Beef liver has a long history as a traditionally valued food. Often eaten by traditional cultures as soon as practicable, even in preference over the muscle meat. In fact, some traditional cultures only consumed the organ meats, with the leaner muscle meats being often discarded or given to away to wolves / early dogs.
More recently, especially in Western cultures, organ meats like beef liver have fallen out of the regular rotation in favour of the leaner, more palatable muscle meats.
Most local butchers will stock beef liver, but you will probably need to ask as they keep most of the organ meats away from the public eye in cool rooms / freezers due to the limited sales. By comparison, the selection of muscle cuts from all animals is often more readily available for viewing and purchase. Organ meats like beef liver are actually very cheap when compared to the more popular cuts of muscle meat and pack a real bang for your buck when you consider the nutrient density.
In fact, it’s one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
A dense source of protein, vitamins and minerals critical to human performance packed into a single food source. Just a quick look at some of the key nutrients in 100 grams of beef liver paints a powerful picture:
- Protein: 27 grams
- Vitamin A: 26,091 IU | 522% DV
- Vitamin B2: 3.4 mg | 201% DV
- Vitamin B3: 17.5 mg | 87% DV
- Vitamin B6: 1 mg | 51% DV
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 260 mcg | 65% DV
- Vitamin B12: 83.1 mcg | 1386% DV
- Choline: 418 mg
- Copper: 14.6 mg | 730% DV
- Iron: 6.2 mg | 34% DV
- Selenium: 32.8 mcg | 47%
- Zinc: 5.2 mg | 35% DV
How to get more liver into the diet
Here are just a few ways to get more of this nutrient dense superfood into the diet:
- Pan fried. Liver goes well when fried with onions;
- Bolognese sauces. Liver and other organ meats can be chopped or minced and then mixed with regular ground beef and added to pasta or vegetable dishes;
- Burger patties. As with Bolognese sauces, chop or mince organ meats and mix it with ground beef to make highly nutritious burgers.
- Liverloaf. This is basically a meatloaf that is prepared with a mix of both beef and liver mince.