Beef Liver Recipe: I Ate Liver and Loved it, Oh Yes I Did and so Did Our Teenager!

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beef liver recipe

Ooooh-weeee am I excited to post this beef liver recipe!  As I said in my Kitchen Goals post, it was high time I did something with that beef liver that’s been staring back at me for months from my freezer.  I knew that to get it by the kids, and also myself because I can be just as bad about eating “icky” foods, it would have to be well hidden.  I decided to make a recipe that has all the strong flavors I love in one dish.  If you like all these things, too, then you’ll be golden:  onions, garlic, cream cheese, sausage, and the jalapenos are optional, but SO GOOD.

Why in the world would you WANT to eat liver anyway?

Find out why it is THE number one superfood!

Hint:  Liver contains more nutrients gram for gram than ANY OTHER FOOD!)  Also you can click here to read about the benefits of these sacred foods from the Weston Price Foundation.

As you may have guessed, this beef liver recipe is my own variation on a Jalapeño Poppers recipe.

So hmmm, what should I call it?  “Jalapeño Poppers with Organ Meat?”  That doesn’t have the “ring” I was looking for…  I’ll go with this:  Jalapeño Poppers with a Superfood Twist!

I even got it by our teenager!

He got home from school just as I was finishing the recipe (and quickly stirring in the pieces of liver before he caught on), and you would have been proud.  I was so smooth and casual…  “We’re having these with leftovers for dinner, but do you want a few now?”  He said yes and ate a few.  He never had a clue!!  This from the kid who saw the package of liver in the frig last night and said, “What’s the liver doing in our frig?  Don’t think I’m eating any of that!”  He he he…  I can’t describe the giddy feeling inside me right now!  Kent & I and the other kids can eat pâté or braunschwieger once in a while, but it’s not something we’d keep coming back for.  But this recipe I would for sure.  As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this I’m eating the leftovers, yum!  Our ten year old said, “I LOVE this dip, Mom!”  At dinner that night our teen just ate and ate.  The two younger kids ate it but didn’t say much, I think the onion flavor was too strong for them.  That was the point, to cover any other flavors!

Keep in mind that when you’re making this it might have a bit of a smell at times and it looks kind of globby as you put it into the pan, but when you know what a superfood it is, you can be a big boy or girl and just do it.  Sally Fallon, Rami Nagel, and many others in the Real Food movement place liver at THE TOP of the list of foods that are the BEST for us and insist that we really need to try getting it into our diets.

Jalapeño Poppers with a Superfood Twist! (Beef Liver Recipe)

(Use as many organic ingredients as you can.  Find safe, pastured meats and beef tallow for frying here.)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • IMG_0164Toss the cream cheese into a glass bowl so it can start getting soft (or use homemade cream cheese).
  • Melt butter in a frying pan.
  • Add a few dashes of salt,  onion, and garlic.  Sauté until browned well.  Put these into the bowl.
  • Add sausage to the pan and cook ‘til browned.  (I keep this cooked in the freezer to toss into our breakfast eggs, so I just heated that back up in the pan.)  Add this to the bowl.  (Find pastured pork here.)
  • IMG_0167Here’s where it gets interesting.  Add a little bacon grease or ghee to the pan and fry the liver on both sides until it’s just brown in the middle.  I know this picture makes it look gross, but you can do it.  (Think of the money you could save on orthodontics…that’s what I’m shooting for, at least with our younger kids!)
  • In the meantime, start cleaning the seeds and stuff out of your jalapenos. IMG_0168
  • This part will take some time but it’s worth it:  cut the liver up into SMALL pieces. As I did this I made sure to remove any small pieces of goobers that were grizzly or wouldn’t cut up well.  There weren’t many of these pieces, but I knew they would be found within moments by the kids if I didn’t get ‘em out.
  • IMG_0170Add the liver to your bowl.  I added only 1/4 cup of these liver pieces since it was our first go at this.  Next time I’ll add more.  I froze the rest of it and will be using it here and there as I sneak the liver into various meals.  (Thanks to Katie for these ideas.)
  • Now mix it all up good with a few more dashes of sea salt.
  • Stuff your jalapenos.  I had a couple cups or so of dip leftover which I served with crackers for the kids who don’t like spicy foods.
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheddar, bake at 350* until poppers are hot and cheese is golden.  About 12 minutes or so.

