Liver is one of the most-nutrient dense foods on the planet. Checking the stats in my Cronometer, just 1 measly ounce of beef liver satisfies 39% of my daily nutritional targets while only providing 3% of my daily calorie needs. THAT is what "nutrient density" means -- a TON of vitamins and minerals packed into a just a few calories. Check this chart out (click to enlarge):
Pretty incredible, right? That's just one ounce. I typically eat 4 to 8 ounces at a time when I consume liver, so multiply the numbers accordingly. If you'd like to learn more about the nutritional and health benefits of consuming liver, check out these articles:
Also, you'll see in the chart above that beef liver is very high in copper, so for this reason be careful about eating too much beef liver too often. The tolerable upper intake level set by the US Board of Food and Nutrition is 10 mg per day for healthy adults.
When I eat beef liver, I try to consume 8 oz over two or three days, which means I do go above the 10 mg limit on those days, but the days I'm not eating liver I don't come anywhere close to getting that much, so I'm not concerned about copper toxicity. This is also why I purposefully rotate between beef, pork, lamb, and chicken livers each week, because they each have their own unique nutrient profiles. You can read more about copper at the Linus Pauling Institute.
Liver - Do You Love It or Hate It?
There's usually not much in between.
Thank my lucky stars, I love eating liver. But I know not everyone does.
Sure, you can do things like consume liver pills if you don't want to eat it, but they are labor-intensive to make yourself (check out several tutorials for that in this post) and kinda expensive to buy. Besides: I am a huge believer in doing your darndest to get as much nutrition as possible from your FOOD, not from pills (medical conditions aside, of course. I still take quite a few supplements prescribed by my functional medicine doctor).
I've got good news for you: this pâté recipe is for the liver haters. It's rich, creamy, and mild, despite being made with beef liver. A unique feature is that it is also dairy-free. Most pates are usually made with butter blended inside and also used to seal the top.
Not this one!
Instead, pureed avocado makes this pâté silky smooth and delightfully creamy. The top is sealed with a delicious blueberry jelly made with grass-fed beef gelatin. Perfect!
I developed this recipe shortly after starting the paleo autoimmune protocol to heal leaky gut. It was time for me to rotate to beef liver, and I will admit: sometimes beef liver is tough for me to eat. It's got a very strong flavor if you simply pan fry it with onions.
I didn't want to choke it down; I wanted something delicious and that I would be happy to devour, so I knew I needed to come up with an AIP-friendly beef liver pâté.
While brainstorming to come up with a way to make the pâté rich and creamy without dairy, my brain went immediately to avocados. It was an experiment that just happened to turn out perfectly. But, when I was trying to come up with a way to seal the top without butter, I was at a loss. I did a bit of searching and came across recipes using homemade jellies and BAM! I knew I had my answer. Thanks to Passion Fruit Garden for giving me that inspiration.
This recipe does freeze well for about a month, so if you want, you can make enough to last you 4 weeks and just take it out to thaw as needed. I'm totally doing that next time in these freezer-safe jars. I try to batch cook as often as I can. On that side note, if you are interested in learning more about paleo batch cooking, check out this new meal planning program where I am a contributing author called 20 Dishes. It's pretty awesome! And it's totally for real that you will learn how to prep a week's worth of paleo meals in less than an hour there. And there are sections for autoimmune paleo and low-FODMAP recipes, too!
Rich and Creamy Dairy-Free Beef Liver Pâté with Blueberry Jelly
This beef liver Pâté is dairy-free yet ultra smooth and creamy. Even the liver haters will love this delightful recipe!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 pound grass-fed beef liver
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6-8 cloves garlic, freshly-pressed or minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, stems removed
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, stems removed
- 1 large hass avocado, peeled and pit removed
- 1/4 tsp unrefined salt (add more to taste)
- optional: freshly cracked black pepper (some choose to omit on AIP)
- 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef gelatin
- 3 Tbsp filtered water
- Trim liver into strips so that the widest dimension is no wider than about 1-1.5" thick. This is to ensure even cooking. Remove any vessels or connective tissue that the butcher didn't. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Pan-fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Pour off any excess bacon grease, leaving about 1-2 Tbsp in the pan. (I save all my extra bacon fat in a small jar in the fridge and cook with it daily).
- Saute diced onion for several minutes, until tender. Move to the edges of the pan and add liver slices, garlic, and fresh herbs and saute liver slices for about 2-3 minutes, then flip. Cook for an additional 1-3 minutes, or until liver is medium rare. Cut into the middle of a piece to check. Crumble bacon into the pan and remove from heat to allow the liver mixture to cool awhile you prepare the jelly.
- Place blueberries in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until blueberries are soft.
- While blueberries are cooking, "bloom" the gelatin by putting the 3 Tbsp of water in a small bowl and sprinkling the gelatin on top to wet it. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Either use an immersion blender or transfer berries to a blender to puree (be careful blending hot liquids!) My blender comes with a small smoothie attachment that I used for this. Transfer berries back to the pan over medium heat if not using an immersion blender.
- Spoon out wet gelatin and stir into warm blueberries. Once dissolved completely, remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Back to the pâté: place peeled and de-pitted avocado in blender and pour entire contents of pan (fat included) into blender and puree until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add additional avocado to reach desired consistency (add 1/4 of a fruit at a time). Sprinkle in salt and pepper (if using) to taste.
- Portion out pâté into containers of your choice, leaving room on top for the jelly seal. I have a terrine with a glass lid that I like to use, and I also portion some into small freezer-safe canning jars with lids.
- Pour jelly on top of each container of pâté to cover in a thin layer. If your containers have lids, use them. If not, I recommend covering with a layer of plastic wrap. Do not let the wrap touch the jelly, though, or it will not set smoothly.
- Place in fridge for several hours to chill and to let the jelly set.
- Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving to allow pâté to reach room temperature.
- Freeze for up to 1 month, thawing in the fridge before consuming.
- Make a batch of my perfect paleo crackers to dip into this pâté!
Do you miss crackers? Try my perfect paleo cracker recipe.
It really is the perfect accompaniment to this pate!
Or dip your favorite fresh veggies in it. I love it with cucumbers. Try it with carrot sticks or celery, too!
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