Liver? Enjoy? Do those words belong in the same sentence?
Yes, yes they can, should and do go together.
My early memories of eating liver saw it dredged in flour with paprika, salt and pepper. My mom would fry up some bacon in our cast iron skillet first. Once the bacon was cooked, it was put on a paper towel covered plate then into the oven to stay warm. The sliced onions went into the bacon grease to carmelize. Onions out, plated with the bacon to keep warm and the pieces of coated liver in. Back then, I didn’t care for the smell of cooking onions, so I was scarce in the kitchen but I recall being slightly horrified at the smells.
I remember being told it was good for me. The texture and flavour did not strike the chords of my young palate but I ate it nonetheless. Does that make me an obliger?
A lot of time and life was spent eating less than ideal foods. Stupid amounts of chocolate cereals with chocolate milk poured on them. Daily trips to the bakery when I was in junior high school to buy cannolis and other pastries. Fast forward to now. The quest to eat food rich in nutrients, respecting my wallet, supporting local economy when I can, all compete for the forefront of my decision making process.
Quality organ meats can be hard to come by. My solution? I bought a quarter of a steer. Again, my thoughts went, “what have I done? A quarter of a steer? That is a LOT of meat. Will my freezer hold it all?” Sometimes I do crazy stuff. I got really excited as the day approached to get my delivery. Thankfully, I had a back-up freezer. my parents conveniently decided to buy a new upright freezer. Needless to say, it is chockablock full with the beef I couldn’t store at my place.
Which quarter did I get? My meat-dealer did a combination where she mixed up the front and hind cuts so I got both in my order. I let her know that I was willing to take the liver, heart, kidneys, tongue and bones if no one else was interested in them. Guess who hit the offal jackpot? Yep! This gal. I honestly am pretty excited to have these pieces in my possession.
I’m here to tell you beef liver is huge. I figured it would be, but I was surprised at how many packages I got in my order. Thankfully, it was packaged into one pound parcels for me. My tastebuds flashed back to the texture of pan fried liver and are voiced their concern about consuming this without disrespecting the animal (insert gagging and retching noises here).
There are a few extra steps involved in making these, but the end result is totally worth the effort and ooky mess of liver purée in your food processor. You need to have some mashed cauliflower handy too. Again, worth the effort to shoehorn some veg in an unlikely location. Since I do not use breadcrumbs, the mashed cauliflower prevents these from being heavy and dry.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound beef liver
- 1 cup mashed cauliflower
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1/2 small white onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon dried mushroom powder (I pulse mine in the food processor or blender)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Pulse the liver in your food processor using the S-blade. It will get quite liquidy and that is ok. You want to make sure all the liver is broken down to help with the camouflage maneuver you are about to execute.
In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, liver purée, cauliflower mash, dried mushroom powder, onion, garlic, parsley, coconut flour, salt and pepper. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I usually make mine about 1 1/2 – 2” in diameter raw. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway point.
I freeze leftovers individually on a cooky sheet then put them all together in a freezer ziploc bag. This way, I can pull out as many as I need at a time.