Liver can be very unpleasant. Pâté can just taste icky. I mean, liver paste? (Because that’s basically what “pâté” means — the little hat over the a is an adaptation in the French language — any time you see the hat, add an “s” in after the vowel and the word might look more familiar.) Seriously, that just can’t be good.
But actually, it is. It is delicious!
In the Q&A session after Dr. Natasha‘s talk at last year’s WAPF conference, for question after question, she would answer, “And eat more liver!” After one of these responses, the questioner muttered, “I was afraid you were going to say that!” To which she replied something akin to, “I don’t know why everyone makes such ugly faces about liver — It’s delicious!”
But, um, it can be so not delicious. Not so delicious at all.
And cooking it with lots of onions and garlic can really help and improve liver, and most pâté recipes call for plenty of one or the other, if not both. But since learning about FODMAPs, I’ve taken all onions and garlic out of my diet, and that has been a very good thing for me.
However, that doesn’t mean I’ve taken liver out of my diet.
I think the key to making this onion- and garlic-free pâté taste amazing is the ghee. Use the best ghee you can possibly get — from grass-fed butter, spring-grass-fed if you can, and overall, the more flavorful, the better. When I crave this, it’s the ghee flavor that I can “taste”.
Onion- and garlic-free chicken liver pâté
- 6 or 8 chicken livers, if possible from pastured chickens — the ones that eat more bugs and greens, as I understand it, have more yellow-colored livers, which means they are more nutritious.
- Whey, or some other acidic liquid (lemon juice, kombucha, even lacto-fermented pickle juice …)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup + ghee, melted
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- large handful of fresh tarragon leaves, chopped finely
- large handful of fresh chives, chopped finely — the chopping is very important! Don’t do what I did and assume your blender can handle the long stems — they’ll likely just gunk up the blades.
- Soak livers in acidic liquid (whey or otherwise) in the fridge for a day or more.
- Drain and thoroughly dry livers with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a couple tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over high heat.
- Sautée livers in batches until just cooked. Don’t crowd them — depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do them in 2 or more batches. They shouldn’t be touching in the pan. If you can get them to get lightly browned on the outside but still pink on the inside, that’s perfect. With practice you can generally start to be able to poke them with your finger to tell when they’ve reached this point — they’ll be still a little tender, not firm. But if you overcook or undercook them it’ll still taste just fine.
- Once they’re cooked, put them in a blender, or a jar if you have an immersion blender. (I started with them in a bowl, but decided that didn’t work so well — and transferred the whole thing to a quart jar instead.)
- Add lots of ghee, chives, tarragon, and a bit more salt. Blend until completely pureed and ghee is completely incorporated.
- Taste, add more ghee, salt, or pepper (or herbs) as necessary. Chill thoroughly.
I find that this tastes decent when I first make it, but improves dramatically after a night in the fridge. And then, somehow, it tastes even better then when it warms back up.
I usually eat a spoonful or two of this every day, sometimes on top of summer sausage rounds, and it is delicious!
This post is part of Mangia Mondays, Meet a Food Friend Monday, Monday Mania, Hunk of Meat Monday, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Delectable Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Frugal Tuesday, and Paleo Rodeo.
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