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Beef Liver Pate With Fresh Herbs Recipe. 8 Tips to Make Great Pate

beef liver pate

The most nutrient-dense food on the planet, beef liver pate is one of my favorite ways to add nutritional value to my diet. While it might look intimidating, making pate at home is really easy, and this beef liver pate recipe requires only a few ingredients. If you want to reap the benefits of this superfood without the downside, it’s important you only use grass-fed and grass-finished liver. With a few tips and tricks, you will learn how to make delicious pate at home, even if you haven’t been a fan of eating liver.

I’ve always been a fan of liver pate. Canned liver pate, on a slice of toast, topped with a fresh tomato slice, was a convenient and delicious snack when I was a student and didn’t have a place to cook. And I even loved it as a child.

However, when I learned to read labels, and I realized what was in a canned liver pate, I started to make it at home. It took a while to learn all the tips and tricks to make it tasty, without the bitterness and strong liver taste that some people rightfully don’t like.

Why is beef liver a superfood?

Beef liver (and other organ meats), if grass-fed and grass-finished, is possibly the most nutritionally dense food on the planet. It’s rich in protein, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and minerals. And you don’t have to eat a lot to reap its benefits. In only a small quantity, beef liver packs 100% (and even more) of the RDI for many essential nutrients that will be easily absorbed by your body.

Eating just 50-100 grams of liver will provide an impressive amount of the below nutrients in an easily absorbable form and packed in a form that will make them work synergistically.

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Folate (B9)
  • Heme Iron (easily absorbed by the body)
  • Copper
  • Choline
  • All the essential amino acids

A valid concern about eating liver is that it can increase uric acid (because of high purine levels), so you might want to avoid it if you have high uric acid levels or have been diagnosed with gout.

If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or nutritionist to understand if only a small quantity (which will provide plenty of nutrients) will be ok for you.

My favorite ways of eating liver:

I used to love foie gras when I didn’t know much about its production and what that meant for the birds, but I don’t eat it anymore.

I don’t have other liver recipes, but I would be curious to hear from you about interesting ways of cooking and eating liver (leave a message in the comment section below the article).

Beef liver pate in a glass jar and crackers

Tips and tricks for making delicious beef liver pate at home

Most people don’t like liver and liver pate, because:

  • it’s bitter
  • it has a strong taste
  • they don’t like the texture

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By using the right ingredients and the correct cooking method, you can make a liver pate that you and your family will love. However, when it comes to texture, there isn’t much I can do. You either love it or don’t. I hope you will love my beef liver pate recipe.

So, what are the tips and tricks for making great pate at home?

  1. Choose the right liver. In the case of beef, you only want to buy liver that is 100% grass-fed (grass-fed, grass-finished). Find a good source where you can get small quantities of fresh liver.
  2. Clean the liver properly. No, you don’t have to soak liver in milk if you have good quality liver. Ideally, your butcher will clean the liver and slice it for you, but if that’s not the case, make sure you remove all the membranes. Those parts will be tough to chew and will give the final product that specific strong taste no one likes and bitterness. Then wash in cold water, drain and pat dry. The pieces of the liver should be approximately the same size and thickness so they cook evenly. If that’s not possible, you can take out the thinner pieces that are cooked and continue to cook the rest.
  3. Don’t overcook the liver. I can’t stress how important that is. Not only will overcooked liver have fewer nutrients, but it will be bitter and tough. And that’s exactly what turns beef liver unappetizing.
  4. Use a ton of fresh herbs. They will add nutritional value, will help neutralize histamines in the liver, and will make the liver pate delicious. They also help with storage, prolonging the pate’s life.
  5. Use a lot of onions. Beef liver and onions are a perfect match (any liver, for that matter). Onions give liver pate its sweetness and will overpower the specific strong taste of the liver (along with the herbs and garlic).
  6. Don’t add salt when cooking liver. Adding salt before the liver is fully cooked will make it bitter. Only add the salt after you transferred everything to the food processor.
  7. Add some spice. While nutmeg is often used for making liver pate, I prefer allspice. It will bring a subtle flavor and neutralize further the taste you don’t like.
  8. Add some bourbon. That’s not included in the recipe card below, but if you want to go one step further, add a shot of good quality bourbon when the liver is almost fully cooked.
Fresh herbs on a cutting board
Fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano

Ingredients for homemade beef liver pate

While this recipe is created for beef liver, know that you can use it to make chicken liver pate or even lamb liver pate. The same rules apply.

