Ever since we finished the left-overs of my liver experiment a few days ago I’ve been craving it! My counterpart Scrapple, on the other hand, hasn’t been obsessed, but he did enjoy it. There’s obviously a reason this organ has been prized throughout history by everyone from roman warriors to the beloved Julia Child. It's reputed to be a miracle food - high in vitamins and minerals and possessing some very unique qualities in addition to its addictive flavor.
Just 3oz of raw liver has over 100% of your daily value of Vitamins A and B12, but also around 40% of your DV for Riboflavin and iron. Just check out this nutrition comparison of pork liver and pork chop.
First - make sure you get the good stuff!
For my first experiment I looked at the recipes from Nourishing Traditions and then improvised a bit to include what I had on hand at the moment. I already had a gorgeous pastured pork liver from Lewis Waite Farm. Onions and bacon are apparently two huge “do’s” for liver and I had both - the bacon from Arcadian Pastures was already open and needing to be finished off and 2 green onions from our CSA pick up last weekend. Oregano and sage exploding in our window boxes begged to be harvested and made it into the mix as well. I didn’t feel quite ready to have liver be the only solid on my plate, so I added a bed of lemon farro. I think this would also be amazing over pasta. More experiments to come with the other parts - today is liver’s day!
Pastured Pork Liver and Carmelized Green Onion Over Lemon Grains
6 oz smoked bacon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp whole wheat or spelt flour
1 cup pastured half and half
½ cup dry white wine
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green onion, quartered
1 tbsp fresh origano
2 tbsp fresh sage
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
s&p to taste
1 lemon, grate zest and juice
2 cups farro
2 tbsp pastured butter
- 1 hour before you want to start cooking, place the sliced liver in the juice of the lemon to soak, turning every 15 minutes. Sally Fallon writes in Nourishing Traditions that “this draws out impurities and gives a nicer texture”.
- Boil farro in lightly salted water for 40 minutes, strain, and season with 1 tbsp butter and lemon rind. Set aside.
- Heat about 1 tbsp EVOO and 1 tbsp pastured butter in the pan and add bacon and green onion.
- Cook green onion quarters on each side for a few minutes until caramelized, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add chopped onion and garlic to pan and cook until the onions soften, then remove from pan with a slotted spoon - keeping the cooking fats in the pan.
- Add liver slices and cook on medium until seared outside and light pink in the center only (cut one to check) and then remove from the pan.
- Return the onion, garlic, bacon mixture to the pan and then remove from heat. Sprinkle flour over the mixture in pan, stirring to absorb the fats and create a roux.
- Slowly add the stock, whisking as you add to avoid lumps in the sauce.
- Return to heat and add half and half and wine. Season with chopped sage and oregano and cook down until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, stirring often.
- Chop the liver slices into 1/4" slivers
- Season with salt and pepper and then place the liver back in the pan with the sauce, sprinkle with remaining lemon zest and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Make a bed of farro and top with liver, sauce, and a carmelized green onion.
Enjoy! Let me know how it goes and pass on your own liver recipes! I leave you with some liver loving.