Makes 24 poppers.

disclaimer-disclosure

Comments

  1. says

    Its bad enough that I have newly hatched baby chicks in the next room, but now you have really done it!
    How am I supposed to sleep after reading this?!
    My mouth is watering like crazy!
    Guess the hubby is going to have to pick up some peppers after work Tuesday.
    We still have a huge amount of moose liver left, even after adding huge portions to all out sausage and grind meat last summer.
    Paula

  2. says

    Paula, you just answered my question. I don’t know of any corn-free cream cheese so I was about to ask for ideas for substitutes. This sounds like my kids might actually eat the liver without the obligatory cold shoulder for three days after. (Oh yes, they eat it just cooked with onion but not because they like it.) My ds loves Kerry Gold cheddar and my dd loves hot peppers so this recipe is perfect!

  3. leah says

    Oh, and my five year old will eat liver if I cut it into bite-sized pieces and let him dip in in ketchup. He thinks that it’s steak.:O)

  4. Julie says

    wow, I never would put liver and poppers in the same sentence let alone in the same dish! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. says

    Brilliant idea, Kelly! I’ve been working on my liver-cooking skills by making it twice a week. They are definitely improving because this morning I got a “it’s not bad.” I was thrilled with that. I think these poppers would get an even better reaction!

  6. Liz F. says

    Hmmm…. makes me think. I grew up eating liver — probably about 3 times per month. My mom always floured it and pan fried it with onions in bacon grease. As kids we were allowed to use ketchup, but this wasn’t a normal condiment on our table. Anyway, I never needed braces and I bet this was one of the contributing factors.

    I have some liver in my freezer too, but the thought of cooking it is stressing me out. I hadn’t even thought of how I was going to get it by my family.

  7. Tammy says

    Looks and sounds delicious, Kelly. Can’t wait to try it. I just grated some frozen raw liver and made ice cubes with them to try to sneak into other foods :) I didn’t cook it first, I hope that doesn’t make a difference. I have too many packages of grass fed liver in the freezer now, so I guess I better buck it up and actually try cooking it for this recipe.

  8. Sally says

    My mom used to pan fry liver and serve with brussle sprouts for dinner. We were alowed to use ketchup, but it was still so hard to get through the meal. The brussel sprouts were worse than the liver, actually. I would try liver again using your recipe, which sounds very tasty, but not brussle sprouts!

  9. says

    @ Liz – I bet that IS why you did not need braces. I also did not need braces, and my favorite sandwich growing up was liverwurst.

    @ Kel – This looks YUMMY. I’m surprised you guys like the jalapenos — spicy! A lot of people can’t handle them. I love them.

    My ONLY criticism is that this is such a TINY amount of liver. If you split this recipe 4 ways (6 poppers per person), that is just a half ounce, or 1 tablespoon of liver per person. I think ideally you want to eat about 4-8 ounces of liver per week (depending on the size of the person, and whether you are pregnant or nursing).

    That would mean you’d have to eat 48 poppers each week (6-7 per day) to get 4 oz of liver. I guess that is do-able! They look delicious!

    But it is a GOOD start! Maybe you can add more next time. Soon you’ll be adding liver to everything — even cookies. Just kidding!

    Oh, and just one more thing — we do need to be careful about cream cheese. I was buying the Trader Joe’s brand for a while (easier than making it) but I stopped when I read the ingredients.

    Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese: Pasteurized nonfat milk and milkfat, cheese culture, whey protein concentrate, salt, stabilizers (xanthan and/or carob bean and/or guar gums).

    That whey protein stuff is the oxidized cholesterol!

  10. says

    @ Sally

    I have a great recipe for Brussel sprouts that would make you love them again. They are braised in heavy cream with freshly grated nutmeg. I have never ever had someone say they didn’t like Brussel sprouts when they tried this recipe.

  11. KitchenKop says

    Ann Marie, I had to try a small amount at first to be sure I could get it by everyone, next time I can easily add more. But I’m going to sneak it in other things, too. I’m brave now. :)

  12. says

    Interesting! I can’t do cheese right now either, but I used to love jalapeno poppers. Interesting way to use liver…. I have some in my freezer now too, but I was going to grate it and mix it with eggs and serve it to my son (almost 7 months) and attempt to serve it to my daughter (2). We’ll see….

  13. says

    @ Kelly

    Yes, that was smart. If you had put TOO MUCH in, you might have burned them on it and they would have never trusted you enough to eat the poppers again. I’m curious to see how much you can get away with in the recipe…

    Also at what point did you add the sausage meat in? I missed that.

    Also, I would personally LOVE it if you would list the ingredients at the top of your recipes. That way I can copy and paste and print.

