I’m not sure why organ meats have become the lone wolf of cooking.
Prior to this recipe, I had yet to experiment with cooking liver. I had played with beef heart.
Pork neck bones are a super economical and tasty purchase.
But liver I used to only see at parties when I was little and my aunt would make her famous pork liver pâté. Although that was typically served to the adults so liver never became a consistent part of my diet.
I’ve definitely consumed liver before this Paleo Pork Liver recipe but I just had never invited the stuff into my kitchen. That is, until now.
I stocked up on offal from U.S. Wellness Meats with my last order and, following that purchase, our pasture-raised pork from Barrington Natural Farms was ready for pickup so my freezer has been full for quite some time. And the pile of random offal has been waiting patiently.
If you have ever had braunschweiger or liverwurst you’ll be familiar with the flavor of liver. The thing about braunschweiger is that it comes ready to eat, no cooking necessary.
With this recipe I wanted to try to mask the flavor a bit, so I cubed the liver after pan-frying and mixed it with a large amount of homemade pesto. Pesto is super simple to make at home but if you don’t feel like trying something new, read the label for any unknown ingredients if you purchase it from the store.
Once you combine the pesto and liver you may be surprised to find the liver flavor no longer kicks you in the mouth.
I served the mixture inside a sautéed portobello mushroom cap and topped it all off with a fried egg. You can, of course, serve this in a bowl with a spoon or maybe atop some Primal crackers.
If you didn’t already know, liver gives quite the nutritional power punch. It’s nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A, includes all the B vitamins in abundance (particularly vitamin B12), it’s one of our best sources of folic acid and there’s plenty more good stuff to say about incorporating liver into your diet. You can read more here about liver.
Paleo Pork Liver with Pesto
- grass-fed butter
- 6oz pork liver
- sea salt, to taste
- chipotle red pepper, to taste
- 1 cup pesto
- 2 cipollini onions, minced
- black pepper, to taste
- 4-6 portobello mushrooms
- 4-6 eggs, optional
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add a few slices of pork liver, season with sea salt and chipotle red pepper then cover with a lid or splatter preventer of some kind so you don't get bit by the grease. After 1 minute flip the liver and cook for 1-1 1/2 minutes or until ends start to crisp. You may need to reduce the heat based on splatter, which means you'll need to cook the liver longer. Transfer cooked liver to a plate and continue until all liver pieces are cooked.
- Transfer liver to a cutting board, cube (cut into teensy tiny equally sized square pieces) and add to a medium sized bowl to let cool while you make the pesto.
- If you don't have any spare pesto sitting around, follow steps 1-5 of this recipe to make the pesto then add 1 cup to the bowl along with the cooled liver.
- Add the minced cipollini onions and if you don't have them you can use 3 tablespoons of minced sweet onion or shallots in it's place. Season with black pepper to taste and stir to combine the flavors.
- Either clean the skillet you were previously using or use a new small skillet. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add the portobello mushroom to the pan and cover. This will make it soft. After 1-2 minutes flip the mushroom over so it's equally "steamed". Repeat with more butter and mushrooms until you're done.
- Once you're done with the mushrooms melt more butter in your skillet, add an egg and cover. Cook to your desired doneness (I prefer over easy).
- While the egg is cooking assemble your dish. On a platter or plate, depending on how you're serving, add a heaping pile of liver-pesto mix to the mushroom cap. As each egg finishes, top off each mushroom-liver-pesto mix and serve.
- Enjoy! :)