Easy Beef Liver Meatballs

Posted on Posted in Dinners

I am so excited about liver!  I never thought I would say that, but my toddler LOVES it…I have to admit, I enjoyed it too.

If you’re a parent you probably know the feeling when your kid gobbles up food that is good for him/her (yay!).

Grass-fed beef liver is a great source of protein and contains the following essential nutrients that help keep you healthy:

  • Vitamins A, D, E, and K – fat-soluble vitamins stored in the liver
  • Vitamin B12 –  required for metabolism and to maintain the nervous system
  • Folic acid – B-complex vitamin needed by the body to make red blood cells
  • Minerals iron and copper
  • CoQ10 – important for cardiovascular function

This chart by Chris Kresser, breaks down the nutrients in beef liver compared to apples, carrots, and red meat.

Another awesome thing about liver – it is a totally affordable Paleo protein – about $3/lb.

For more liver info, visit the Weston A. Price foundation site here.

Ok, now that I’m done geeking out on beef liver factoids, here is the recipe that my son couldn’t get enough of!

INGREDIENTS:
1lb grass-fed ground beef
1 lb* grass-fed beef liver, put through a food processor, or finely chopped, or ground in a meat grinder (you can ask the butcher to do this for you)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 TBS dried)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 TBS dried)
handful of chives (optional)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or use a handheld grater)
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 pastured egg
*I attended a BalancedBites Practical Paleo workshop today and Diane Sanfilippo let me know this is a LOT of liver. Apparently a little goes a long way and you can reduce this by half to make two batches of meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers – cook one half, freeze the other. 

PREPARATION:
(This was definitely an experiment for me but it seemed to work out. Maybe next time I’ll have a meat grinder I can use instead of the food processor.)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your baking dishes by spraying with coconut oil spray or lightly grease with grass-fed butter or lard
  2. In a big bowl, mix together all of the ingredients by hand
  3. Use a tablespoon to scoop two spoonfuls, shape into a ball and place in the baking dish
  4. Bake for 25 minutes

I served the beef liver/ground beef balls with sauteed yellow chard, baked butternut squash, and a little organic Dijon mustard.

Fresh herbs from my garden – oregano, chives and thyme are pretty easy to grow and they come back every year.

LIVER!!!!!

Looks awesome, right?

Get in there!

This was my son’s bowl after 4 meatballs. ‘Nuff said!

Thanks to Philly CowShare for delivering our 1/8 of a grass-fed cow and offal box this week.

Also, another thing about liver. It contains a really high concentration of B12, which can keep almost-2-year old kids up until 10:00 PM (B12 can help keep you awake).  Oops! Another word of advice Diane offered today!

Of course you can make this recipe with conventional meats instead of pastured/grass-fed.  But, if you are looking for the next best thing, check out www.eatwild.com for some local resources for pastured meats, eggs, and raw dairy. Or visit www.uswellnessmeats.com or www.tropicaltraditions.com to order some online.

Eat and enjoy!