If you were to take a poll in our house of who would like to have liver tonight for dinner, the responses would always be three in favor, two against, and one a nonchalant OK. The two negatives always add a strong “yuck” when the word liver is mentioned.
These are typical reactions to a proposed liver dinner. Most people either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it, especially when it’s smothered in bacon and onions.
Perhaps if people discovered how good liver is for them they would get over their initial rejection of it and come to embrace it as a delicious and potent superfood. Let’s take a quick look at the health benefits of liver.
The Health Benefits Of Liver
Nutritionally, liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods around. It’s like a super multivitamin pill in a delicious, fairly inexpensive wrapper. Beef liver is packed with a mega dose of vitamin A (36,000 IU in 4 ounces) and a series of B vitamins. It has a healthy dose of B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B12, and folate. Liver also contains a significant amount of copper, selenium, phosphorus and iron. Remember that when you consume liver all these vitamins and minerals are present in their natural unprocessed state.
Some Concerns Answered
Some people have voiced concerns over the high levels of vitamin A in liver as there is a potential for toxicity when vitamin A is consumed in high quantities. However, for acute vitamin toxicity to occur, one would have to consume about 500,000 IU at one time. For chronic vitamin A to occur, one would have to consume about 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day for several months.
Consuming a moderate portion of liver once or twice a week would never achieve those levels of vitamin A.
Another possible reason that might cause people to avoid liver is its function as an organ that filters toxins. However, the liver does not store toxins. It removes toxins from the body so they can be excreted.
Make Sure Your Beef Liver Is Grass Fed
Remember if you’re going to eat liver make sure that it’s organic or grass fed. This really makes a difference in taste. And it also means that the liver will be healthier because the cows are healthier. We just found a local supplier who owns a farm in upstate New York. He delivers right to our front door. Finding him was a home run. And get this: the liver was only $6/pound. Can you tell I’m stoked about liver? 😉
US Wellness Meats also has grass-fed beef that is recognized for its exceptional taste, quality, and health benefits, and you can order directly online from their website to have it delivered to your door.
The winter will be arriving shortly. It’s a time when we really have to keep our immune systems in tip top shape. Liver can provide many of the necessary vitamins and minerals we need to do that.
Recipe for Beef Liver with Bacon and Caramelized Onions
Here’s how to make a really delicious beef liver. The trick is to smother it in sweet caramelized onions and crispy bacon.
First, cut the liver into strips and soak them in milk to remove any bitterness. Meanwhile, slice up the onions and set aside. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Drain the strips of bacon on paper towels. Then cut them into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet. Add two tablespoons of butter and the onion slices. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized, about 25 minutes. Make sure to regulate the heat so that the butter remains hot but does not burn. Remove the onions to a dish, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
Now for the liver. Pat the pieces of liver dry and discard the milk. Return the skillet to high heat and add 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan. When the foam from the butter subsides, arrange the liver in the pan.
In order to avoid crowding the pan, I work in two batches. This isn’t a problem as liver cooks very fast. I sauté the liver just enough to brown both sides. First for 3 minutes on one side, regulating the heat again so that the butter remains hot but does not burn. Then on the other side, 2 minutes more until brown. The inside meat should still be pink. Serve topped with onions and bacon.
Tip: If you’re following a low-carb diet, you may choose to eliminate the onions for an even lower carb count.
And that’s it. A tasty, nutrient dense meal in just 30 minutes. Have a happy and healthy week, friends!
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- Add milk to a shallow bowl. Soak liver in the milk for about 20 minutes to remove any bitterness.
- Meanwhile, cook your bacon in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels and cut into ½" chunks. Set aside.
- Reserve 1½ tablespoons of bacon grease and add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the bacon grease in the same skillet. Add onions and cook over a medium heat stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove onions to a dish, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Pat liver dry and discard the milk. Return skillet to high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan. When the butter foam subsides, the butter is hot enough. Arrange the liver int he pan being certain not to crowd the pan. I worked in two batches. Sauté for 3 minutes regulating the heat so that the butter remains hot, but does not burn. Turn liver over and sauté about 2 minutes more. The inside meat should still be pink.
- Serve liver topped with onion and bacon.
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