Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Mar

6 Sneaky Ways to Work Offal Into Your Diet

offalTake a look at that picture to the right. Appetizing? While I wouldn’t be surprised by numerous affirmatives from the Mark’s Daily Apple community, for most people even the sight of brains, kidneys or tongue is enough to turn their stomachs. Nutritionally, of course, we can all agree that offal is fantastic stuff. Leading the pack is liver, also known as nature’s multivitamin and the best source of pre-formed vitamin A. There’s the heart, full of CoQ10 and taurine, and the kidney, a rich source of selenium, B12, and tons more. Brain (rich in omega 3s) and marrow (rich in awesomeness) got mankind involved in our million year-old torrid love affair with animal flesh, while tongue is rich in fat, protein, and B-vitamins. The nutritional content of tripe, thymus glands, eyeballs, blood, intestines, and other miscellaneous parts are less studied but undoubtedly just as impressive. But truly enjoying offal – diving into a slab of liver, a heart kebab, or a plate of brains with slavering hunger and conspicuous salivation because you crave it – can be a hard sell. You know it’s good for you, intellectually, but the hunger often isn’t there. It’s kinda like forcing yourself to like a highly lauded yet obscure French film or listen to some underground experimental rock band that no one’s really heard of but who influenced just about everyone. You know it’s supposed to be amazing, and everything points to it being objectively good, but you simply can’t get into it. I even see a strong undercurrent of Primal folks who actually feel guilty about not eating organs.

With this in mind, the Bees and I have been devising methods to sneak offal into our families’ diets, because I know it’s a common stumbling block for people, and successfully hurdling it means getting better nutrition. So, whether you want to eat more organs without suffering or you want to trick your kids into eating them, read on for some pointers. And guard this (publicly accessible to billions) article and its contents with your life.

Liverwurst/Pate/Braunschweiger/Other Pureed Organ Blends

Okay, so “liverwurst” isn’t exactly inconspicuous, but it tastes damn good and I’d argue that most people say the name without pausing to realize that “liver” actually means liver. Liverwurst is simply a type of sausage to most people, and a tasty one at that, so you can usually pawn it off without trouble. It’s especially effective when dealing with tiny humans who can’t read, like your toddler. A favorite of mine is the German braunchweiger (traditionally pork liver, sometimes beef or calf; try frying slices of it in butter and onion, served with cinnamon apples), and there’s also a Chinese sausage made of duck liver that’s very good.

Pate, being a spread, often promotes cracker or bread usage, so beware. I find a few tablespoons in scrambled eggs added right before serving is very palatable.

Look for quality sausages with simple ingredients listed (animals, spices primarily). A good online order option is US Wellness, but check out your local meat supplier and ask if they make liver sausages. Or, you could just make your own.

Pet Food Mixes

I know, I know. It sounds bad, but one of the Worker Bees swears by it. Whenever he makes a stop at his local grass-fed farm in the Bay Area he always makes sure to grab a few pounds of pet food. And no, it’s not just for his dog – he eats it himself. The particular blend he picks up consists of 70% beef trimmings (meat and fat from steaks and roasts that were, well, trimmed off), 10% liver, 10% kidney, and 10% heart. Apparently, it looks like ground beef from afar, but if you look real closely you can see darker streaks representing the organs. By his trustworthy account, it’s a tasty source of organ meat that tastes just like ground beef and makes great meatza dough, tomato meat sauce, chili meat, and stir frys. He’s been feeding his organ-averse wife the stuff for months now, usually via meatza loaded up with garlic, onions, cayenne, salt, pepper, and oregano, and she loves it. Any grass-fed beef supplier or butcher will probably also offer “pet food” at a bargain, so check. Slanker’s carries it, for example.

You might also check out the Whole Foods frozen section near the meat counter. They’ll often grind up heart, liver, and ground beef, freeze it, and sell it for $1.50-$3.00/lb, though it’s generally not exclusively grass-fed. And, of course, you could grind your own pet food mixes. Start with low concentrations of offal and work your palate slowly.

Chili/Curry/Any Intensely Flavored Stew

Stews are wonderful, are they not? You toss a bunch of tasty items into a pot, turn up the heat, cover, and forget about it for a few hours. Sure, you could get more complicated with it, but simply doing those four steps will generally produce an acceptable meal. Another thing I like about stews is that they’ll turn anything into gold – even offal. The dozens of flavors meld together to form something unique. You don’t taste the tomatoes or the turmeric or the ground beef; you taste the curry. Slipping half a pound of finely diced heart and liver into that burbling brew will only enhance the flavor profile, not disrupt it. Stray closer to a pound, especially with liver, kidney, or some of the other stronger tasting organs, and people might notice.

Keep your organs frozen solid and grate them into your stews, or run the frozen offal through a food processor to save on time, if you worry that even diced chunks will be too obvious.

Liver Powder or Pills

Old school powerlifters and bodybuilders used to take liver pills and swear by their benefits to strength and stamina; today, you can order Argentine low-heat processed beef liver powder online. I haven’t sampled it myself, since eating actual liver is pleasurable and probably more beneficial than eating powder, but it looks like a good compromise. Plus, most Argentine beef is still pastured. Add a few tablespoons to a shake or a glass of water and choke it down. You may not be fooling yourself or anyone else into thinking it’s not beef liver, but a master chugger should be able to bypass most of the tongue’s taste buds and get it down quickly enough. Heck, make it a beer bong and I bet you’ll down it even easier.

Pills are also still an option (also from Argentine beef).

Make Heart Jerky

Heart, being nearly pure lean muscle, makes excellent jerky. Get a half-frozen heart and carve as thinly as possible (freezing makes accurate slices easier). For three pounds of heart, marinate slices in a 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper for at least twelve hours. Let them dry on paper towels completely before drying. Obviously, a food dehydrator works best but an oven set to its lowest heat with the door ajar works, too. They’re ready when completely dry. Everyone will enjoy it, and best of all, you won’t be lying by calling it beef jerky.

I suppose you could use a similar method to make your own dried liver treats, though I haven’t tried it. I bet the flavor would be tough to hide.

Make Organ Slurry

Assemble several pounds of various organs. You could go all liver or mix it up with a variety; your choice. Cram your food processor full of offal, add a few tablespoons of water, and hit the switch. After twenty or thirty seconds, your organs will have become a smooth reddish brown slurry. If chunks remain, process it until they disappear. At this point, you have a few options:

Pour out shots of slurry (I never said it would taste good).

Add a couple ounces of slurry to a shake (again, not tasty).

Immediately use a cup of slurry in a soup, stew, chili, or curry.

Freeze your slurry, using tupperware, ice cube trays, or even just plastic baggies, for later use in soups, stews, chilis, or curries.

Use an approximation of Richard’s method for making red wine reduction sauce. I reduce wine to syrup, add equal parts beef stock and organ slurry, reduce again to a beefy red wine syrup, add a bit of cream, let it reduce some more, then turn off the heat and add cold butter to thicken. Bam: delicious organ gravy/sauce.

Be careful with this one, and exercise caution when dosing. Organ slurry can be powerful stuff. And your slurry will be raw, so if you’re going to eat it raw make sure you trust the source.

This isn’t about learning to enjoy the taste of offal. While a valiant quest to undertake, that can also be impossible for some, because it often means overriding a lifetime of cultural and culinary programming. This is about eating offal without knowing it, either by deception or taste-bud detours, in order to reap the nutritional benefits.

Any other novel ideas, readers? Let me know in the comment board!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Brains, I want brains…

    Have you had any luck actually buying brains? Non-paleo demand seems to approach zero after Mad Cow, even though no-one in the US has gotten Mad Cow, and my understanding is that most butchers just discard it.

    Tuck wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • Dave K wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • It may be that the laws were changed such that butchers HAVE to discard it. Butchers are limited in what they are and are not allowed to keep…even when they’re butchering an animal for a private customer instead of for public sale. It sucks.

