My quick guide to weird meat (the organs)

My family were hunters, and we used the whole animal. Another kicker is my dad worked as a butcher as a second career. So, it was not unusual that the organs were part of the meal, much to the dogs’ chagrin. Hearts, livers, gizzards and brains were all fair game. Most people don’t like the mineral taste, or maybe the texture is off. For many it’s just the thought of organ meat. Now even I have my limits; I don’t eat brains, pancreas, or stomachs. Here are some ideas on what to cook and how.

Chicken livers
Lamb kidneys
Calves livers

With these, simply dredge with flour, salt, and seasonings. Then cook on one side until you see juices (see blood). Then turn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Chicken/poultry hearts
Lamb hearts
Pig hearts

Braise in a bbq sauce or flavorful liquid like wine or beer. The addition of herbs will amp up the flavor and will also remove some of the strong flavor. Stock will work too, but a long, slow cook will make them tender. With larger hearts, thin slices will help make the meat tender. Lastly, make sure salt and pepper are used to help the outside have flavor.

Beef heart

These are simmered for hours (at least 3) to get them tender using lots of garlic and wine. Then sear and use for tacos and other Mexican dishes. They can also be cut thin for tenderness. These are great on an hors d’ourves platter or with anti pasta.

Brains, pancreas, stomach, intestines, head cheese:

Nope. Nope. Nope.

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