Making Meat Loaf With Liver
Liver is one of the most nutritious meats you can eat. Besides having complete protein, it also has many B vitamins and is one of the few foods that contain gulonolactone, and enzyme that allows the body to make Vitamin C (ascorbic acid.)

You can usually substitute about 1/4 of your usual meat with liver, and serve it without comment, and have it accepted as meat loaf, although it depends on how strong-tasting any particular liver is. A meat loaf made with mostly liver can be called a liver paté.

Simple Meat Loaf
Ingredients:
2-3 onions
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of lard or other animal fat
1 pound (total) of grass-fed beef and liver
1/2 cup of soaked oats, leftover cooked oatmeal or leftover cooked rice

1 egg, beaten
1 tomato, chopped, or 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of naturally fermented soy sauce
shredded cheese
handful of chopped parsley
teaspoon of dried oregano or tablespoon of chopped, fresh oregano
pinch of cayenne powder if desired
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Chop the onions and garlic and fry in the lard in a frying pan. If the beef is not minced, run it through a meat grinder. Run the liver through a meat grinder. Mix everything together and put into a ceramic, glass or baked enamel loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until top of loaf turns brown. Serve with a "frosting" of ketchup, if desired. You can also cook this in a slow cooker if you prefer.

Meatloaf can be made in many various way and with a wide variation of ingredients. Its original purpose was to use up leftovers, so what you have on hand and what is convenient for you. If you happen to have a lot of edible greens like nettle or dandelion growing outside, by all means, boil and add as much of them as you wish to the loaf. If you like liver, make it with all liver. If you are slipping liver into your family's meals without telling them, start with a smaller amount. Below is a recount of one of my early liver loafs and, while I made several mistakes along the way, it still came out  tasting great.

 My Liver And Heart Loaf 

I bought some beef heart and liver from a local farmer who saved it for me from a steer they were butchering. As a small operation they usually just throw away the off-cuts and only sell the muscle meat.

I roasted  the liver and heart in a slow oven until thoroughly cooked first. After roasting it, I put it in the freezer until I was ready to use it. I find it easier to work with if I freeze and then partially thaw the cooked meat, but you can just let it cool off sufficiently after roasting so that you can handle it if you don't wish to freeze it. When I was ready to start my loaf, I took it out to let it thaw. (If you use cooked meat, as I did, cooking time will be less than if you start with raw meat, but either is okay.)



Meanwhile
In a baked enamel saucepan, I sauteed about as many onions as would make up about 1/3 - 1/2 the bulk of the meat in lard until they are golden brown along with some garlic cloves.



http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/liver_cubes.jpgWhen the meat has thawed sufficiently, I cut it into 1" cubes. I used a proportion of 2 parts liver to 1 part heart. However, I don't think there is a "correct" amount or type of meats to use when making a pate. I used beef heart and liver, but I could have used organs from any other food animal.

Cut off all the gristle.
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Pass it through a meat grinder piece by piece.
This is something your great-grandmother used to grind meat because she lived on the farm and couldn't buy already-ground meat like we can. Ask around among old people and someone ought to have a meat grinder they haven't used in 20 years.

Put each piece of meat into the grinder separately, turn a few times and then push another piece in as the first piece starts being extruded. This sounds tedious if you have a hundred pieces, but once you get a rhythm it's not hard. It's like knitting -- you just keep repeating the same hand motions over and over.

If you didn't remove all the gristle, it will jam the machine and you won't be able to continue grinding until you get it out. To remove gristle stuck in a hand grinder, turn the handle in the opposite direction until the gristly bit starts to come out, and then pull on it and continue grinding widdershins until you can pull it out.

You may have to pass it through the meat grinder twice to get a fine-ground consistency. This is an easy task, but it is time-consuming. It is not fast food. They lived at a different pace back at the farm. If you can arrange to have the  meat grinder in front of the TV so you can grind it while you're doing something else, that would make it a lot easier. It is not something you want to do when you're actually making a meal that you have to get done on time.

I ended up with about 6 cups of ground meat, so this recipe is based on that amount, but it can be adapted for any other amount..

Add the sauteed onions to the meat and pass them together through the meat grinder, using a finer setting if available.

http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/liver_mess.jpg

When the meats and onions have been ground fine, put in a bowl and add 2 beaten eggs, salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste. If you have any extra fat or gelatin from a previous roast, you can add some of that. There is no precise measure, but I would guess about a 1/2 cup of extra gelatin or fat to every six cups of ground meat and onions to go into the loaf.


(Making liver pate can be very messy, at least the first time around.)

Pour the pate mixture into a greased ceramic oven casserole dish.
Cook at medium heat until it is slightly browned around the top and a knife inserted into it comes out clean.
Remove the pate from the oven and leave it to cool in the container.or serve it immediately as a meat loaf.
When cooled, cut into pieces and refrigerate or freeze.

http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/liver_loaf.jpgI had meant to mix in some soy sauce with the pate mixture, but I forgot, so I brushed it on after the loaf came out of the oven, giving it this lovely dark brown crust. I had made it intending it as a liver pate that I could use cold as a sandwich spread. but it tasted delicious fresh from the oven so I served it hot as a meatloaf and kept the leftovers for sandwiches.





The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating  by Fergus Henderson. A little bit too heavy with the sugar, but it helps explain the mysteries of some types of food preparation.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
The Forager's Harvest A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Sam Thayer. What's good about this book is that the author tells about things he has experienced, not just cut and pasting or rephrasing what other people have written.



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