Believe me or not, I’ve had several people waiting for this recipe to get posted. Crazy, I know. But I think liver has gotten a bad rap over the years. My kids make all sorts of faces when I tell them to taste it, yet while this recipe is cooking, my son usually says, “Something smells really good! What are you making?”
LIVAH! Our baby-kins loves liver pate. She chants “wih-wah! wih-wah!” when I get ready to feed it to her, somehow able to eat the pate while leaving the cucumber slice or carrot stick behind. She’s not been ruined by the prejudices of her elder siblings…yet…and I hope she never does. While I did not grow up eating beef liver and onions, my mom tells me that she did bread and fry chicken livers – though I have no personal recollection of this. I DO remember eating liver pate and liverwurst on bread and crackers and must admit I loved it as a kid.
Becoming more squeamish over the years, I’ve steered clear of organ meat, offal as it is also called. (I’m sure the pun on that one has been worn out.) Pate seemed somehow more palatable to me, and though my days of eating it on crackers has long gone, the thought of it spread on crunchy carrot sticks or cucumber slices sounded quite good.
I started making liver pate regularly in large batches to keep on hand in the freezer after reading more and more the importance healing the gut through nutrient dense foods – such as bone broth and organ meat. Paleo superstars like The Paleo Mom and Chris Kresser, L.Ac have written compelling articles encouraging their readers to regularly consume organ meats – while providing several links to great-looking recipes.
This recipe is one of my favorites because it comes together quickly and makes a lot to keep on hand in the freezer. I’m no chef or Paleo superstar, but here’s my contribution to the organ meat frenzy sweeping America! AND, here’s some organ grinding background music to listen to while you…uh…grind up some organs…
- 12 oz. bacon (uncured, no nitrates, etc.), diced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large leek
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tablespoons AIP spice blend
- 2 lbs. pastured chicken livers (or half chicken liver and half beef liver)
- 4 bay leaves
- ⅔ cup sherry (dry or cream sherry, not cooking sherry)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Prepare leeks by slicing thinly and washing in a large bowl filled with cool water. Leeks are very dirty and sand will fall to the bottom. Scoop out of the water and set aside.
- Heat a large dutch oven to medium heat. (I love my Le Creuset for this.) Once hot, add the bacon. Stir until cooked but not crispy.
- Add coconut oil; then the onion and leek to pot. Stir well until soft.
- Next, add garlic, AIP spice blend and bay leaves. Stir well for about 30 seconds. Add chicken livers and stir until brown on the outside and no longer red or bloody-looking. (sorry for that)
- Add in the sherry and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced, but not dry.
- Add the liver mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.
- To store, I like to fill freezer-safe four-ounce containers with the pate then add a little splash of olive oil to coat the top. Put about a half to one teaspoon of the olive oil on top, then swirl around to coat. This will help keep the pate fresh.
- Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze.
- It is perfectly normal for the top of the pate to be brown in color, while the middle of the pate is pink. This is good and does not mean that it's not fully cooked.