Chopped Liver

Chopped Liver?  Really, James?  Can it get any worse than liver?

Well, beside the fact that liver is loaded with vitamins, I think its a taste that you can learn to love.  Like coffee, for instance.  Do you remember the first time you tasted coffee as a child?  Yeah, bitter yuck!

Anyway, those of you who know me, know that I like me some liver.  This evening I cooked one of my all time favorite meals: liver fried with bacon, served with sautéed mushrooms and onions.  Mmm, mmmmmm.  I had lots of leftovers, so I decided to try making chopped liver.  As usual, I turned to my old friend Google and scoped out some potential recipes.  Not having all of the necessary ingredients for any of them, I decided to improvise.  So without further ado I present to you, James’ Chopped Liver…

James' Chopped Liver

Due to my poor planning and lack of professional camera equipment, I was unable to prepare a blow by blow photo montage of the prep process, so you’ll have to make due with my shadowy photo of the end product.  I assure you, its delicious.  I dare you to try making your own!


  • 2 pounds of liver (pork, beef, chicken, goat, wildebeest, I don’t think it matters)
  • 1 cup animal fat, more or less (bacon fat, lard, chicken fat, butter… some kind of animal fat)
  • 3 or 4 slices of bacon, depending on the size of the strips.  You could also use chopped ham, as I did in my initial attempt.
  • One large onion, chopped or sliced
  • A handful of chopped mushrooms.  I used reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, but any kind will do.
  • 1-2 Tbs tamari soy sauce, or just regular salt and pepper.
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (I bet you didn’t see that coming!)
  • A Cuisinart or some other food processor to chop everything up


Step 1: Prepare everything. 

  • Slice, chop or dice the onion.
  • Cut up the mushrooms.
  • Drain the liver, slice it up in nice thin slices if it is a large liver, or leave them whole if you’re using chicken livers.
  • Chop up you bacon or ham into smallish pieces.
  • Start hard boiling the eggs (they take 20 or 25 minutes start to finish).

Step 2: Fry the bacon and the liver. Together.  The way nature intended.

  • Fry up that bacon in a nice cast iron pan, a dutch oven, or what ever skillet you have. Please tell me you’re not using a teflon coated pan!  Use medium heat.  
  • When the bacon is mostly cooked, its time to add the liver.  You may need to add more bacon grease or lard to the pan, depending on how much your bacon generated.  You want the liver to have plenty of fat to fry in so it doesn’t stick to the pan, and because it will cook better that way.  You may have to do it in two batches.  You can leave the bacon bits in the pan as long as they don’t get too crispy.
  • Cook the liver until it is just barely pink inside.  Don’t overcook the liver, or it will be dry.  Dry liver will stick in your throat.  We really don’t want that.
  • When the liver and bacon is all cooked, set it aside in a bowl, or put it right in your Cuisinart.

Step 3: Fry the mushrooms and onions.  

  • Put the onions right into the hot frying pan, with all of that delicious, liver-flavored bacon grease.  Add a pinch of salt, that seems to get the onion juices flowing.
  • Let the onions go for a minute or two on medium heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low (maybe a 3 on an electric stove).
  • Add the mushrooms at this point and cover the pan.  The onions should be starting to smell nice and sweet.
  • After 3 or 4 minutes, add the soy sauce.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or so in all.

Step 4: Put it all together and chop it up!

  • When the mushrooms and onions are done sautéing and the eggs are hardboiled, cooled and peeled, dump everything into your food processor.
  • Pulse the food processor 6 or 8 times, until everything is very coarsely chopped.  Let me repeat that: coarsely chopped.  You don’t want baby food, or mush.  Yuck!

Step 5: Enjoy!  Maybe give some to your relatives and impress the socks off of them!

There you have it folks: James’ Chopped Liver.  Let me know how you like it.

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