Liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. No contest. But most people don't have a taste for it.
First things first, what kind of liver should you buy?
Well, if you LIKE liver, get whatever you already like and incorporate it into your menu often.
If you don't know or doubt that you would like liver, I would recommend starting with rabbit, pork or chicken liver. Ideally, these would be pasture-raised. You can find this at your local farmer's market or check Eat Wild's database for a listing of farmers.
To make sourcing more convenient, you can buy a lot of liver at a time and then freeze it. It thaws just fine!
Last tip - no matter what kind of liver you buy, try soaking it overnight in acidulated water or milk to help leach out some of the strong flavors.
Now, what do you do with it? Check out these recipes for making liver more palatable.
The French were historically an agrarian society and they used the whole animal. So if you want to learn how to cook all the "other bits" of the animal, there are likely some classic, and tasty, French recipes for that. French pates were traditionally made with goose and duck liver, but there are plenty of recipes that use rabbit, pork, beef (not for the faint of heart) or chicken liver.
Here's one of my favorite pate recipes that incorporates bacon to help with the taste.
Honestly, I don't trust the liverwurst or braunschweiger from the store because it's full of nitrates and I'm suspect about the quality of the pork liver, pork meat and pork fat used to make the product.
So, with no special training, I made a batch of my own. It's not an easy process. It's very time-consuming but rewarding and delicious.
I scoured the internet for many recipes and this is the one I landed on. It turned out great. I used pastured ground pork and liver from the farmer's market and leaf lard that I also made from scratch. I also doubled the spices and it wasn't overpowering.
It's do-able, but it was a lot of work. Luckily, it makes a giant batch and freezes well. I served it with thinly sliced apples for "crackers" and lightly toasted hazelnuts. Yuuuum...!
My grandparents had a small homestead when I was a kid. Every year they processed a cow from their farm. That meant they ate the cow "nose to tail" for the most part over the winter and into the summer. I don't know if you've seen a cow's liver, but it's big.
I asked my grandma what her favorite way to cook liver was and she said they used to wrap it with bacon and bake it. She said it was "soooo good."
While I don't have her recipe to share, here's one you can try... You can use chicken liver or any other type. I like rabbit the best - it's generally considered the mildest.
That's right, you can take whole food liver supplements. I know that sounds crazy, but our grandparents and our ancestors knew to eat liver, but most of us have lost a taste for it.
So, a final option, if you can't stomach eating liver ON A REGULAR BASIS (e.g. 2-6 oz 2-3x per week) then you should really add this in as a supplement.
I recommend Ancestral Supplements because they don't add fillers and they source ethically raised, pastured beef liver from New Zealand.
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