Alright, it’s time to eat some liver! Before you click away, just hear me out: this recipe is delicious. The liver that’s speckled throughout these little meatballs gives them a bold savoriness that regular meatballs just don’t have. I love this recipe because it’s not an in-your-face plate of cooked strips of liver. Even for those of us that are more adventurous, (which I consider myself to be) straight up liver can be really tough to handle at first. I’d prefer to ease you into trying organ meats, and these hidden liver meatballs are one of the easiest ways to do that.
My own rocky history with liver
This was my first foray into the world of cooking organ meats for myself. My only exposure to them before was some chicken liver pate that I had at a restaurant. It was not a pleasant experience. I vividly remember choking back the stuff with watery eyes, and then pushing the tray away while muttering “never again”. But then I did some research, and I found that the benefits of eating liver are tremendous. I was convinced that getting myself to like liver would be worth it. And these hidden liver meatballs were step one on my liver-loving journey.
If you’ve tried liver before and absolutely hated the taste, I recommend adding small amounts to this recipe. Each time I made it, I added a bit more. Now I actually cook up some liver on its own and eat it on top of a salad. Of my own free will. My past self would be laughing in disbelief if she could read this.
Texture matters here, especially if you’re a liver noob like I was
I’ve found that the key to these hidden liver meatballs is to shred the calf’s liver while it’s still frozen. I’ve tried mincing it unfrozen in the food processor with mixed results. Overall, I think that the thin flakes that shredding it provides makes it easier to distribute for both flavor and texture purposes. Surprisingly, adding the liver really intensifies the Italian seasoning that we’re adding to the meatballs. Once they’re done, I toss or drizzle them with my beloved basil cashew pesto.
If I still haven’t convinced you that liver is worth trying from a nutrition perspective, you should still try this recipe! I think the flavor is incredible. I’ve even served it to people who had no idea there was any liver in it, and they loved it. Let’s get down to it with the recipe: