As you may know, the liver of almost any mammal can be a nutritional power-house (provided it was grass-fed, and ethically raised). Some would even go so far as to say it’s Nature’s most potent super-food.
Some may object to eating liver as it is the ‘filtration’ or ‘detox’ system of the animal who used to own it, and as such may contain harmful anti-nutrients. Provided the animal was grass-fed, and raised free of hormones and antibiotics, what the organ actually contains is an abundance of vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron.
To many the taste and texture of liver can be somewhat unappealing. If done wrong, it can become bitter, tough, and metallic tasting. Here’s a recipe that will do away with your preconceived notions of liver, eliminate the ‘ick’ factor, and provide you with a highly nutritious and affordable meal.
This recipe is a healthy take on a Chinese flavour favourite – sweet n’ sour. Adjust the ‘sweet’ to your own tastes.
500g liver (beef, pork, or lamb)
2 tsp Chinese rice wine (make sure it’s gluten-free!)
Salt to taste
2 tsp corn flour or potato starch
1 white or brown onion, cut into large pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1-2 spring onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
Suggested Vegetables (I used):
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
8 garlic shoots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 carrots, slices
For the sauce:
2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp corn flour
1. Chop your veges
2. Slice liver into small pieces – about 5mm thick, and 4-5cm long. Add the rice wine, and corn/potato starch, and toss to coat.
3. Preheat a pan with 1-2 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil. Quickly pan fry the liver so that it’s browned on the outside, but is still a little bloody. Remove from the heat, and set aside. Wipe your pan out, and add another couple of tablespoons of fat.
4. Once your oil is hot, quickly fry the garlic, ginger, and spring onions until fragrant – about a minute. Add the onions, and stir fry until slightly softened. Then, add garlic shoots, followed a few minutes later by the carrots and broccoli. I add these in order of the longest to slowest cooking time. Carrots take longer than broccoli, so I add the carrots first.
While the veges are cooking, in a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the sauce. Once the veges are cooked, add the cooked liver to the vegetables, cook together for a few moments, and then add the sauce mixture (stirring well right before adding).
Toss to coat, and once the sauce thickens, remove the pan from the heat.
Serve with Paleo rice, or rice, with some chili flakes and crispy fried shallots to garnish.
Paleo-ize It!: Use honey in place of sugar.
This dish really does need something to thicken the sauce. I would recommend using potato starch over corn starch to make it as Paleo compliant as possible. At the end of the day, you’re eating liver! Don’t sweat the small stuff!