      Sue wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • I am in charge of the federally mandated food safety program at a bull and cow slaughterhouse…studied animal science with a specialization in meat science and food safety.

        To clear it up, there are extensive federal regulations regarding brains-also known as specified risk materials or SRM’s for short, in industry speak. Depending on the age of the cattle (less than 30 months or 30+ months), they have to be handled certain ways. The US cattle and beef industry as a whole has done A LOT to try to not only catch but prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease.

        Because of the extremely long incubation period of BSE (as well as vCJD-the human form one could get from eating SRM’s from a BSE infected animal) it could take a decade to even show. I personally would stay far FAR away from bovine brains at least for a few more years if not forever. Keep in mind that just late Feb of this year, a confirmed case of BSE was found in Canada (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/disemala/rep/2010bseesbe.shtml). If you live in the US, there is a mandatory “COOL” program-country of origin labeling. Your meat labels must say ALL countries the meat is associated with. Say a calf was born in Mexico, but sold very young to a rancher in the US. For the sole fact it was born in Mexico, any and all of that animal used for human consumption must be labeled “Product of USA and Mexico.” As a beef producer, COOL is a pain in the butt, but as a consumer I have utilized it numerous times.

        If you would like to know more about what the industry does without getting all technical and reading the very dry federal regulations a good presentation can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ppt/how_to_comply_SRM.ppt This is more geared towards slaughter establishments, but it’s still great even for those not involved in the beef industry. Dr. Harris is the leading authority in food safety while Dr. Savell is one of the top (if not the top) meat scientist in the world. I had both as professors while I was at Texas A&M, and you’d be amazed at the knowledge they have.

        Amy wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • It is not true that no one in the US has gotten mad cow disease. When people get it, it is called “Creutzfeld-Jacob” disease (spelling may be off) and I have personally cared for several people in the hospital who have died of it. This is NOT unheard of and is a terrible way to die. Please think twice about eating brains. Prions are a bad thing.

      Barb wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • From NCBI regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD):

        “Classic CJD is not related to mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalitis).

        However, new variant CJD (nvCJD) is an infectious form that is related to mad cow disease. The infection responsible for the disease in cows is believed to be the same one responsible for vCJD in humans.

        New variant CJD accounts for less than 1% of cases, and tends to affect younger people. It can result when someone is exposed to contaminated products. Other nvCJD cases have occurred when people were given corneal transplants from infected donors, and from contaminated electrodes that were used in brain surgery (before it was known how to properly disinfect instruments).

        There have not been any cases of nvCJD reported in the U.S.”

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001792/

        Chase wrote on March 9th, 2011
    • Look for international markets or those that advertise halal meats. You’ll often be able to find lamb organ meats, including brains, testicles, etc.

      MacGlashan wrote on March 9th, 2011
    • Made my normal chili with heart instead of ground beef…nearly impossible to tell the difference. Plus, the grassfed ground heart was reasonably priced.

      Nicator wrote on March 14th, 2011
  2. Sounds like a few of those points might work, especially the heart jerky idea, why haven’t I thought of that before?

    I’ve been buying “dog bones” and such at my local farmers’ market for a while now, 1/3 the cost of buying “marrow bones” from the same people, and they’re teh same darn bones. The only difference is the dog bones aren’t cut evenly, luckily I don’t care about presentation.

    Jasmine wrote on March 8th, 2011
  3. Many of the pates traditionally eaten in Europe are actually quite thick, so cutting off a slice and eating it without bread is common. Same with braunschweiger and liverwurst, usually served in slices and eaten as finger food. I made pate a while ago and it wasn’t very good. I need to find a better recipe.

    Sandy wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • My beef lilver pate is like that. I like it as big chunks in a salad. We use the livers we salvage from our home kills (nobody ever asks for it). It is very nice and much better than feeding all the liver to the dogs.

      The dogs always head straightaway for the insides of any carcasse, that might be a clue to what we should eat as well.

      kem wrote on March 9th, 2011
    • I made pate a couple of years back, and it turned out absolutely DELICIOUS. We didn’t use a recipe, but instead followed the general gist of several recipes and did what seemed like a good idea as we went along.

