The ultimate in healthy comfort food, these pies serve up a generous dash of protein thanks to the beef and chicken livers and more than a little flavour. Livers have never been so easy and tempting.
- ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 200 g chicken livers
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 medium brown onion, peeled and diced
- 300 g beef mince
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp tapioca flour or buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups broccoli florets
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soak mushrooms in a cup of warm water and set aside. Remove and discard any connective tissue from the chicken livers, cut in halves, rinse and pat dry with paper towel or let it air dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat half of the ghee in a frypan until sizzling hot and add the chicken livers. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and browned on the outside, and soft on the inside. Set aside to cool slightly.
Heat the rest of the ghee in the frypan over medium-low heat and sauté onion for 7–8 minutes. Add beef mince, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon and cook on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add carrots, garlic and red wine and bring to the boil. Then add beef stock, tomato paste, sea salt, pepper, Italian herbs, star anise and bay leaves. Chop soaked porcini mushrooms (discard liquid) and add to the mix. Stir and bring to boil, then turn the heat low and simmer for 35 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place sweet potato in a saucepan of water and bring to boil. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Mash well, add butter, Parmesan cheese and salt and mash again until well incorporated and smooth.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Add butter and tapioca flour to the beef. Mix through until slightly thickened, cook for a further few minutes uncovered.
Chop the livers and add to the beef, stir through, and transfer to a baking dish or two oven-proof ramekins. Spread a thick layer of mashed sweet potato on top. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes and then under the grill for 5 minutes. Serve with steamed broccoli.
• Lard can be used instead of ghee and any freshly steamed green vegetable can be used instead of broccoli.
Recipe from Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook by Irena Macri, with photographs by Irena Macri. Published by Irena Macri.