I recently saw a recipe online for a liver recipe that I knew I just had to try. It was simple, had a wide variety of flavors that still worked well together, is incredibly healthy, and -most importantly- damn delicious!
Many people turn their noses up at liver as something alien and disgusting to eat, but they are doing themselves a great disservice. Liver, when prepared properly, is fantastic and boasts an astounding nutrient profile. In fact, liver is so potent that it is advised to only eat 1 or 2 small servings per week or else risk overdosing on certain vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in protein to boot! I often refer to liver and eggs as nature’s multivitamins and for good reason. If you regularly consume these two foods, you won’t lack for many other nutrients in your diet.
So with such a strong reason to eat liver, why do so few people actually consume it? It wasn’t actually too long ago in human history that liver, along with other organ meats, were a staple in our regular diet. Our ancestors knew just how important it was to eat these other parts of the animal that are often overlooked nowadays. Over time, most of the organ meats fell out of favor and people mainly began eating only the muscle meat of animals. For the few that have eaten liver, many more say they can’t get past the taste or the texture.
It is true that liver have a taste and texture that is distinct from what we’re used to, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the recipe I will show below will work with the natural flavor of the liver to create a meal that maximizes the good aspects of liver while minimizing the aspects that cause most people to shy away.
Everything’s Better With Bacon
That’s right, sometimes a spoonful of sugar (or in this case, bacon) helps the medicine go down. For this recipe you will need the following:
- 3 slices of bacon
- A handful of sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 of a large onion, loosely diced (doesn’t need to be tiny pieces)
- 1 clove minced garlic (approximately 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 serving calf liver (approximately 3-4 oz)
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until it’s mostly done over medium heat. You should have a thin layer of bacon grease in the skillet at this point.
Keep it in there and add in the mushrooms, onions, and garlic and lower the temperature down to medium low.
Stir the ingredients up occasionally, but otherwise keep the skillet covered. Cook until the onions are soft.
Push everything to the side, raise the heat up to high, and then add the liver to the skillet once it’s had a chance to heat up. I moved the skillet to where the section with the bacon and vegetables were actually off the heater plate so they wouldn’t burn. Add the liver and cook for 45-60 seconds on each side. Salt and pepper both sides as you cook and flip the liver. Also add a dash of salt and pepper to the vegetables/bacon if you so wish. I did.
So this is the main dish, but what are some sides you can add to this marvelous meal? Well, lucky for you, I got you covered.
If you’re trying to boost your protein intake while keeping carbs low, add in a few eggs cooked over easy and a generous helping of broccoli. On the flip side, if you’re working out hard and need a boost of carbs to replenish your glycogen levels, opt for a baked potato with some butter.
Another, less conventional, side, is a hot bowl of homemade bone broth. Bone broth is a great food that helps heal the gut, is good for your joints, and, like liver and eggs, is also chock full of vitamins and minerals.
I found that the liver with its toppings, along with 3 eggs, was more than enough to fill me up.
Our ancestors ate every part of the animal that they could. Not only did their very survival depend on it, but they knew that some of the parts that are less popular nowadays were full of important nutrients that would keep them at their best health. We would do well to take a lesson from their eating practices.
If you’ve never tried liver before, or had bad memories of it, I highly suggest giving this recipe a shot. You very well may find yourself a new favorite dish.