Innards for beginners – how to prepare liver | The Ethical Butcher

Innards for beginners – how to prepare liver | The Ethical Butcher

Offal: many people are scared of it, but why? It's the most nutritious part of the animal, and the most richly flavoured.

What is offal?

Offal is defined by Wikipedia as:

Offal (/ˈɒfəl/), also called variety meats, pluck or organ meats, is the organs of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but usually excludes muscle.

On our website you can already find a small range of offal and we plan to expand our offering in the future. In the meantime we'd like to introduce these under-appreciated ingredients to those of you who might not be familiar with them.

Beef liver is the king of nutrition

Possibly the single most nutrient-dense food for humans, beef liver offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Liver nutrition

The nutritional profile of liver is exceptional.


Here are the nutrients found in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of beef liver (1):

Vitamin B12: 3,460% of the RDI. Vitamin B12 helps the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It is also involved in healthy brain function 

Vitamin A: 860–1,100% of the RDI. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, immune function and reproduction. It also helps organs like the heart and kidneys function properly 

Riboflavin (B2): 210–260% of the RDI. Riboflavin is important for cellular development and function. It also helps turn food into energy 

Folate (B9): 65% of the RDI. Folate is an essential nutrient that plays a role in cell growth and the formation of DNA

Iron: 80% of the RDI, or 35% for women of menstruating age. Iron is another essential nutrient that helps carry oxygen around the body. The iron in liver is heme iron, the kind most easily absorbed by the body 

Copper: 1,620% of the RDI. Copper acts like a key to activate a number of enzymes, which then help regulate energy production, iron metabolism and brain function.

Choline: Liver provides all of the Adequate Intake (AI) for women and nearly all of it for men (AI is used because there is insufficient evidence to set an RDI). Choline is important for brain development and liver function.

How to prepare beef liver

This recipe is a perfect introduction to the world of offal. Beef liver is a true superfood, packing a nutritional punch that nothing can match, and this recipe tames its strong flavour to create true comfort food.

This recipe is adapted from The Hairy Bikers


480g fresh 100% grass-fed beef liver – 4 slices, ready cut
4 tsp plain flour (or gluten-free flour)
30g grass-fed butter
1 large or 2 medium onions, fairly thinly sliced
150g smoked bacon bits cut into 1cm cubes as desired
1 bottle of Spring Broth Beef Bone broth diluted x2
3 tsp Rubies in the Rubble ethical ketchup
A few fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
A pinch of flaked sea salt – we recommend Blackthorne Natural salt
A few twists of freshly ground black pepper


Rinse the liver in a colander under cold water and drain it well.

Put 2 teaspoons of the flour in a large bowl, and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the liver to the bowl and turn it in the flour until lightly coated.

Melt half the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.

Tap the excess flour off each slice of liver and add them to the pan using tongs. Cook for 1½–2 minutes on each side until lightly browned but not completely cooked through, then pop them on to a plate.

Turn down the heat and melt the remaining butter in the same pan.

Add the sliced onion and cook for a minute or so, stirring to separate the layers. Next, add the bacon and cook together for another 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and pale golden brown, stirring often.

Sprinkle the remaining flour over the onion and bacon, and cook for a few seconds, stirring. Pour the hot stock slowly into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, stir in the ketchup and cook over a medium heat until the gravy is thickened and glossy.

Put the liver back in the pan with the finely chopped sage leaves if desired and heat it through in the onion gravy for 2–3 minutes until hot, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then garnish with a few fresh, uncut sage leaves.

Serve the liver and bacon with a small portion of mashed potatoes and lots of freshly cooked greens.

Buy our 100% pasture-fed regeneratively raised beef liver here