  14. JoAnna says

    About all I have left in my freezer this month is beef liver and a whole beef heart (I don’t know why I assumed it would come ground :). THANK you for the ideas and encouragement. My eighteen-year-old noticed them and said in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t going to eat the liver and he didn’t even want to talk about the beef heart! The “game” is on :)

  15. says

    BTW I have to tell you, I’ve been giving Katie (almost 3-year-old) liverwurst on crackers (my homemade sprouted flour crackers) for her after school snack almost every day. She eats it up! I am sooo pleased.

    So funny we are like our grandmas — or maybe even great-grandmas — insisting that kids take their cod liver oil and eat their liver!

    I was trying to tell the lady who runs Kate’s daycare about WHY it’s so important that Kate eats her liver… so she will have high cheekbones, wide face, straight teeth, wide hips… but I am not sure if she was following me. She just thinks liver is delicious! (She’s from Peru, of course.)

  16. says

    @JoAnna

    I have been meaning to do a post on how to grind up beef heart. I took a bunch of pics last time I did it. I grind it all up when no one is home to see what I am doing šŸ˜‰ then I put it in little sandwich bags, which I store in a larger freezer bag. Whenever I made chili or tacos or sloppy joes or hamburgers or anything with ground beef, I add 1/4 to 1/2 heart. Nobody ever, ever notices.

    Those cow hearts are big, eh? Of course right after that, I got an email from a WAPF chapter leader in Alaska who was talking about how to freeze moose livers — she says they are the size of basketballs!

  17. says

    Yum… those really look delicious, Kelly. Kudos for cooking with liver! I still “sneak” liver into ground beef recipes on occasion. It’s still not a weekly occurence here but I try to do it more often. I’m just glad if I can get any liver in our diet at all. The first time my kids ate liver was the first time I’d ever eaten it, too. But better late than never, right? šŸ˜‰

  18. says

    Yummy! We LOVE liver here, even the kids. I grew up eating it, so did hubby. I make the recipe from the Eat Fat, Lose Fat book, I think it is. The liver and onions. Oh, it’s so good. i think that’s what we might have tonight. I never thought to add it to other stuff. duh! :)

    Anne Marie, thank you for that advice on beef heart. That is one thing we’ve had in our freezer for awhile, and can’t stand to think of cooking, alhtough we like deer heart. The beef heart is just SO big! Good idea.

  19. Carolyn says

    What a great idea!! My kiddos eat liver when I prepare it, but they don’t like it. I am making ground meat chili rellenos for supper tonight, so guess what is going to be added the ground elk and raw cheese. You got it, ground elk liver. Boy, this is going to be fun.
    We will try the jalapeno poppers on snack night this weekend. I can hardly wait!!

    I hated brussel sprouts as a child, my mother overcooked them, nasty. Not until I was in my 30’s did I try them again. Try Nourishing Traditions way of preparing them or Ann Marie’s. YUM!!

  20. says

    A couple of weeks ago, I got a turkey from a local farm nearby – they still have turkeys from Thanksgiving and we didn’t get to make our own turkey at home this holiday season yet because we went to Vegas to visit the in-laws, and I wanted to make one. So I took the turkey out and removed all of the internal organs. The liver was there, of course, and my husband, who is the more experienced cook in our family told me to make stuffing (I had never made it before, in all my 40 years of life!). I did exactly as he told me, sauteed celery & onions in butter, and then put in chopped liver and sprouted bread crumbs, salt, pepper. That was it! After we baked it, everyone decided it was the best stuffing ever. No one said anything about liver, as I expected, since all those other tasty things were in it. I was excited, having never made it before. This recipe you put up looks really good, Kelly. I am going to have to try it! Thanks!

  21. says

    Oh wow, that looks awesome! I’m not usually one for making finger foods but I am going to have to try this sometime.

    Also, you’re right about being an adult and eating the stuff that is good for you. I still think liver itself is a little too bitter for me, but I eat it anyway. Though that only holds for cooked liver in my case.

  22. says

    @ Ann Marie,
    The moose hearts are the size of basketballs, if the moose is full grown.
    The livers, well, those are even bigger. If I laid it in the sink, it would be FULL!

    Paula

  23. Flo says

    Kelly,

    I was trying to use your ‘THE number one superfood’ link (2nd link in this article) and I couldn’t get anywhere. When I tried to search, all I could come up with is CLO. Was this link supposed to go to liver, specifically? Or to Cod Liver Oil? I’m guessing the link was broken when you made your switch in blogging platforms or something like that. Could you let me know?

    Thanks!

    Flo :-)

  24. Martha says

    Thank you Kelly for the post and Ann Marie for your comment. We will be getting liver with our side of beef soon. I’m going to do one batch with onions and the kids will eat it under protest. I’ll cook and cut up the rest to put in other dishes.

