Organ meat is not something that I think the Standard American Eater regularly consumes. I’ll admit I would never have DREAMED I would ever be eating liver or kidneys. Until I realized how expensive it was to eat grass fed meat all the time.
I realized I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet and I need to find inexpensive sources of sustainable, quality protein. Sardines, canned tuna (BPA free), and eggs come to mind. But I was still hitting a wall with my nutrition and protein intake. Enter: organ meat.
Eek! I know. My farmer gave it to me for FREE. When I took the first liver out of the bag I could barely stand the smell. It has a very strong metallic/blood sort of smell but I sucked it up and started on the first task: I wanted to grind up the liver so I could mix it with my ground beef.
The first recipe I tried was mixing it in with PaleOMG’s Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Sounds innocent enough, but I did a “half and half” mixture (1 lb ground beef with 1 lb liver). And the taste was almost too much. I ate the whole casserole all week for lunches but I was like forcing it down. I don’t waste food!!!!
The second recipe, I got a little smarter and mixed it into meatloaf with beef, pork and (obviously) bacon. Bacon makes everything good.
The recipe is being saved for another project I’m working on!
The meatloaf was much better and you couldn’t taste the liver at all. Sneaky sneaky!
Next up was kidney. I had to google this one because I had no idea how to prepare it. Turns out taking away some taste before you cook it is necessary. You do this by removing the fatty part, cutting it and soaking it in water for 2 hours. So I did that. Then I ran it through the meat grinder. (I’ll spare you pictures here).
Then I made meatballs! And that brings me to this recipe:
- 1 pastured beef kidney, fat cut off, soaked, rinsed, and ground with a meat grinder.
- 1.5 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- A couple of hours before dinner, prep your kidney by cutting off the fat, chopping into pieces and placing in a bowl of cold water. Let sit for two hours.
- Drain the kidney and run it through your meat grinder.
- Mix the kidney, beef, pork, spices and veggies together in a bowl with your hands.
- Form into balls and bake on two baking sheets for approx 30 minutes. Serve with sauce over spaghetti squash, or as desired.
The main problem was that I had a huge chunk of frozen liver that needed defrosting and I have to defrost it all at once. But my palate can’t handle much liver per dish….so it’s like what do I do with the rest of this liver? I can’t re freeze it, and I don’t feel like consuming ALL of it in the next day or two…so what I did was grind the rest of it, cook it up in a saute pan with garlic and onions, and then put it back in the freezer. I figure I can throw it into sauces, tacos if we have them, or maybe even chili.
So if you get the drift, if you’re new to organ meat remember:
1. Start with a small ratio to regular meat.
2. SPICES are your friend.
Have you ever tried liver? What are your experiences with it?
Let me know your favorite hidden liver recipes!!!