Have you ever eaten any organ meats? Talking to my parents, it seems to be something that they still commonly ate in their youth, but yet I grew up having never eaten any until my late twenties! It’s just another example of how much our diet has changed even over just the last generation.
These cuts definitely aren’t as easy to get as they use to be, usually you will have to go straight to a butcher to find them. And quality is paramount with organ meats; you want to be sure to be purchasing organic, grass-fed animals.
But these meats are worth the effort! They are by far the most nutrient packed. A general way to think of it is that you get the benefit for the organ you are eating – liver benefits your liver, kidneys your kidneys, etc. And organ meats are said to have 10 to 100 times higher a concentration of nutrients than their muscle meat counterparts.
Since I was talking about vitamin A last week, that’s why I’ve decided to feature my recipe for beef liver – it’s packed with vitamin A! It’s also a source for B vitamins (especially folate and B12), vitamins C, D, E, and K, and minerals like copper, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s also a source of CoQ10 which is important for healthy cardiovascular function.
There is some fear over eating liver, as it is our main detoxification organ. However, while our liver does process toxins, it doesn’t store them. It’s only storing those ever important nutrients! There is also evidence that too high a consumption can lead to vitamin A toxicity, but most commonly this has been documented in Arctic explorers who have eaten polar bear or seal liver, that contains tenfold or more the amount of vitamin A as beef liver.
A serving of 100 grams (for adults) once or twice a week of beef, duck, lamb, or bison liver should generally be OK. As chicken liver contains lower levels of vitamin A, this could be eaten more regularly.
Beef Liver & Onions
200g beef liver
½ cup arrowroot starch
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 tbsp butter or ghee (used throughout cooking)
2 cups onions, finely sliced
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
50g bacon or pancetta
Sauté onions in 2 tbsp butter over medium heat
Add mushrooms, pancetta and additional tbsp butter when onions are halfway cooked
Once cooked down, remove and set aside
In a shallow bowl, combine arrowroot starch, salt, and pepper. Pat liver dry and coat in mixture.
Sauté liver in 1 tbsp butter until each side is brown, move to the side of the pan.
Put onion mixture back in pan, place liver on top, cover and cook until ready (inner temp of >70C, no blood)
Plate up and enjoy! I like to serve my liver over spinach with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.