A lot of people are taking up Paleo diets these days, which consist of meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts, NO sugar and only small amounts of starch. It has inspired a lot of creative recipes using replacements for sugars and starches, and some of them are downright fantastic (check out my friends at Chowstalker.com for some of the best recipes, guaranteed Paleo-friendly.)
After a while, Paleos realize there is only so much steak and bacon a body can really eat, and they often start looking for healthier alternatives to that porterhouse steak or bacon-wrapped chicken breast. After all, if you buy it in a store, liver is inspected closer than your average steak or burger meat (plus, you know, no pink slime), and contains a boatload of vitamins, minerals and protein. It also contains a lot less fat and calories than most meat (before the bacon, anyway). After I did a recent blog post on a delectable smoked chicken liver paté, I was contacted by many of them who wanted to eat more liver but simply didn’t like the taste of it.
Much of this reaction is simply psychological in my opinion. My sister and I ate liver all the time when we were kids, and LOVED IT, because we ate it before anyone told us we were supposed to hate it. I remember going to a restaurant when I was about 8, and my little sister and I ordered liver and onions off of the adult menu, prompting the waitress to look warily at my mother and ask “is this a joke?” Nope, mom told her, bring it on. They will eat every bite.
Part of it is also that my mom knows how to cook and make it so delicious we couldn’t help it. How, you ask? Same way you make everything tasty: bacon.
Best Beef Liver Ever
(This can also be made with chicken livers. Feel free to substitute different types of bacon, or to add more garlic, herbs, etc. This is just the way I like it.)
- about 2 lbs. of beef liver, sliced
- one large onion, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
- handful of sliced mushrooms
- 5-6 slices of bacon
- salt and pepper, other herbs or spices to taste
First, crisp the bacon in a big skillet (I recommend using a deep cast-iron skillet if you have one). Once the bacon is cooked most of the way, add the onions and garlic.
Then add mushrooms, as well as any other herbs and additional flavorings you might like to taste (like rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, or chili pepper).
Then scoot all of that to the side of your skillet and sear the liver slices on each side (for about one minute). Once the meat is seared on both sides, pile the onions, mushrooms and bacon on top of the liver, turn the heat down to medium and let the meat cook through for 5-10 minutes.
This will ensure a nice caramelized sear on the meat, as well as making sure it all cooks through.