      Here’s a photo report on flickr of all our steps, you can probably reproduce it by following the pics + their descriptions: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41298178@N00/sets/72157603404066964/with/2097903222/

      A few remarks:

      1. I’m not entirely sure if adding the cream was necessary. Some supermarket-brand pate here is called “cream pate” but in hindsight that probably refers to it being of a creamy substance rather than containing actual cream. I still don’t know how industrial pate is made to be so creamy, perhaps it’s by blending again after cooking, to mix it with the fat? Another possibility is that a stick blender just doesn’t pulp things quite as smoothly as a conventional blender does (found that out while making hummus at a friend’s place who has a real powerful blender).

      2. I can’t remember to what temperature I set the oven, so you might want want to check a recipe for that online. It wasn’t very high IIRC.

      3. Following the primal diet I wouln’t put it on french bread any more :) In which case, not being too creamy is a good thing!

      4. The juniper berries and the port are absolutely essential for obtaining that typical pate-flavour. Many recipes call for wine and brandy. And port wine just happens to be (roughly) a combination of wine and brandy–or close enough, and it’s much cheaper.

      5. The (stick) blender was quite hard to clean afterwards because some tiny sinews (from the minced meat and bacon) wound up real tightly around the rotating bit. I had to cut them with a knife and peel them off with a fork. This might be even harder to get to in a conventional blender, so just a fair warning. I didn’t even notice them at first, so inspect carefully because no one likes the idea of leaving meat bits in a blender! Maybe you could boil it off, but I didn’t try.

      6. I really should make this again. It was soooo delicious. Also, if anyone else tries it, please leave a comment on that Flickr set (preferably with a link to your own pics!).

      Karel Zengdurf wrote on October 6th, 2012
  4. So if I just eat ordinary meat like ground beef, various sorts of steaks, roasts etc. I will be malnourished?

    rob wrote on March 8th, 2011
  5. Just the other day I made garlic/marinara sauce with 2 lb. of ground beef heart from the 1/2 grass-fed steer that’s in our freezer. It was delicious; just like really “beefy” ground beef. I did use both lard and olive oil to brown it, because it’s so lean. Now I have to figure out how to get more grass-fed ground beef heart before next fall when we’ll get more beef.

    Nancy wrote on March 8th, 2011
  6. Okay the thought of Organ Slurry makes me queezy. Bletch!

    Darcy wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • Yes, it’s not for everyone!

      Mark Sisson wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • It might just be the name. I’m pretty sure that mashing up some cooked chicken livers into the sauce to enrich it is traditional in Italian cooking.

        Jenn wrote on March 8th, 2011
        • Call it “blenderized” then?

          Jenny wrote on March 9th, 2011
        • I always stick some finely chopped chicken livers in my bolognaise sauce. You can’t tell it’s there at all, it just adds a delicious richness, and yes, I got that idea from an Italian cookbook.

          Emma wrote on March 11th, 2011
  7. I *love* liverwurst, and have since I was a kid. My son used to love it too, but he changed his mind recently, unfortunately. The cheap stuff usually has a little bit of corn syrup in it, but if you look hard enough, many don’t. The ones that don’t are usually a little saltier and more savory though.

    I was under the impression that some butchers will use offal in sausage if you ask. Is that true?

    Eric wrote on March 8th, 2011
  8. Pate in a Brussels sprout salad…some figs, vinegar, and bacon as well….

    I have no problems with a big hunk of pate, some onions, on a little cracker.

    Robert Evans wrote on March 8th, 2011
  9. Chicken liver, and eggs were our daughter’s first solid foods at 5 months, A baby can chew (gum) a gently cooked chicken liver. She ate this at least every week for the first year. She seems to have turned out pretty good.

    Rhonda wrote on March 8th, 2011
  10. I’m getting an eight kilo box of reindeer calf liver anyday now. I’ll probably be making paté out of them. It’s gonna be pretty awesome.

