As far as I am concerned liver is a superfood. Not a sexy one that the ancient tribes in a distant isolated region in some exotic country lived off for thousands of years but it is most definitely a nutrient dense superfood. Before we all got freaked out by offal – liver was a more regarded a delicacy not some crapola off cut like it is today. Liver gained this kind of kudos with good reason! Look at this long list of its super properties…
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
I have been pondering why we have gotten freaked out by the idea of eating offal. Because it seems odd if we are all down with eating flesh/muscle of an animal but then draw the line at eating specific organs. It’s kind of one and the same if you ask me. What I do understand is the reluctance due to the flavour. Liver, in particular beef, has a very strong flavour and even I struggle to stomach it straight. My favourite party trick is whizzing it up into a paste and then stirring it through sauces like spag bol or curries to mask the flavour.
Chicken livers on the other hand are a much more mild in flavour and I think they are quite delicious. There are lots of recipes for pate out there and this one is stupid easy, tastes fancy and is adaptable to be FODMAP friendly!!! Plus freezes extremely well! This recipe makes 3 cups and which I distribute between three ramekins, the freeze and just pull them out a required. When selecting your livers please ensure you purchase good quality free ranges ones, ideally organic too. The liver is the organ responsible for detoxing so if you are eating liver from a poorly raised, antibiotic pumped animal, you will also be ingesting all the nasties.
Chicken Liver Pate
Makes approx 3 cups
500grams Chicken Livers
100grams Bacon, finely diced (as in dice it yourself don’t buy the pre-diced crap)
2 tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
3 tablespoons of Sherry or Port, I like Pedro Ximenez
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Optional additional ingredients if you are not avoiding FODMAPs:
½ onion or 1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1. Ensure the livers have been thoroughly rinsed and trimmed of any white sinew
2. Heat a frypan and add 1 tablespoon of butter, bacon and onion (if using). Saute until the fat renders out of the bacon and the onion is translucent.
3. Then add thyme, garlic (if using) and the livers. Turn up the heat a little as your want the livers to get a little bit of crispy brown on the outside.
4. Once the livers have browned add the sherry, Dijon mustard, remaining butter and nutmeg. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the mix to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you want a super smooth pate and your don’t have a super high powered blender. Pushing the mixture through a sieve after blending will help. I never bother with this.
6. Once blended add the salt and pepper (I like lots of freshly cracked pepper) and taste for seasoning.
7. Transfer the pate to one large serving dish or I prefer to place in 3 small ramekins and allow to cool before covering and transferring to the fridge to set before serving.
It will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. In the pictures I have served mine with Sarah Wilson’s Meal-In-A-Biscuit crackers – recipe in her I Quit Sugar Cookbook eBook.