    Ann Marie, how do you grind the heart? Is it cooked or raw when you do?

  25. Bekki says

    I so hope to get dairy back on my menu someday! Maybe I could make these for the rest of the family, then go cry in my room while they devour them. šŸ˜‰ I do appreciate the reminder to get sneaky. I made tons of cubes of ground beef liver and heart, to sneak into recipes, and haven’t used a single one yet.

  26. Flo says

    Thanks for fixing the link, Kelly! It worked for me and when I can get to it guilt-free later today (I’ve been spending too much time online), I’ll read it. I can’t wait to learn more and motivate myself to find ways to use the beef liver in my freezer. Thanks, again!

  27. Leah F says

    I can’t get my husband to eat liver but my 10 month old loves it…I think that part of it is anything mom has she wants!

  28. lydia says

    This looks like a fun recipe Kelly!! I love your enthusiasm. I just added liver to our diet in the past month. Every week I use about a half a pound pureed in the food processor then to our ground meat, in tacos, and meatballs so far. Yesterday I made some kickin’ meatballs that were very tender and my kids gobble it up. We can’t taste the liver at all. Hopefully, one day I will be brave enough to try it by itself šŸ˜‰ (taking it the pill method is okay, but I can’t take very many at one time, I think it’s a somewhat tedious way to get the liver in, I guess you’d have to be willing to take a handful of pill sized pieces per day to get enough……….)

  29. Anita says

    Liver has an anti-fatigue factor.
    Taking raw liver as a superfood supplement is probably the best advice I have ever taken. I swallow about a teaspoon, frozen, cut into pillules, with a glass of raw milk, and my energy level soars. Winter time is when I begin to take raw liver ‘pills’ daily.
    The heat-sensitive B vitamins are destroyed by cooking.
    Lamb liver is best for taste.

  30. KitchenKop says

    Anita,

    Darn it! Maybe I should take them raw and pill-sized, too………………I’ve heard of others doing that, but…ew.

    Do you taste it when it goes down??

  31. says

    Ok, I’m taking the liver plunge today – Lord, help me!
    Since we don’t do cream cheese, I am going to try this recipe that sounds good.
    Thanks for inspiring me, Kelly.

    Ingredients
    2 pounds sliced beef liver
    1 1/2 cups milk, or as needed
    1/4 cup butter, divided 2 large Vidalia onions, sliced into rings
    2 cups flour, or as needed
    sea salt and pepper to taste

    Directions”
    Gently rinse liver slices under cold water, and place in a medium bowl. Pour in enough milk to cover. Let stand while preparing onions. (I like to soak up to an hour or two – whatever you have time for.) This step is SO important in taking the bitter taste of the liver out.
    Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Separate onion rings, and saute them in butter until soft. Remove onions, and melt remaining butter in the skillet. Season the flour with salt and pepper, and put it in a shallow dish or on a plate.
    Drain milk from liver, and coat slices in the flour mixture.
    When the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high, and place the coated liver slices in the pan. Cook until nice and brown on the bottom. Turn, and cook on the other side until browned. Add onions, and reduce heat to medium. Cook a bit longer to taste.

  32. says

    Amy, that sounds good, but here’s what I do…I have never soaked the liver in milk, so I don’t know if that works, but I do know what does work is to soak your liver slices in lemon juice (2-3 lemons per pound of liver) for several hours if possible. I have even only had time to do this for 1/2 hour and it makes a huge difference. It really does take a lot of the bitter/iron taste out. (It’s what Sally Fallon suggests) I had never done it that way in years past, but once I did, I have never NOT done it since! :)

    Then, I cook up 12 oz of nitrate-free bacon (cut up into small pieces). Keep the bacon grease, but set the bacon aside. Cut your liver ins small slices (1 x 1/2 or 1/4 in.) (I think this is huge, because you’re not cutting into a big piece of liver on your plate, rather it’s bite size. Pat the liver pieces dry, then place in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. Fry in the bacon grease in batches. (I put the cooked pieces in a dish in a warm (150 degree oven) while I’m cooking the rest. While your liver is cooking, sautee’ a whole chopped onion in some coconut oil in another pan, add bacon pieces in after onions are soft and continue to cook those til they are ready. When liver is done cooking, add to the bacon/onion mixture.

