All About Offal: Sneaking in Liver and Heart

This post is a continuation of our series about including organ meats in your diet.  Be sure to see the rest of the series here.

As you and your family are continuing to adjust to the idea of including organ meats in your diet, a great way to incorporate them without any fanfare is to mix them in with other ground meats.  This works particularly well with beef heart, but can also be done with beef liver.

I’m going to show you how I incorporated a beef heart into two different types of meat today.  You can do the same with the beef liver, but I would use a smaller amount.  The liver has a stronger taste than heart and may be more discernible in the dish, especially with picky eaters.

First, you want to cut the beef heart into chunks to then put in your food processor.  You’ll want to remove any of the tough, stringy bits or hard pieces.  (Yes, it’s a bit difficult to think about the fact that you’re cutting up a heart at first!)

Then you want to grind up the heart in your food processor until it’s in small pieces similar to ground meat.  Be sure to watch it closely because it is easy to turn it into pureed heart.  Not a big deal, you can still mix it in without a problem.  It’s a little more disgusting to look at, though!

Now you can add this to various meat dishes.  I prefer to add it to a dish where I’m going to be adding quite a few spices or stronger flavors to also help mask any taste that others might not like.  This time I put some in my taco meat for dinner and mixed in some for my homemade pork breakfast sausage.  I also like to use it in my spaghetti squash meat sauce recipe.

Do you see any ground heart in there?!

A great rule of thumb for using heart for some of the ground meat is to substitute approximately 1/4-1/3 of the recipe with the organ meat.  So, if I’m making a breakfast sausage recipe that calls for 2 pounds of ground pork, I’ll put in about a half pound of ground heart and reduce the pork.  If you’re substituting with liver, I would recommend doing about half that amount.  The liver taste will come through more strongly.  If you’re not picky about the taste of liver, then by all means, add some more in!

They'll never know there's ground heart in the breakfast sausage!

If you have family members who turn their noses up at the thought of trying organ meats, this is a great way to get them started.  Right now, this is the only way my husband will eat any organ meats.  I’m still working on getting him to try my pate, but at least I know he gets a little bit in his diet when I prepare dishes like this.   I hope you’ll give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!

 

This post is part of Fat TuesdayReal Food Wednesday, Simple Lives ThursdayPennywise Platter ThursdayFight Back FridaySunday School, and Monday Mania.

Comments

  1. Dee says:

    Hi!
    Loved your articles on organ meat. I was an “interesting” child growing up. I didn’t care for muscle meat too much but I absolutely LOVED liver! Got away from eating it as an adult. Later, upon seeing a TCM practioner, he recommended that I eat liver again. Instead of cooked, he wanted me to eat it raw with raw onion. I had no problems with it at all. After a while, I stopped that as well. Now, I’m at it again. I not only eat liver, I also include heart. I am about to order practically all of the organ meat I can, including but not limited to brains, kidneys, pancreas, adrenals, etc. I plan to eat them raw as well! I’ll blend them along with the other organ meat in my Vitamix along with my usual additions of a plum, raw dandelion root and leaf, raw apple cider vinegar and onion. It comes out like a soup. I top it off with some Himalayan salt.

    Thanks again for your articles!

    Sincerely,
    DB

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Dee!

      How interesting to hear that you preferred liver to muscle meat as a kid. : ) It’s good to hear that you’ve gotten back to including it in your diet again.

      I’m still working on continuing to expand the types of organ meats I include in my diet. I should really give kidneys a try next, I think. Do you find it easy to locate sources for pancreas and adrenals?

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Mindy

      • Dee says:

        Hi, again, Mindy!
        The website for ordering the organ meat is: http://www.northstarbison.com. They have an array of various organ meats. So far, this is best I’ve seen in terms of variety. I hope this helps.

        Sincerely,
        DB

      • Dee says:

        Hi, Mindy:
        Forgot to add: When you go to http://www.northstarbison.com, on the left side of the page under, “Meat Products”, click on on, “Grass fed Bison”. Go down to “Organ, Glands & Bones” and click on that link. You’ll see the variety of organ meats and glands to which I was referring.

        Sincerely,
        DB

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