    Björn wrote on March 8th, 2011
  11. Too bad Scrapple is made with cornmeal. It would make a great addition for getting one’s offal.

    Lynn wrote on March 8th, 2011
  12. Love braunchweiger or any kind of liver really, but I can’t stand brains. Kidney, gizzards, and heart are ok, but I don’t think I’ve had tongue.

    Christine M. wrote on March 8th, 2011
  13. Oh my, I have to admit thinking about eating brains gave me a full body shudder. And the organ slurry? Lordy mercy, it’s a good thing I skipped breakfast this morning or I would have just uneaten it.

    Other than that, I am absolutely in love with liverwurst. I’ve been making it into little cheese sandwiches with slices of cheese for bread with a little grainy mustard. Oh, and tongue is really good too.

    Although I have a feeling that smelling offal cooking would light that “Hmm, something smells good. I am hungry!” feeling. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try it though.

    mrsmoesy wrote on March 8th, 2011
  14. I had liver mixed up in like a hash type meal before and it wasn’t bad at all. Never would have really noticed it if I no one told me.

    Gary Deagle wrote on March 8th, 2011
  15. i might can get away with traces being served in the ground meats.
    otherwise, i’ll take the pill form. thanks!

    lol…ewwwwwwwww

    jenella wrote on March 8th, 2011
  16. My 13 month old daughter has loved eating liverwurst and braunschweiger since she was about 3 months. When she got enough teeth in I stared her on sauteed beef liver and she loved it even more. She eats many organ meats now and loves them all. The food you introduce and share with children are the foods they’ll enjoy.

    John wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • You don’t need to wait for teeth, btw.

      My older daughter could polish ribs clean with her gums. It was great for teething, no doubt.

      We knew she was ready for solids when she grabbed a handful of fish off the table and stuffed it in her mouth.

      Tuck wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • She was breastfed exclusively and didn’t naturally take to solids very early. We teethed her on homemade beef jerky though, which also helped stimulate her appetite for meats in general. She’s still not much into veggies.

        John wrote on March 8th, 2011
        • For the record I would NEVER start a baby on solids at 3 m/o! Especially an exclusively breastfed baby!

          My daughter (still breastfeeding at 2 y/o) didn’t start solids until 10 months old. She eats an array of solids and has a great appetite.

          I would be concerned that starting solids so young would adversely effect her digestive system. Also I doubt groks wife would have fed a 3 m/o and solids. Some cultures “back in the day” didn’t even start solids until around 2 y/o. It is important to wait for teeth. If you are formula feeding you do need to start solids at 6 m/o though b/c formula is not adequate nutritionally.

          Kami wrote on August 4th, 2011
  17. @Tuck, The human form of Mad Cow is called Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creutzfeldt%E2%80%93Jakob_disease

    It does exist, humans do get it, though very rarely.

    Unfortunately a dear friend of the family died of CJD, a fact verified by post-mortem brain analysis.

    So I’ve seen someone die from this and it was one of the most singularly horrifying experiences in my life.

    You can eat brains all you want, I’m not, no matter how infinitely small the risk.

    C wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • Are you saying that he died from eating brains?

      Joe wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • I’m saying he died of CJD. How he got that is anyone’s guess.

        He spent considerable time traveling around the third world as a missionary, including areas where the meat dishes could easily have contained brain or spinal fluid either on purpose or by accident. These are the primary methods the disease is spread.

        I cringe any time I see someone laugh and dismiss “Mad Cow”. No matter how improbable, it’s a non-zero risk, and the results are more horrifying than you could ever imagine. I’ll pass.

        C wrote on March 9th, 2011
        • IS CJ passed only from cow brains (or any type of brain)?

          deb b wrote on March 9th, 2011
  18. I cooked and ate Liver for the first time in about 20 years this last weekend. I used a family recipe I loved as a child; the taste, but also the process of making it which became something of a group cooking session with my mother!

    Liver Terrine

    500 g sliced liver
    500 g minced/ground pork
    1 onion
    tablespoon herbs
    teaspoon nutmeg
    2 beaten eggs
    4 rashers streaky bacon

    Fry off liver and onion together and mince (I didn’t have the lovely old fashioned manual steel mincer my mother owned – it was my job to turn the handle – hence the fond memories) I used my blender adding a little red wine to ensure it wasn’t too dry worked ok.

    Mix together the liver blend, ground pork, beaten eggs and herbs. Place in terrine dish and lay bacon rashers on top bake around 150 degrees C for 30 minutes or until sizzling and cooked through.

    Great hot with Primal gravy and wonderful cold – great for packed lunches and snacks.

    Makes 6 very generous portions.

    Kelda wrote on March 8th, 2011
  19. I don’t really have a problem with the gross-out factor. I love intestines, pig ears, pork skin, tendons, marrow, beef and duck tongue, and headcheese. Some of these things appeal to me much more when I’m hungry, but I see that as another benefit!

    But liverwurst tastes exactly like gnawing on an old copper penny, IMO. Should I be trying to find a way to sneak liver into my food, or should I trust my sense of aversion? Is it possible that I would like how it tasted if I really needed it — or am I just making excuses for myself so that I can avoid liver? :D

    Maybe the answer is that, in many of these work-arounds, the offal occupies a small percentage of the total recipe — so if an offal-hater really needs less, she’s still getting less, percentagewise, than someone who sits down with a slab of pate.

    tangle wrote on March 8th, 2011
  20. First of all, offal needs another name. Sorry I have no suggestions.

    My mom always loved Braunschweiger but I hated it. Ditto with beef liver.

    However, while pregnant with my first child, I forced myself to eat chopped up liver in a salad. The only way I could choke it down. Barely passable in my book. People either seem to love or hate liver. Put me in the hate column.

    I have enough trouble dealing with plain old meat so I pass on the awful offal for now although I never say never.

    Sharon wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • >First of all, offal needs another name

      Sharon, how about just calling them “organ meats”?

      Nancy wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • I think they’re called sweetbreads… bit of irony, no?

        Willis wrote on March 8th, 2011
        • Sweetbread is part of the stomach.

          Bushrat wrote on March 8th, 2011
        • sweetbreads (when my Dad used to eat them when I was a kid) were testicles.

          denise wrote on March 9th, 2011
        • My understanding, after watching a cooking show dealing with them, is that sweetbreads are actually the thymus gland of a cow. They looked pretty tasty but I haven’t found any to try yet.

          Jennifer wrote on March 9th, 2011
        • Sweetbreads are the thymus glands of calf’s. When they butcher calfs for veal, they take the thymus gland from the throat area. They go away when the calf matures. Not sure at this point how I feel about veal per se; I have had sweetbreads in the past and lightly sauteed in butter are absolutely delicious!

          Shawn wrote on March 10th, 2011
  21. I grew up in a farming community, and we ate tongue, brains, liver, heart all the time. In fact my favorite part of the chicken is the heart, liver and gizzard. Impossible to find now. But our chickens were always alive and we butchered them so we got all the good parts. In fact, I was about 11-12 before I knew you could go to the store and buy already dead chicken. I can still taste my grandmother’s fried chicken, so fresh the flesh was still warm when she tossed it in a larded skillet.

    Bull wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • You’ll find all of those meats anywhere they sell so-called ethnic food. I live in the heart of California’s agriculture, so there’s no shortage.

      John wrote on March 8th, 2011
  22. My dad had a buddy who loved to cook with odd things. One day he made my dad an omelet, which my dad raved about for days. What was in it?? Cow brains.

    Ashley North wrote on March 8th, 2011
  23. Growing up on a farm in an South East Asian country makes this pretty easy. Brains, heart, liver, kidney, large intestines, small intestines, testicles… you name it, they’re all deliciously prepared over here and easily available.

    I can go out at 3am any day and within 20 minutes, eat a bowl of liver/kidney/intestines.

    Western recipes for offal tend to be a lot more gamey and hence harder to swallow.

    But they’re all good to me!

