THIS recipe. I made multiple batches of liver pâté to hone my recipe, and I am very pleased with this final result. Liver pâté is simple to make, but difficult to make taste good. The balance of flavours is essential. My version includes herbs, spices, vinegar, AND brandy. I often recommend my patients incorporate liver pâté into their diet because it is one of THE most nutrient dense foods available, and a great source of iron, B12, and other vitamins.
½ chopped onion
1 T. chopped rosemary
1 T. chopped thyme
½ tsp sea salt
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. brandy
½ tsp. allspice
250g pasture-fed good quality beef liver, cut into approximately 1.5” cubes
Melt butter in a frying pan. Add chopped onion, rosemary, thyme, and salt, and slowly cook over low heat until onions caramelize slightly and become sweet. When almost finished add red wine vinegar, brandy, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes until garlic is soft. Using a slotted spoon lift onion and garlic from the pan into a food processor, leaving the liquid behind.
Add allspice and cubes of beef liver to pan and fry on medium heat until cooked through. Let cool. Pour liver and juices into food processor. Blend blend blend until smooth.
Scoop mixture into mason jar or small bowl. Refrigerate to harden (about 3-4 hours or more).
Serve with your preferred crackers, toast, or as part of a charcuterie appetizer board with olives, tapenade, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, and/or cured meats. I also like it thinly sliced on a spinach salad.
Use good quality liver. To get the most nutrient dense pâté possible, you want to get the most nutrient dense liver possible, and this requires a happy animal that ate a good diet. Source your meats from a local butcher or other good quality grocer. Buying ethically sourced meats is a choice that is good for the health of the animal, the health of the environment, and good for your health too.
The garlic and onion are not essential – these can be simply removed from the recipe to accommodate a low-FODMAP diet or if you are sensitive to these foods. If you are dairy free you can replace the butter with coconut oil. The herbs and spices however, are NOT optional!! The allspice is key. It brings the flavours together and counteracts the really liver-y taste of liver.
I’ve heard it said that liver is not good for you because it stores toxins. Liver is your detox organ, certainly, however the liver is constantly processing these toxins for removal, rather than storing them. Adipose tissue (aka fat) is actually one of the main areas your body stores toxins. Here is a great article that summarizes some of the available research about this topic.
Liver is a very nutrient dense food. It contains large amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, B12 and the other B vitamins, as well as D, E, and K, and an assortment of essential minerals. While conscientious nutrient supplementation can be profoundly beneficial, good quality food is overall superior in quantity, diversity, and absorption of the many necessary vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals. If you are iron deficient eating liver is one of the best ways to rebuild your stores because the iron is readily absorbable and doesn’t cause the digestive upset that many iron supplements can. Here is an analysis of the overall nutritional breakdown of liver. And check out this nerdy awesome person on the internet who found that it would required 5 lbs of fruit intake to get the equivalent amount of nutrients as found in 4 oz of liver (slightly more than a deck of cards).
Be adventurous! Try it! And let me know how it goes - I love to hear the results of your efforts.