Chopped Liver Paté

Leila left us a recipe for liver paté:

This is my new (ok, only) favorite way to eat liver …

Today I had some for dinner on rice crackers – yum!… It took about 15 minutes to make, not counting the soaking time.

We tried it last weekend for the Super Bowl, and it was excellent.


We would recommend beef or lamb liver (not pork liver – see the upcoming conclusion to the pork series) from a naturally pastured and fed animal. Chicken liver is also good, but again should be from a healthy naturally raised animal. We don’t normally insist on grassfed for most cuts, but it’s worth insisting on grassfed when you eat liver. The liver is a detoxification organ and unhealthy animals can easily have livers that are rich in toxins and inflammatory molecules.

Supporting that judgment, we have found that grassfed beef livers have a noticeably better taste than conventional livers. Fortunately, organ meats are inexpensive even from organic farmers. We typically pay $4.99 per pound for grassfed beef liver. (Here is the price list of a Massachusetts farm we’ve bought from recently).

Leila’s trick is to soak the liver in milk beforehand, which helps remove things like blood that may contribute to a bad taste.

Here are our ingredients:

This was 1/2 lb (225 g) of liver. This is an appropriate amount of beef liver for two people to eat in a week. The liver has been sliced into pieces 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick, and is soaking in milk. Other ingredients are an onion and boiled egg; 4 tbsp butter plus a similar amount of coconut oil; and cilantro. Leila used kimchi in place of the cilantro, for a spicier flavor.


After soaking the liver for an hour or so in milk, discard the milk. Brown the liver slices in the butter, cooking 3-4 minutes per side on relatively low heat:

Remove the liver when it has been browned on all sides and add diced onion.

Then put everything – the cooked liver, cooked onion, cooking fluids from the pot, boiled egg, coconut oil, and cilantro – into a blender and purée. The result:

Serve with rice crackers:


This still has a bit of a liver taste, but tastes really good to us. There’s room to experiment with ingredients; Leila writes:

I’ll probably use more kimchee next time to make it a bit spicier, and more onion.

We recommend consuming in the range 1/4 to 1/2 lb (100 to 200 g) ruminant (beef, lamb, or goat) liver per week for copper, vitamin A, phospholipids, and other nutrients. This eliminates any need for copper supplementation, and provides a great bounty of other nutrients.

If you eat more than ½ lb (200 g) per week of ruminant liver, copper toxicity becomes a real danger. If you intend to eat liver in larger quantities, switch to chicken liver once your ruminant liver intake gets above 150 g or so in a week. Finally, we recommend avoiding pork liver, for reasons we’ll get to in the next (or next two) science posts.

Leave a comment ?


  1. What brand rice crackers did you use? I’ve had trouble finding any not cooked with high PUFA oil.

  2. Here’s how I’ve been cooking liver lately. Cut up an onion or a couple of leeks (better), and saute to soften. Add diced sweet potato, and herbs or spices, and cook covered until potatoes are almost cooked (stir from time to time). Increase temperature and add liver (cut in thin, bite-sized pieces) – stir (and optionally cover while cooking) for a few minutes until liver is just cooked through. Then break an egg or two on top and stir in. Keep stirring for a few minutes until the egg scrambles and is cooked.

    At this point you are done, although you could drizzle a little cider vinegar (or basalmic vinegar, even better) on before serving.

  3. I don’t care much for liver, but eat it dutifully. I thought I had figured out a way to cover the taste: eat the liver with several strips of bacon! Looks like I might have to re-examine that idea.

  4. Hi Gabriel,

    It’s hard to find a fully PHD-compliant rice cracker. We get ours at Trader Joe’s. Celery and carrots also make great pate-holders.

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks! Sounds great. I like the sweet potato and liver idea.

    Hi Thomas,

    Bacon is not bad. It will remain PHD approved, in moderation.

