Friday, March 9, 2012

The Great Meatball Experiment AKA Liver and Onion Meatballs

I've always hated liver. I don't like the taste, smell, texture, or look of it. I'm not sure if my parents like it or not, but one day I remember coming home from school and all I could smell was liver. My Mother had cooked liver, and then made chili. She tried to hide the liver in the chili. It didn't work. Blech. I think the problem was that she cooked the liver first. She would have been better off to have ground or chopped it it to mix into the ground beef. Ah well. She tried, right?

There are many reasons why everyone should eat liver, especially that from grass fed cows. Liver is a great source of vitamins  A and B, plus essential fatty acids like Arachidonic Acid and DHA. Here is a great article by Chris Masterjohn on the benefits of these nutrients.

I want to like liver, I really do. But since I don't like it alone, I need to try other options, where you mix the liver in with other meats. I'm trying an idea I saw here at The Food Lovers Primal Palate (fabulous site, by the way, go check it out. They have resources, recipes, and lots of other cool stuff). Instead of using their recipe with cinnamon, paprika, and garlic powder, I'm using my stand-by hamburger patty/Salisbury steak seasonings: mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder. I added chopped onion at the very end, mixed everything together well, and formed into meatballs a bit larger than 1oz each.

Does it look like there is liver mixed in here?

My husband and daughter had spaghetti and meatballs (they're still not 100% Paleo, but they're really close). I had the meatballs as-is, with a huge side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower drenched in pastured butter.

Taste Test Results:

Daughter (almost 4 years old): She ate it up. No complaints.

Husband: rated the meatballs a 4 out of 5, and said you couldn't taste the liver at all.

Me: I'd eat these again. I could totally mix that liver into ground beef for my Salisbury steak recipe and pour the mushroom gravy over it. I could probably add more liver, too.

Now I'm off to look at food processors.

Recipe for people who need that kind of thing:
1 lb pastured ground beef (I'm unsure of the meat/fat ratio, we don't do that in Canada, it's either regular, lean, or extra lean. I figure this is between lean and medium.)
1/4 lb pastured beef liver
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 tsp dry mustard or prepared mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt

Mix that all together and form into meatballs - I got 15. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

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