Organ meat. We all should be eating it, but we aren’t. Why? I could go on and on about the nutritional value of eating organs (and I have here, here and here), yet knowing that they are good for us doesn’t seem to be enough. So what will it take for you to get this nutrient-rich, bio-available food into your diet?
Identifying the Hurdles
Let’s talk about some of the hurdles that prevent people from eating organ meat. One of the most common reasons is the unfamiliar look and taste of offal. Some people find it unappetizing, but that’s simply because they haven’t been introduced to it properly. Another misconception is that liver and kidney store toxins, which is not true – their function is to process and convert potentially toxic byproducts into excretable forms. Moreover, some people may avoid organ meat because they lack knowledge on how to prepare it, or they don’t have access to quality, grass-fed, and grass-finished organ meats.
Thankfully, there’s been a recent surge in interest in whole-animal butchery practices that offer consumers access to fresh, high-quality ingredients while supporting small businesses within their communities. Moreover, cookbooks featuring organ meat recipes have made it much simpler for novice cooks to try something new! Plus, organ meats from the same 100% grass-fed cow are much cheaper than the more expensive cuts like rib-eye.
5 Ways to Enjoy Organ Meat
Here are 5 tips to get past the hurdles of eating organ meats and ease into enjoying their nutritional benefits and flavor.
Nutrition in a Pinch
If you want to get your micro-dosing of organ meat regularly into your meals, Pluck seasoning is your best bet. It’s a blend of five freeze-dried, powdered organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, spleen, and pancreas) with organic spices and herbs. It has an umami taste that makes food delicious without the strong organ flavor, making it an easy entry point for anyone wanting to get started. Save 20% on your order with code: DAVE
Several regenerative farms offer ground meat blends that include heart, liver, and kidney. These blends are made from muscle meat, fat, and about 7-15% organs, which provides enough of these nutrient-dense superfoods to provide nutritional benefits without changing the taste or texture. Choose from a few different animals, like bison, chicken and beef, these grinds work great in a sauce, as a hamburger or in meatloaf.
Keep it frozen
When you buy your first beef liver, it will most likely be frozen. Grate frozen liver with a box grater into your ground meats, using about two tablespoons of grated liver for every pound of ground meat. Then return it to the freezer for another day. This minimizes overwhelm and won’t affect the taste or texture of the ground meat as long as you keep the ratio of organ meat to 20% or less.
Start with chicken hearts from pasture-raised chickens. Heart is the organ closest to muscle meat in texture, and chicken hearts have a mild taste that’s slightly sweet. Chop them up and add a handful to your next sauce to benefit nutritionally and start shifting the palate.
Beef tongue may seem foreign and look bizarre, but it’s incredibly easy to cook. Beneath the tongue skin is a muscle meat that shreds like pulled pork. The tongue is flavorful, more nutritious, and much cheaper than other cuts of beef. Tongue makes a great taco meat, and for first-timers, combine it with your regular cooked meat, like pork butt or brisket. No one will know you served them tongue, yet they’ll celebrate you for how delicious the meal tastes.
There are countless ways you can cook up organs, depending on what type of meal you’re looking for. Trying out different recipes gives you variety, which helps keep things interesting while allowing your palate time to adjust accordingly. Plus, it presents new opportunities for discovering flavors that work best with particular pieces of offal. If at any point in trying out new dishes containing offal you feel uncomfortable then simply return to the gateway of organ meat: Pluck seasoning. Save 20% off your order with code: DAVE