Crockpot Liver With Tomatoes and Bacon

Calf's liver with sage

Food Collection/Getty Images

Ratings (7)
  • Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
329 Calories
15g Fat
7g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 329
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 161mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 41g
Calcium 44mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When we hear liver we may instantly think of liver and onions, a dish that was commonly served—but not necessarily liked—during the mid-1900s. But there is more than one way to prepare liver, and this slow-cooked recipe featuring bacon, carrots, celery, onion, and stewed tomatoes will change your mind about cooking liver. The liver is tender and delicious when simmered all day in this rich and flavorful sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef or calves liver (cut into cubes)
  • 3 to 4 slices bacon (diced)
  • 2 small carrots (sliced)
  • 2 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Place liver in slow cooker; sprinkle with diced bacon.

  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl or measuring cup and pour over the liver and bacon.

  3. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

  4. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Calves Liver Vs. Beef Liver

Although calves liver and beef liver both come from cows, their appearance and taste are very different. Since the liver's job is to detoxify chemicals in the body, the younger the liver is the fewer the chemicals that have passed through this organ. Thus, whereas a more mature cow's liver—or beef liver—will be red and tough with a strong flavor, calves liver is pink and tender with a more subtle flavor. And if the calf has been grass-fed and raised organically, the liver will be even more appealing.

Liver is Good for You

If you still need some convincing to try liver, maybe you'll be swayed by the fact that it is a nutrition superstar. Liver is widely known to be high in iron (one serving has approximately 1/3 of the recommended daily intake), but it also is chock full of other healthy vitamins, like Vitamin A, B12, and B2 (riboflavin), and minerals, particularly selenium, an anticancer mineral. Vitamin A helps our immune system while B12 and B2 assist in the production of energy. B12 also works along with vitamin B6 and folic acid (also present in liver) to reduce the risk of heart disease. Liver is also a great source of protein.

Other Liver Recipes

If this recipe—or liver's health benefits—have turned you on to cooking liver, there are plenty of interesting ways to prepare it. A Moroccan fried liver and onions recipe brings warm spices to the dish, creating a comforting and flavorful meal. Fegato alla Veneziana cooks thinly sliced liver with golden onions and then finishes the dish with freshly ground pepper, chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice. For a tasty first course (or meze), try a Greek twist on fried liver, called Sykotakia Tiganita, which are simply fried liver morsels; you can use calves liver, or try lamb or pork. If you are interested in making a chopped liver pate, you will want to buy chicken livers for any version of that rich-tasting spread.