Liver, Bacon and Onions (My Quarter Cow Story)

wo weeks ago, we brought home a cow.

To be more accurate, my cousin Claire drove two hours south of Denver, through Colorado fields and farmland, to pick up several boxes of frozen beef that was once one quarter of a cow.

She met the farmers who raised the 600+ pound animal and transferred the meat into her Kia.  After carefully covering the boxes of beef with blankets to create a makeshift cooler, she drove back to Denver.  I picked up our half of the quarter — 57 pounds of steaks, roasts, ground beef and patties — at her apartment.

Claire’s stand alone freezer, stocked with our quarter cow

When we were e-mailing with the farmer about how we wanted the meat processed, we were given the option to take any or all of the organs. I was psyched to have any liver that was available, I told Claire.  I tried to find liver from two different grass-fed beef vendors at the farmer’s market this summer – but had come home organ-less each time.

Matt and I ended up with three packages, about 1.5 pounds each, of dark, smooth, nutrient-rich liver.  Tonight, I cooked the first one using the recipe below.

This is a classic way to cook liver – chopped with onions and bacon.   I wanted a garnish with a bit of salt and sweetness, so I added a bit of chopped bread and butter pickles on the side and enjoyed dinner.

Liver, bacon and onions

Yellow onion, 1 medium, diced

Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons

Bacon, 4 slices

Liver, 1 pound

Bread and butter pickles*, 1 cup chopped

  1. Add onion and coconut oil to pan over low/medium heat.
  2. Sauté for 15 minutes, until onions are soft and browned and slightly starting caramelize.
  3. Chop bacon into small pieces about 1 cm square.  Add to pan and cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Chop liver into small pieces, about 1 cm square.  Add to pan and sauté for 7 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and top with diced pickles.

*I had extra bread and butter pickles from a barbeque over the summer (or maybe last), so I used them.  This style of pickle is made with a bit of added sugar, so if you are trying to be Whole30 compliant, you can use a different type of pickle or just omit them.