  5. I think you could gently boil your liver in that milk instead of pan-frying it. I noticed that boiled liver is milder, and it is what I do when making a pate.

    Just yesterday I made a chicken liver pate because I bought 1 lb of chicken livers from pastured chickens. Usually I mixed boiled liver with sauteed onion, carrots, parsley root and butter, but yesterday I made it very simple. I cooked livers in salted water being careful not to overcook, while I sauteed one finely sliced onion in coconut oil, then add a bay leaf, a little bit of heavy cream, and continued cooking onion covered with a lid for 20 min until onion got very soft, discarded bay leaf.Besides bay leaf you could add cloves, all spices. I mixed onion, liver and one stick of butter in a chopper, added black pepper. It was very delicious. I spread it(some of it) over 2 sliced hard-cooked eggs for breakfast.

  6. I have a question – what is the difference between chicken liver and ruminant livers? What amount of chicken liver can I eat per week?

  7. Hi Galina,

    Chicken livers are low in copper, ruminant livers high. Copper toxicity limits ruminant liver consumption.

    In chicken liver the limiting factor is vitamin A.

    Chicken liver has about 11,000 IU vitamin A per 100 g. We recommend getting about 10,000 IU A per day. If chicken liver provides half that, then you can get 35,000 IU A/week from chicken liver or 300 g / week. If all of it were provided by chicken liver, you’d be able to eat up to a pound per week.

  8. Thank you, Paul, for such prompt response. Considering possible vit.A overload, my pate+eggs combination doesn’t look optimal. Probably, I will go easy on eggs next week, because I usually eat 2 a day.

  9. thanks.
    is soaking in acidic (vinegar, lemon) the same as soaking milk?

    i normally just sauteed liver w/ some vegetable & if i have some basil, i’ll add it at the end.

    maybe i’ll try your recipe for variety.

    but despite the milder taste, I like ruminant liver better than chicken liver (too mushy).


  10. As far as cracker substitutes, I’ve been pretty pleased with thinly sliced potatoes cooked to brown crisp in coconut oil. The texture is not unlike a cracker and they are pretty delicious. I will try this next with pate (which I love, but always wish there were bread).

  11. Hi Paul,
    When you say 200 grams per week, is that cooked or raw?

  12. My suggestions to improve the taste of liver?

    Thinner slices seem to make soaking in milk more effective.

    Curry seems to make a HUGE difference in the flavour of the liver. I’m one of those who can barely stand the taste of liver and yet I’ve been forcing it down with bacon & onions for a year or more before I even THOUGHT of liver in curry (credit to reddit for that!). I bet a curry flavoured pate served on apple slices would be excellent.

    Honestly, curry changes liver entirely – to the point that I may recently be over eating liver.

  13. I’ve been wondering lately if vitamin A toxicity is a real concern if one is supplementing with vitamin D and possibly K2?

  14. Very usefull advise about rumminants´ liver consumption. I wasn´t aware of that copper toxicity level.I´ve been eating veal liver around 1 lb per week about 6 months ago. Regarding other organ meats you recommend in the book and the blog-like brain, kidney, tripe-do you have any other warning to do ?

    Thank you very much Paul.

    Best regards,


  15. Hi Shane,

    What is your curry recipe? I have yet to find a liver recipe I liked…


  16. Does soaking liver in milk lead to nutrient loss?

    Vitamin A is fat soluble, right?

    So, can you lose vitamin A to the milk?

  17. Hi Paul,

    Is it okay to eat beef liver (not pate) cooked medium/medium-rare (pink inside)? I like the texture better, but I’m not sure if it should be cooked through well done.

    I love liver pate. I grew up eating liverwurst sandwiches with a buddy and liver pate brings me back to those good times. I think liverwurst is made with pig liver and other bad stuff, so not a good source of liver.

    I made this Traditional chicken liver pâté as an appetizer for guests and it was devoured.