    My WHOLE family, including my 3 children, can’t get enough of this! We (five of us) ate a WHOLE batch the other day! My husband even facebooked it! He said I had “mastered the art of liver, bacon, and onions!” I’m not sure how many people were impressed, but I’m telling you, it’s a recipe my family gets EXCITED about when I tell them I’m making it for dinner! :)

  33. KitchenKop says

    Wow, Amy, you’re trying a traditional “liver and onions” recipe, I’m impressed! I’ve heard that about soaking in milk, too. This recipes sounds good and if it flies with the kids, they’ll get a nice sized serving of liver this way, too!

    Let us know how it goes. :)

    Kelly

  34. Katie says

    I’ve soaked my beef liver in whey and it does take the bitter taste out. It also has the advantage of not being so sour (as it would with the lemon). Thankfully, my girls eat their liver plain – fried in butter, lard or bacon grease. It is a lot less work that way. They love it! Still, my older daughter has crooked baby teeth, which makes me think she is not digesting it well. You can’t just eat it; you have to digest it, too.

  35. says

    Katie, I’ll have to try it in whey sometime, but it’s never tasted sour at all with the lemon juice…rather I think it neutralizes the iron taste is all. :)??

  36. Teri Ensslin says

    The taste for liver will grow on you! I hated it the 1st few times but kept on trying it, and now I love it. I also 2nd Martha in the earlier post: it

  37. Gary says

    I did not enjoy that post at all. I’m 18, a vegetarian, and very picky about what I eat(obviousy). Fooling people into eating soething they don’t ant is wrong. Both my parents and my grandmother have always tried this on me. My grandmother once hid deer sausage in my food an I nearly ht her. How would you feel if someone else put somethin in your childs food and they got angry about it? You would defend them then but t is okay for you to do it?

  38. says

    I did not think I would try these until summer Farmer’s Market, but then guess what I ran into in the reduced produce section last Saturday? A huge bag of jalapenos. I knew just what I would do with them!

    My husband ate one, I asked him how they were, made sure he was thoroughly enjoying his second one, and then said nonchalantly, “Yep, the recipe is from Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s site – it was titled “I ate live oh yes I did and I LIKED IT!” Stopping dead in his tracks, he deadpanned, “That’s mean. That’s just terrible.”

    Hee heeeeeee! I’ve always wanted a poppers recipe. This is great, with or without the organ meat! šŸ˜‰

    Thanks Kelly!
    :) Katie

    PS – I don’t see the cook temp, but I used 350.

  39. KitchenKop says

    Katie, so your husband agrees with Gary (above)?! :)

    Gary, I’m glad you brought this up. It actually would be better to be totally open about it and slowly introduce your kids to organ meats, or even better, just start them out when they’re young so they like it from the beginning. But I know that for now anyway, there’s no other way I can get these superfoods into my family. Later I hope I can be less sneaky.

    There’s a good discussion on just this topic at this post: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/05/how-to-sneak-liver-onto-your-dinner-table-guest-post-from-katie-at-kitchen-stewardship.html

    Kelly

  40. says

    Kelly,
    No, he’d rather have me hide the liver than serve it straight up like I did the week before. I think he was just hoping for a reprieve on the organ meats for a while! He continued eating them and enjoyed the leftovers! šŸ˜‰ Katie

  41. Tammy R. says

    Kelly, These are very good! I was real busy making these so hubby helped and so he knew there was liver in them and yet he loved them as much as I did. But the greatest thing was my 5 year old ate 3 of them and liked them! yipee! Thanks for sharing the recipe. BTW, what temp did you do these at? I did them at 350 but they took a lot longer so I am thinking I guessed wrong and I couldn’t find them in the directions.

  42. KitchenKop says

    Tammy, thanks for the feedback and the reminder to add a temp to the post! I did them at 350* but you can do whatever works. :)
    Kelly

  43. Katie says

    I made these tonight as my very first attempt to eat liver (trying to eat it weekly!) They were good, except… all the cream cheese kind of melted or something and ran out onto the cookie sheet (my jalapenos were kind of flat vs bowl-shaped), so I basically had the jalapenos with melted cheddar and sausage and liver pieces! I was bummed since the cream cheese was the part I was really looking forward to eating! Hmmmm… not sure why that happened! Maybe I cooked them too long. I managed to eat 6 of them though LOL

    Also, I have a bunch of the cream cheese/onion/sausage/liver mix left. I definitely want to try to eat it, but not sure how. I’m thinking heated up on the stove to make a warm dip for crackers… do you think that would work?

    Oh, and regarding the sneaking… my boyfriend told me he flat out prefers the don’t ask, don’t tell method! Although, I think he caught onto me this time when I came home with a cooler that I had picked up food in and I started laughing hysterically when he JOKINGLY asked, “what are you doing? transporting livers or something?” Haha :-)

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