To quote our friend, Monica Corrado at Simply Being Well, “A paté is a sauté that is puréed with extra graisse.” Graisse is fat. As in fat-soluble rich, raw cholesterol-laden, nutrient-dense animal fat. Yes, butter, ghee, cream, duck fat, tallow, lard and egg yolks. Those highly valued sacred foods esteemed by our ancestors around the globe. So prized for its life-giving qualities that no warrior nor preconception couple turned it down. The wisdom of the ancients understood that the fat of the animals contained the nutrients vital to vibrant health.
And so we couple this fat with liver to create a delicious and nutritious delicacy known as liver paté. It is well established that liver is the most nutrient-dense of all traditional foods. Liver contains high amounts of vitamins A, B (especially B6 and B12) and D. Additionally liver contains key minerals such as copper, iron and zinc along with antioxidants. Liver has long been valued by cultures because of its life-sustaining properties and should be a regular part of every preconception person’s diet and especially that of pregnant women. We recommend liver be eaten once to twice weekly.
Contrary to the claims and objections raised by some, the liver is not full of toxins. Quite to the opposite, the liver is a filter, not a depository for toxins. The liver has the critical task of filtering the blood of toxins through a complex sequence of enzymatic processes. The liver is the body’s largest storehouse for vital nutrients like vitamin A and the other vitamins and minerals mentioned above. The quality of liver is always going to be higher when liver is obtained from wild or pastured animals. Confinement animal feeding operations (CAFOs) feed animals a diet high in grains, as well as toxic chemicals and metals from non-organic feed. High sugar diets, such as feeding grains to animals, can lead to fatty liver conditions and metabolic diseases just as are seen in humans. When possible, source liver from animals raised on pasture to ensure the highest level of nutrients.
One of the most delicious ways to enjoy liver is as liver paté. Julia Childs once said “The memory of a good paté will haunt you for years.” I couldn’t agree more! Here is a slight variation to Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Traditions chicken liver paté with the addition of crème fraîche. Beware. This will haunt you in a good way. Utterly delicious to the last bite.
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound chicken or duck livers
1 yellow onion, chopped
2/3 cup dry vermouth
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon or more fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
Celtic sea salt to taste
Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add livers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, until onions are soft and livers are browned. Add wine, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool. Blend in a food processor with softened butter and crème fraîche. Place in a crock or mold and chill well. Serve on true sourdough bread, seed crackers or simply eat alone. Bon appétit!
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