    1/2 Lb chicken livers;
    1 clove garlic, minced;
    3 think slices bacon, chopped in cubes;
    1 large diced onion;
    3/4 cup butter;
    4 tbsp chopped parsley;
    3 tbsp sherry (you can use vinegar instead);
    Fresh nutmeg (optional);
    Salt and pepper to taste;

    I haven’t tried the “Basil, cinnamon, cranberry chicken and heart pâté” on that same web page, but I’d think adding cranberry to liver (if that’s a PHD okay combo) would be tasty.


  18. Hi Paul,

    here’s a quick little recipe for all those who like liver,
    but don’t like complicated recipes – or washing up:

    Heat up a pan to high heat
    add a generous amount of fat
    add half a liver, fry for 1-2mins on each side

    add half a glass of water,
    1 generous tablespoon of tomato paste,
    1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and sea salt
    add 50 grams of parboiled rice
    cover and cook at low heat until the rice is ready.

    -Serves one-

  19. How big a deal is this pork liver thing? I just purchased 5-6 pounds of pork liverwurst and braunschweiger. I bought a lot of it because I was excited to find a source that was half the cost of our grass-fed liverwurst, but still nitrate/preservative-free.

    I’d hate to see it all go to waste. My plan was to consume it over the course of several months, doing a 1/2 lb of grass-fed beef liverwurst one week, then the pork liverwurst the next.

    – Eric

  20. Plain Old Jewish Chopped Chicken Liver

    Lightly sautee some chicken livers (about 1/2 lb) in ghee or chicken fat. Best if slightly pink inside.

    Gently hard boil some (2-3) eggs: Bring eggs to boil, cover, turn off heat, and leave for 15 min.

    In a wooden chopping bowl chop, with a “rocker” chopper, together till well blended but slightly chunky:

    cooked liver and eggs and a small onion or some shallots

    add sea salt and some rendered high quality chicken fat to taste.

    The chicken fat is essential in my recipe. It gives it fabulous flavor and I really think that if it is high quality and carefully rendered, eating it occasionally will not kill you and probably have some benefits. Of course, I have access to the best chickens—from our backyard:

    so that helps

  21. Edwards Brown Rice Snaps are fat free. Normally I don’t buy anything fat free, but given that they’d probably use something toxic if they added fat, this is good. The butter or cheese I put on top of them adds the needed fat.

  22. I also like the Edward and Sons Exotic Rice Toast

    not perfect as far as PHD, but not too bad for occasional use

    I like the Thai Red Rice and Flaxseeds one

  23. Liver paté is good stuff. I like to make mine in a similar way, but I bake it in the end to set it (so I use raw eggs). I think of it as Danish style “leverpostej”. I throw in thyme or oregano (I can’t stand cilantro), sautéed mushrooms, and perhaps an apple.

    But my favorite organ meat is definitely sweetbreads: parboiled in herb stock and crisped in tallow it is irresistible. I don’t see them discussed very often, but I think they’re a very tasty treat. I hope they’re also healthy!

  24. I eat organ meats several times a week, one of reasons – it is the cheapest source of a grass-fed meat. Is eating kidney 2 times a week too much? Does eating beef tong provides extra nutrients compare to normal muscle meat? I think not. I like beef tong just boiled and sliced with a horse-reddish or a mustard , also it is easy to reheat already cooked and sliced tong on a skillet with sour cream and garlic, or wine and garlic, or just soy souse. Tong-based chile is very delicious. I hope people continue to consider a beef tong to be a questionable piece of meat and few people like me will continue our cheap east on that delicious organ.

  25. Galina, I am with you on the tongue. our herdshare group just butchered a steer and nobody but me wanted the tongue. I cooked it according to the recipe in the cookbook Odd Bits.

    I used rubber gloves to remove the skin while still hot. Also good to eat cold. It made an easy lunch to chop up and toss with pickled radish, some shredded carrots and leftover potatoes in a mustard dressing.

