Beef liver is one of the world’s most nutrient dense foods and is full of vitamins and minerals, but it also has a unique taste and texture that many people don’t like. Here’s how to turn beef liver into cubes so that you can easily hide it in ground beef.
Beef liver is an organ meat from a cow that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Sometimes, it is referred to as “offal,” “variety meats”, or “internal organs”. All of these terms refer to the consumable organs of animals, like liver and heart. As with a human, a cow’s liver is an essential organ for the animal and it performs many important functions, including storage of vitamins and minerals.
There are many benefits of eating organ meats, and they seem to go in phases of popularity.
Beef liver is no exception, and there are times in our country’s history when it was more popular on the kitchen table than others. Based on the number of requests we get for liver on our farm, the its popularity is on the rise. We believe this is because people are becoming more aware of its nutritional benefits.
Beef Liver Nutrition
Based on the USDA, a 4-ounce serving of raw beef liver contains
- Iron: 5.54mg
- Potassium: 354mg
- Zinc: 4.52mg
- Selenium: 44.9mcg
- Vitamin A: 5620mcg
- Vitamin B12: 67mcg
- Folate: 328mcg
- Choline: 376mg
- Retinol: 5590mcg
- Vitamin D: 1.36mcg
- Vitamin K: 3.5mcg
Health Benefits and Drawbacks
Beef liver is a nutritional powerhouse. It is an incredible source of important nutrients like Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, Folate, Coper, Riboflavin, Phosphorus and Niacin. Eating a single serving of liver can help you meet your daily recommended amount of all of these vitamins and minerals, reducing your risk of nutrient deficiency.
Because it’s packed with nutrients and low in fat, it’s associated with numerous health benefits including: reduced risk of anemia, reduced risk of Vitamin A deficiency, improved bone health, stronger immune system, reduced risk of certain cancers, and better eye health.
The same thing that makes liver so beneficial can also create complications. In fact, Mayo Clinic recommends that everyone limit consumption of organs, such as liver, to about 3 ounces (85 grams) a month.
All organ meats, especially liver, contain a high amount of cholesterol. Three ounces of beef liver contain 375 milligrams of cholesterol. High cholesterol levels raise the risk of heart attack or stroke, so it’s recommended to eat organ meats in moderation.
How to Cook Beef Liver
One of the most popular ways to cook liver is liver and onions. We have two liver and onions recipes on our site — a gluten-free version and a more traditional version. Other options are liver dishes like pate, soups and stews.
How to Hide Beef Liver in Ground Beef
The easiest way we’ve found to hide liver is to make a liver cube and cook one cube with one pound of ground beef. As long as the ratio is 1:1 (1 liver cube to 1 pound of ground beef), the liver flavor is unnoticeable. The full recipe is below, but here’s a quick overview:
- If your liver is frozen, be sure to refrigerator thaw the liver. Because you will be refreezing the liver, the meat must be refrigerator thawed to be safely refrozen. (learn more about safely thawing and defrosting meat here)
- Soak liver in milk for 1-2 hours to help remove liver’s bitter flavor.
- Cut into smaller chunks, and puree in a food processor or blender.
- Spoon 2 Tbsp of liver puree into each ice cube compartment for 1 ounce liver cubes.
- Freeze the puree in the ice cube trays. To use, add 1 liver cube to 1 pound of ground beef.
Cook the ground beef as you normally would in a large skillet and break into crumbles. The liver will “disolve” into the ground beef crumble mixture. Beef liver cubes work in any recipe with grass-fed beef, but they’re especially great for dishes that use sauces or spices in the meat such as sloppy joes, taco meat, stuffed bell peppers and chili.
More Beef Liver & Offal Recipes
- Liver and Onion (2 different ways)
- Classic Chopped Beef Liver
- Beef Tongue Tacos (Beef Tacos De Lengua)
- Pickled Beef Tongue
Favorite Kitchen Products
- Meat thermometer
- Ice Cube Tray
One More Thing!
Do you want to learn more about beef? Below are a few popular beef posts and recipes you may like. In addition, we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a farmers perspective.
- Buying a Cow. How Much Beef Is It?
- Is It Done Yet? The Best Meat Thermometer
- Defrosting Meat: 4 Safe & Easy Ways
- Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
- Prime Rib Roast with Garlic Herb Butter
We have a weekly e-newsletter where we share about farm happenings, when our next beef availability is, and all things beef. When you do, you’ll get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer.
Do you have other questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to talk beef!
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