I can’t be a nutritionist without trying to fit in the most nutrient-dense foods, and liver is at the top of the nutrient dense list. It is filled with Vitamin A, folate, Iron, B Vitamins, as well as numerous other trace vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best foods to serve as baby’s first food, it is excellent if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, and such a super food for Postpartum as well. BUT, if you’ve ever prepared and eaten liver, it can have a very pungent flavour and smell that many people dislike (including me), so I am thrilled that I have finally found a recipe that my family usually eats at least 2-4 times/month, that can now give us all a dose of the good stuff without having to taste it.
I was wary of adding liver to a household favourite because I was afraid my girls would be turned off chilli forever, BUT, the opposite happened. After serving a bowl to my 5 year old she exclaimed “I don’t like it…I LOVE it”. So, that’s a pass in my mind, and even knowing the liver was in there didn’t put me off it at all, you seriously could not detect it, even if someone told you it was there. It really helped to marinate the liver beforehand in lemon juice, plus all the spices in the mix really masked it, and the tang of the lime juice and cilantro overpowered any liver flavour. So, try it for yourself, and get ready to be blown away!
1 lb chicken liver (can use beef liver but the flavour is stronger)
Juice of 1 lemon or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 lbs ground beef
2 large onions – chopped finely
10-15 cloves garlic (or 1 big bulb) – minced
1 can crushed tomatoes or 8-12 tomatoes chopped roughly
2 cups broth
2 cans of beans (I used chickpea and black beans here)
4 limes – juiced
1-2 cups chopped cilantro (use a full bunch)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp organo
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
- 4-12 hours prior to making chilli, chop liver and place in a covered glass bowl in the fridge with 1 juiced lemon or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
- Add oil to pan along with liver, 1/2 of the chopped onions and garlic, cook for 5-10 minutes while breaking up liver, until brown and cooked through.
- Add can of crushed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes to the pot, along with the broth. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
- Add mixture to a blender. This step is optional, but I wanted to make sure there were no chunks of liver in the chilli.
- To another large pan, add oil and chopped peppers (or any other vegetables you would like to use; mushrooms, zucchini, celery, kale, etc), with the remainder of the onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes then add all of the spices. Mix around until the spices become fragrant (2-3 minutes)
- In the liver pot, before adding the liver back in (liver “soup” is still in blender), add ground beef and break up while it cooks, cook until brown, then add cooked peppers in with beef.
- Stir peppers and beef mixture up until well mixed, then pour the liver mixture into pot. Stir and let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
- Add cans of beans, or 2-4 cups of cooked beans, juice of limes, and chopped cilantro.
- Stir together and let simmer for another 5-20 minutes until you are ready to serve. The longer it sits, the more flavourful it is.
- Serve in a bowl, topped with sliced avocado, grated cheese, or a dollop of plain yogourt, or just eat it on its own.
- Add any extra salt or pepper (I don’t add black pepper to the big pot because my daughters find it too spicy, but it would be a nice addition).