  26. @Elen, thank you for the link. I don’t use rubber gloves, I remove skin under running cold water after keeping tong a little bit in the cold water after it is just done.

  27. Is there evidence that a non-grassfed animal will produce a liver rich in toxins? Or is this a precaution just in case? Thank you.

  28. Hi Andrea,

    I’m using “toxins” broadly. Obese animals develop fatty liver disease just like humans, and have a lot of fibrin, peroxidized lipids, and inflammatory molecules in their livers.

    It is precautionary, but I don’t think there’s much doubt that animals fattened before slaughter often develop fatty liver disease.

  29. Oh help! I envy all of you who can eat all these odd bits. I guess I’m just not hungry enough. I think I’m going to try swallowing the frozen little pieces of liver. Is that explained somewhere here?

    I have a cracker sub that is so obvious (it’s what I thought I was seeing in the picture)…daikon root slices!

  30. I make a similar recipe. It’s also good spread on slice apples or vegetables, like celery, carrots, turnip or kohlrabi slices, etc.

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  32. Curry liver recipe:

    half pound liver, sliced thin
    Fresh Garlic, grated (~4 cloves)
    Fresh Ginger, grated (about 1tbsp)
    Garam masala ~1tbsp
    Chili powder to taste
    Green cardamom pods (about 4)
    Cloves (2-3)
    Turmeric (half a teaspoon)
    1 onion, sliced thin
    Half cup coconut cream or so
    Cooking fat (I’ve used tallow, ghee & coconut oil all with good results).

    Slice liver thin, soak in milk for a couple hours. Drain, toss in some chili powder and about half your garlic & ginger. Fry in pan with your fat till liver is browned. Remove liver and set aside.

    Without cleaning the pan, add more fat and add your green cardamom, cloves, garam masala & onions. Fry for a minute or two till onions get translucent. Add the rest of your garlic & ginger plus salt, chili powder and turmeric. Stir to combine, then add your coconut cream and the liver slices. Cook for another minute or two.

    Sometimes I dump a bag of spinach into this to increase my veggie intake. I now can eat liver and enjoy it. Amazing.

  33. Yum – thanks Shane, I’m going to try that, it sounds great. I was out of kimchee last week so I put in some sauerkraut & lots of Tabasco sauce & it’s a pretty good batch. I’m not sticking too closely to a recipe, just adding whatever might taste good & complement the liver flavour. I put it into single-serving containers & freeze them, took one on a road trip this weekend. It was nice to have as a snack when I got to the hotel & didn’t feel like finding a restaurant.

  34. Paul,

    I have been following your constipation protocol and had my first normal bowel movement in 9 months, only one so far though. I usually have one movement every 1-2 weeks and am trying to get over an enema dependency and have started seeing a colonist to try and strengthen my fatigued colon muscles. Might be a combination of things. Anyways, should I stop the copper supplementation if I eat around 100g of beef liver a week? I havent eaten any yet but am hoping to cook some up this week. I asked for a food processor for xmas just to try out liver pate.

  35. Hi AC,

    Yes, stop the copper if you eat beef liver.

    Best of luck overcoming the constipation.

  36. Hi Paul,

    I just wanted to let you know that I was finally successful at adding back in some carbs. I am now able to eat half of a small sweet potato on a daily basis, while still losing weight! You were right, the weight gain (about five pounds) was merely a temporary “hump” I had to get over before starting to go back down. I was afraid I’d be stuck eating very low carb forever!

    As a bonus, my eyes are no longer blurry, and my hair appears to have started growing back. When I put it in a ponytail, there is a thick halo of new fuzz where formerly my scalp was visible. I am suprised at how quickly these issues began to resolve – it has been perhaps a month, if not less. I haven’t been able to afford the supplements you recommended, but as soon as I can I will get them.

    Oh, and I love liver pate, I always put tons of mushrooms in mine. I am hobbit-like in my passion for mushrooms.

