I can now cook him his 1 portion of liver and onions and i can use the rest to sneak into other foods! YAY

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kathleen

    Great idea to puree and freeze, then use in small quantities. Think I’m going to try that…I’ve got several packages of liver, heart and tongue “staring me down” in the freezer. When you buy a whole cow, you really get the whole cow! Yikes! Thanks for the tips.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lori

    We need to teach our husbands not to ask “what’s in this” or “what did you do differently” in front of the whole family – that’s a topic for after dinner between the two of us! I’ve kicked my hubby under the table more than once!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Pam

    Ok so I can usually only stomach a bite or two of liver. When our family bought a 1/4 steer, the lady from the meat market that was processing the steer asked if I wanted the liver. I figured if we don’t like it I’ll give it to my mom ;). All the recipes that I looked at suggested I soak the liver in milk overnight so, I did. My husband has never tried liver, his suggestion is the s ame as he proposes for everything, ” grill it” So I figured I would try it. I grilled it with montreal steak seasoning, real salt and garlic powder. It sure did look great after taking it off the grill with those lovely grill marks. I then made a za’atar brocolli slaw with balsamic vinegar, mayo, stevia, salt, pepper and toasted sesame seeds. I toasted some bread, placed some liver on it, covered the liver with the brocolli slaw and started eating my liver sandwich. Ot surprised me that I actually liked it.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Oh my goodness, that’s awesome Pam! Good husband advice! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sheila Wyatt

    About 25 years ago, I took a package of calf liver, soaked it in milk, cut it into 1 inch chunks and dredged it in flour with salt and pepper and a package of Chili-O seasoning mix. With a couple tablespoons of butter melting in the frying pan I browned the liver on both sides leaving the middle a tad pink as liver that is brown all the way through is over cooked and tough. The way I got my 5 year old to eat it? I told him it was rattlesnake meat and all the cowboys ate rattlesnake meat. When he complained about he peculiar taste, I asked him what he expected a rattlesnake to taste like. And, a least for a little while, I had a 5 year old who consumed liver.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Terrence

    I got an easy way to mask the flavor. I pour a can of Amy’s canned organic vegetarian soup into a bowl and add boiled chopped bits of liver. Then for a carb, I add a couple tablespoons of cooked pastina (tiny pasta). I use the french style soup or the southwestern soup which has an abundance of flavor to mask the liver taste. Also never add salt, it will only enhance the liver flavor.

    [Reply to this comment]

Leave a Comment

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

PTE350
Squooshi reusable food pouches