Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions


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I know, I know. Liver is either one of the most loathed and loved foods, depending on who you ask. I wasn’t the biggest fan of liver growing up, but I loved braunschweiger {a blended combination beef, beef liver, and spices} and even pâté. Somehow after blending this distinctly flavored organ meat to oblivion, it becomes delicious…even crave-worthy.

Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions | Enjoying this Journey...
It’s no secret that I love balsamic vinegar. So when I make caramelized onions, I’ve been known to add a few generous splashes. It brings on a new layer of flavor… So when I had the brilliant idea to merge balsamic caramelized onions and beef liver pâté, I was pretty stinkin’ excited.

The result? A subtly sweet, smooth, nutrient-dense pâté. Since I first started making pâté, I’ve enjoyed it with apples, even Granny smiths when I did the 21-Day Sugar Detox. Luv likes her pâté with “dip-ables”. Bugsy usually eats it by the spoonful as-is though. The boy loves his pâté! This was his second spoonful…

Lately, we’ve been enjoying them with our local organic Pink Lady apples. I normally spoon some pâté on the kids’ plates, but I took one look at my apple corer one day and another idea came to me… Pâté-stuffed apples!!

Simply core your apple, fill {using a teaspoon and some patience}, cut in half if you’d like, and … mmf!

Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions | Enjoying this Journey...

4.7 from 3 reviews
Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side, Entree
Cuisine: Paleo, Primal, AIP
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1.5 pints
A subtly sweet, smooth, nutrient-dense pate.
  • 1-1/2 lb grassfed beef liver; trimmed, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices, and soaked in ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar for at least 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator
  • 2-3 TB fat of choice, divided {tallow, lard, or rendered pork fat work well}
  • 1 organic yellow onion, sliced {not too thin!}
  • 6 cloves organic garlic, pressed or grated
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Real salt or Himlayan sea salt
  • 2 sprigs organic thyme, leaves removed
  • ¼ - ½ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  1. Remove liver from vinegar soak, rinse well, and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat with 1 TB of fat.
  3. Add the onions and stir. Let the onions cook 5-10 minutes before stirring again.
  4. Stir the onions, scraping the bottom of the skillet. Continue cooking uncovered until the onions are tender, reduced, and caramelized; about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  6. Pour in the balsamic, continue cooking until reduced and the onions are coated well. Transfer the caramelized onion mixture to a plate, sprinkle with the fish sauce, let it sit while you cook the liver.
  7. In the same pan {utilizing that flavor}, heat another tablespoon of fat over medium-high heat. In batches, cook the liver slices 3-5 minutes per side. Continue until all the slices are cooked.
  8. Place cooked liver, balsamic caramelized onions, salt, and thyme in a food processor. Pulse, breaking everything up, until fine. Slowly stream in the olive oil until the mixture begins to come together smoothly. Add more olive oil to thin the mixture out to your liking.
  9. Serve with vegetable sticks, apple slices, plantain crackers, or enjoy it as-is.
  10. Makes about 1 and ½ pints.

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Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions | Enjoying this Journey...
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  20 comments for “Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

  1. October 17, 2014 at 11:49am

    Would you add some kind of lard in replace of olive oil to smooth out consistency?

    • January 27, 2016 at 8:40am

      Yes, you could try lard or rendered bacon fat (more flavor) – even avocado oil!
      Erin recently posted…Perfect ScallopsMy Profile

  2. JIWA
    November 4, 2015 at 7:53am

    YUM> I get some fresh grass fed liver today. Can’t use it all and went wandering for a pate recipe. This looks great and I like that it uses tallow or pork fat rather than butter. can’t wait. Of course some will go for liver and onions!!!

    • November 19, 2015 at 11:30am

      Yay! I hope you enjoy this pate 🙂

  3. Stephanie in Germany
    January 26, 2016 at 10:57pm

    Hi Erin! I live in Germany and have never heard of the fish sauce. Is it necessary? What could be a replacement? How long does the pate keep in the refrigerator? Can you freeze portions?

    • January 27, 2016 at 8:39am

      Fish sauce adds depth of flavor, if you don’t have it I’d just check seasonings. 🙂 Yes, it freezes fine. I’d aim to use it up within three days or freeze. But another tip I’ve seen for extending the shelf life is to cover it with a fat of some sort (rendered bacon fat, lard, even olive oil) when storing in the fridge. I hope that helps!

    • vicki
      April 20, 2017 at 3:59pm

      I would be very wary of using fish sauce. It is put into a lot of processed foods today….. it makes me violently sick….pulse races etc. Not good at all.

      • April 21, 2017 at 10:35am

        That’s strange, Vicki! I’ve never had an issue with Red Boat fish sauce (that is the only fish sauce I use). The ingredients are simply anchovies and sea salt. Did you use a different brand? Obviously, if you have that strong a reaction to it, you’re right to avoid it.

  4. LoreLoreina Acevedo
    March 8, 2016 at 4:25pm

    Thanks for this yummy recipe… I changed it up a bit to suit my taste… Loving it absolutely! I have a QUESTION: I made enough to last awhile IF I can freeze some of it for weeks ahead… Have you ever frozen some of it? Do you know if that will work? Again gratitude and blessings, Lore

    • March 8, 2016 at 5:44pm

      So glad you’re enjoying it! Yes, you can definitely freeze pate. I’d recommend freezing into smaller portions (say ones you’ll easily eat within a few days of defrosting) as soon as possible. For next time, you can keep a small amount in the fridge and freeze the rest into similar sized portions once the pate has cooled. 🙂

      • LoreLoreina Acevedo
        March 8, 2016 at 10:13pm

        Great… Gratitude for your reply to support… Lovely!

  5. LoreLoreina Acevedo
    March 8, 2016 at 5:56pm

    After posting my question I saw that “it freezes fine” in your answer to another’s question… Yay… Happy to read that… That leads me to another QUESTION: Any idea approximately how long it can be frozen and still be ok?

  6. Kiai
    November 2, 2016 at 9:58am

    Thank you for this recipe. Trying it now!

    • November 2, 2016 at 10:19am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!

      • Kiai
        November 2, 2016 at 7:26pm

        I was low on balsamic but added apple cider vinegar. Instead of dumping it after tenderizing, used the soaking juice in the onions, and then added red wine in lieu of balsamic. Also used anchovy paste instead of fish sauce. Put it in a pate pan and broiled 5 minutes to dry the top. Tastes great with pickles.

  7. Rosie
    April 25, 2017 at 4:06pm

    Thank you! This is GREAT! I never thought that I would be able to do pate without bacon, but this one hits the spot! (I almost added bacon anyway, but decided to trust, and I’m glad that I did.)
    Also, I have never done pate with apples and I’m really enjoying that, as well.

    Thanks so much!

    • April 26, 2017 at 8:54pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Rosie! 🙂

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