    You have my deepest gratitude, and respect. ~ Meli

  37. Congratulations, Meli!

    Keep working the carbs upward a little. Half a small sweet potato is not much.

    Best, Paul

  38. This recipe sounds great! I found this recipe for crackers that would go well with the pate, but haven’t tried it yet. And the comments have suggestions for variations.

  39. Sorry if this has been covered but a hopefully quick question – do you think that taking dessicated liver tablets is an acceptable substitute for eating fresh liver?

    I’ve been looking at a product called Uni-Liver by Universal Nutrition as an alternative, but I don’t want to waste my money if it isn’t going to provide the same benefits.

  40. Mr. Jaminet,

    Does soaking liver in milk lead to nutrient loss?

    Vitamin A is fat soluble, right?

    So, can you lose vitamin A to the milk?

  41. Liver pâté German

    Use a strip of bacon as cooking fat and fry your liver gently.
    Boil 4 eggs, chop half a small yellow onion and add 3oz of liver. Mash it all together
    The dish is actually called “onion with egg” liver is not in the name.
    It’s great as the liver taste is so very subtle. Salt to taste.


  42. I use a similar recipe for my pate, but you have to add around 1/2 pound of mushrooms per 1 pound of beef liver. I tried making pate without mushrooms one time a long time ago and the taste was pretty nasty. I usually use:
    – 1 lb of liver
    – 0.5 lbs of mushrooms
    – 1 onion

    sauteed in 3tbsp’s of ghee and some red wine

    then blend with 4tbsp’s of butter.

    And BTW, venison liver is AMAZING in pate. Usually other hunters are throwing away their deer livers (and other organs) so I ask for as many as I can get when deer season is in and I’m dropping off a deer at the butcher.

  43. I love this recipe! Finally, I think I’ll actually be able to eat liver regularly. Thanks so much, Paul.

  44. Try making red onion jam and topping it on sautéed beef liver. Slice some red onions and caramelizes in some Mangalista lard adding some stock of choice the balsamic vin. Reduce until sweet stirring constantly over med heat.

  45. Thanks, Paul, great idea.

  46. Hi Paul,

    I want to add 4 oz Liver to my diet.

    Is it better to eat 4 oz Liver all in one day? Or spread it out over the week in order to spread out the copper (e.g. 1 oz 4 times per week?)?


  47. Also, I might be over-thinking this but…

    Is it okay to eat Liver (copper) in combination with Oysters (zinc)? Does eating Zinc in the same meal somehow lower the Copper absorption?

    • Hi Monnyica,

      Too much zinc can lower copper absorption, but I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s your habits over time that matter, and as long as you don’t always have liver and oysters at the same time, it will be fine to eat them together occasionally.

      • Thanks for answering my questions Paul!

        And thank you to you and Shou-Ching for providing such a great website! Very organized and full of information. This is exactly the kind of website I’ve been looking for. Wish I discovered it sooner!! I probably could have avoided so many health problems.

  48. Paul–Some liver recipes mention washing the liver beforehand–though it’s never clear exactly why. Does the milk in this case also serve the same function, or is rinsing the liver off simply unnecessary in general?

    • Hi Ross,

      It tastes better if you wash the blood / congealed blood away. Another way to do this is to simmer it in water for ten minutes, then discard the water and finish cooking however you wish.

  49. Hi Paul,

    Someone asked (earlier up in the comments) if desiccated liver supplements could be a good substitute for eating liver, and I saw that her question had not been answered. I am curious about this as well, so if you get a minute please let me know what you think.

    I’ve tried cooking liver, I bought grass fed beef liver and I am a pretty good cook, and I just can’t eat it. I wish I liked it. If the supplements aren’t a good idea maybe I will bring out the nose clips (think Seth Roberts) and try to eat it that way.

    Have a good day and Merry Christmas!

    p.s. I love the new edition of the book 🙂

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