  • Beef liver (grass-fed and grass-finished)
  • A generous amount of fresh herbs: fresh sage, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh oregano
  • Aromatics: lots of onions and garlic
  • Spices: salt, pepper, and allspice (or nutmeg)
  • Extra virgin olive oil and ghee or melted butter
  • Optional: if you want to get fancy, add a shot of bourbon when the liver is almost cooked.
ingredients for the beef liver pate recipe

How to make liver pate at home

Once the ingredients are ready, you only need about 10 minutes to cook everything and a few more minutes to turn it into a paste using a food processor or blender. You can make it completely smooth or with a little bit of texture.

Cooking the chopped onion in a pan
Cooking the beef liver with the herbs and onions in a pan
The cooked beef liver has been chopped into smaller pieces on a cutting board
The cooked beef liver pate ingredients in a food processor
The ingredients have been processed in the food processor
The finished beef liver pate in a glass jar

These are the steps for making beef liver pate:

  1. Rinse the liver in cold water and pat dry. If your butcher didn’t do it already, ensure all the membranes are removed and the liver is sliced in approximately equal pieces so it cooks evenly.
  2. Wash and dry the herbs, and prepare all the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Heat a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat, add the chopped onions, and sauté until fragrant and translucent, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the smashed and chopped garlic, stir well and cook for one more minute.
  5. Add the liver, chopped herbs, pepper, and allspice (DO NOT add salt while the liver is cooking!).
  6. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes, flip, and cook for about 2 more minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of the pieces, but you have to make sure you don’t overcook the liver, as it will become bitter, plus you will kill some of the nutrients. To check doneness, cut one of the thicker pieces and see if it’s still raw in the middle. You don’t want it to look raw, but you want to retain some pink and softness. If there are thinner pieces that are ready, take them out on a cutting board and continue to cook beef liver pieces that are thicker and still raw in the middle. It won’t take long, so don’t leave the stove.
  7. Take all the cooked liver out on a cutting board, chop it into smaller pieces and add the chopped liver to the food processor, together with all the onions and spices from the pan, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt. Add first 1 teaspoon salt, and add more after you taste. For my taste, I add up to 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes. Some salt is more powerful; that’s why it is better to add it gradually.
  8. Process until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

How to store liver pate

After you make the pate, you put it immediately in an air-tight glass jar or tightly covered with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. While the pate can safely be stored for a week in the refrigerator, I prefer to eat it within two or a maximum of three days because of histamine accumulation. The top layer of ghee (clarified butter) or melted butter will protect the pate against oxidation.

I freeze the rest in small portions in Souper Cubes. When I want to eat it, I take it out of the freezer about an hour or two before. It can also thaw overnight in the fridge.

Beef liver pate in a glass jar
The liver pate in souper cubes and ready to be frozen

How to eat beef liver pate

My favorite way to eat pate is with:

The pate in a glass jar
Two slices of sourdough bread with beef liver pate

I hope you love this beef liver pate recipe!

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Beef Liver Pate With Fresh Herbs

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

The most nutritionally dense food on the planet, beef liver pate is one of my favorite ways to add nutritional value to my diet. While it might look intimidating, making pate at home is really easy and requires only a few ingredients. If you want to reap the benefits of this superfood without the downside, it's important you only use grass-fed and grass-finished liver. With a few tips and tricks, you will learn how to make delicious pate at home, even if you haven't been a fan of eating liver.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for the pan)
  • 1 lb/400 grams 100% grass-fed beef liver
  • 3 medium red onions, chopped or sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs: sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons salt (add gradually and taste)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to add to the pate when processing)
  • 1 tablespoon soft ghee

Instructions

1

Rinse the liver in cold water and pat dry. If your butcher didn't do it already, ensure all the membranes are removed, and the liver is sliced in approximately equal pieces so it cooks evenly.

2

Wash and dry the herbs, and prepare all the rest of the ingredients.

3

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add the onions and sauté until fragrant and translucent, for about 5 minutes.

4

Add the smashed and chopped garlic, stir well and cook for one more minute.

5

Add the liver, chopped herbs, pepper, and allspice (DO NOT add salt while the liver is cooking!).

6

Cook on one side for about 2 minutes, flip, and cook for about 2 more minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of the pieces, but you have to make sure you don't overcook the liver, as it will become bitter, plus you will kill some of the nutrients. To check doneness, cut one of the thicker pieces and see if it's still raw in the middle. You don't want it to look raw, but you want to retain some pink and softness. If there are thinner pieces that are ready, take them out on a cutting board and continue to cook the pieces that are thicker and still raw in the middle. It's not going to take long, so don't leave the stove.

7

Take all the cooked liver out on a cutting board, chop it into smaller pieces and add to the food processor, together with all the onions and spices from the pan, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt. Add first 1 teaspoon salt, and add more after you taste. For my taste, I add up to 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes. Some salt is more powerful, that's why is better to add it gradually.

8

Process until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

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