Rich in both flavor and nutrients, this Caramelized Onion and Bacon Liver Pâté makes a wonderful appetizer or sandwich spread and would both be the perfect addition to any holiday spread or even just an every day weekday treat.
Well, well, well. The time has come. Liver has made it’s way to the Tasty Yummies recipe archives. Who am I, even? Honestly, though, there is a version of me from 5 years ago that would truly never believe it possible. Yet, here we are. Just a girl in her 30s that has a mild love affair with good liver and how good that it makes her feel.
A good pâté at a restaurant, this was the first time I was able to eat liver. If you’ve never had it, pâté is a smooth mousse that is deliciously served up in small portions traditionally on crostini or crackers, garnishing pricy charcuterie boards. Liver is usually quite inexpensive to purchase from your local farmer, or a trusted market, sometimes as inexpensive as a few dollars a pound.
Liver is a highly-prized, often overlooked superfood. I find it’s a really great way to get my vitally important vitamin A, a fabulous source of B vitamins and iron, along with many crucial minerals and it even contains a not-yet-identified anti-fatigue factor. Guys, legit I have massive amounts more energy when I am eating liver, regularly. You can read more about the many, many nutritional benefits of nature’s most potent superfood here.
You could serve this pâté as an appetizer at a dinner party, or even as sandwich spread. And if we’re being honest with each other, it would be the perfect addition to your holiday spreads. I personally find the addition of the caramelized onions and the bacon to take this pâté to another level, adding a little sweetness and a little smokiness.
Pâté has a rich history, rooted in traditional, ancestral meals, and while it’s definitely fallen out of style, it’s made a bit of a resurgence with us wellness nerds, due to it’s dense, nutrient-profile. For many folks they might see it as an indulgent, special-occasion food, but I like to have it on hand on most given weeks. Because while I greatly enjoy it as a fancy snack, I also truly look at it as part of my supplement routine.
For those new to liver, chicken livers are much more mellow in flavor than beef or bison. Lamb aren’t quite as mellow as chicken, but definitely more so than beef. Do not overcook your livers or you will end up with a grainy texture. I have read that the darker in color the liver, the more rich in nutrients it is, so that’s also something to consider.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted pasture-raised butter, ghee or olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced*
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard seeds
- 6 pieces of quality pasture-raised bacon
- 1 lb pasture-raised beef, lamb, bison or chicken liver
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar*
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee (or additional coconut oil)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Caramelize the onions, Over medium-heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, ghee or oil, in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onions. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave to sweat for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and stir in the mustard seeds. Continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the onions have softened, become rich, caramelized and brown in color. Set aside to cool.
- In the same pan, cook the bacon until browned and lightly crisp, but not too crispy. Cut into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, remove any connective tissue (the white stuff) on the liver and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- In the bacon grease, adding more cooking oil as needed, cook the liver pieces, Be sure to brown all the way through, there should be no trace of redness in the meat and being sure not to let them get crispy or too browned. Usually takes a total of about 5-7 minutes, max. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE LIVERS or you will have grainy pâté.
- Add the minced garlic and fresh thyme just at the end. Using a slotted spoon at the liver and garlic mixture to a food processor.
- To the food processor also add the caramelized onions (leaving some for serving if you'd like), the cooked bacon (saving a few pieces for serving on top, if you’d like) and the apple cider vinegar. With the food processor on, add the butter and coconut oil, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth, no lumps, stopping to scrap down the sides, as needed.
- At this point, you can eat right away, if you'd like but it's traditionally server chilled. To chill place into ramekin(s), Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled topped with additional caramelized onions (or onion jam) and crumbled, crispy bacon. Serve with your favorite grain-free crackers and veggies. I love cucumber slices, baby bell peppers, carrots and celery.
- Store for up to 1 week in the fridge. This pâté also freezes quite well,
In place of the apple cider vinegar, try red wine, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, you might even try bourbon or cognac, I heard that's a thing people do, though you would want to add any wine or spirits to the liver, while cooking, to let the alcohol cook off.
Some recipes call for pushing the pâté through a fine mesh strainer to get the ultimate in smooth texture, if this is important to you, go for it!
My Recommended Supplemental Sources of Liver:
Paleo Valley’s Grass Fed Organ Complex (use promo code “yummy” at checkout to save 20%, site wide) – This is what I take daily, currently, if I am not eating liver, I love that this supplement is raw and in additional to high-quality, grass-fed liver it also includes heart, brain and kidney, each bringing their own additional, unique health benefits. I have seen substantial changes to my skin and my overall energy taking this supplement regularly.
Vital Proteins’ Dessicated Beef Liver Capsules – Approximately 4 capsules is equal to one ounce of fresh beef liver, so taking the recommended 4 capsules a day will equate to 2oz of fresh liver per week!