    Adam wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • Ahahahah i am from south east asia as well, the philippines… I just actually grubbed 4 skewers of pork intestine kebabs just now that i just bought in a filipino restaurants here in L.A… In the philippines every part of the cow, pig, goat, chicken never goes to waste..btw .i also love grilled gizzards, pork snouts, beef tongue or “lengua” as we filipinos call it! …. I can live with just eating offal every day! Yum yum yum

      Ronald wrote on July 2nd, 2012
  24. Just cooked a grass-fed cow’s tongue last night. Easiest thing I’ve ever cooked! Boiled it (actually a medium simmer) for about three hours with a mixture of spices, herbs, garlic & onions in the water. Unbelievably good and incredibily tender. Try it, you’ll love it! The protein content is extremely high. If my calculations are right, the 2.75 lb tongue has about 240g of protein. I should easily get three meals out of it (80g of protein each!). Not bad for a little over $20 for the whole tongue!

    Mark Cruden wrote on March 8th, 2011
  25. i tried my hand at grass-fed bison liver a few weeks ago. honestly, i felt like Hannibal Lecter processing it – dried blood on my hands and liver goo under my nails…i was traumatized and my hands were still shaking hands as I sipped my wine afterwards. i tried a few pieces and really wanted to like it after all that effort, but i wasn’t able to enjoy it…my boyfriend however was crazy about it!

    i think next time i just have to take a less ambitious organ…bison liver is huge. maybe chicken liver next time?

    meret wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • The first time I made chicken stock, I couldn’t fit the entire chicken in the pot, so I had to hack it into pieces. It was on my cutting board and I looked at it and it looked like a chicken. I drank some whisky, cried, called my sister, cried some more then yelled “F*** YOU CHICKEN!!!” hacked it into pieces and stuck it in the pot.

      The second time I made chicken stock was much easier.

      Now when I make chicken stock, it’s no big deal at all. I’m sure the next time you get your hands on some bison liver, it’ll be easier for you. And you’ll be able to enjoy it too.

      mrsmoesy wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • LOL, not at your emotional trauma but the fact I’ve been there- ever seen this bit from Julie and Julia? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6L6XoV42ZY

        “lobster killer….run run run run awaaay..” X-D

        Andrea wrote on April 18th, 2011
    • Dear meret,

      I always enjoy my liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

      Bevin wrote on June 18th, 2012
  26. After a year of fearing organ meats, I recently found my own “gateway organ” — grass-fed bison adrenals, eaten raw.

    I picked adrenals because, like many urban dwellers, my own adrenal glands see a lot of action. I couldn’t find any adrenal supplements that weren’t loaded with grains and other weird fillers, and I knew the raw organs would have all the delicate enzymes intact. Plus, they looked too small to be too offensive.

    They’re each about the size of a lump of silly putty, and they come in twos. They have a mild beefy flavor with a musky aftertaste that clings to the back of your throat.

    I wouldn’t exactly call them “tasty”, but they are surprisingly tolerable, especially when combined with a swig or two of veggie juice. After a few minutes, the funky taste mostly goes away and you’re left with a slowly dissolving wad of connective tissue — nature’s original chewing gum, a pleasant companion for an afternoon stroll.

    Timothy wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • That’s an awesome source of vitamin C, too. Adrenals are vitamin C hogs.

      Dana wrote on March 8th, 2011
      • Aha, I did not know! Thank you for that insight. I feel like I can never get enough Vitamin C, and of course cooking destroys it, so it’s awesome to have a non-carby source.

        When I bite into my next pair tomorrow, I’ll be tasting for the ascorbic acid…

        Timothy wrote on March 11th, 2011
    • Where do you get Grass-Fed Bison Adrenals from???
      I have been looking everywhere for it to no avail.

      Ryan wrote on July 9th, 2014
  27. Pate is yummy with salad and when I was pregnant I ate pounds of the stuff. (I think that was against CW but what the ho.)

    I loved liver and onions as a child and tongue sandwiches. They were cheap and what my parents could afford and were used to growing up with post-war rationing.

    Alison Golden wrote on March 8th, 2011
  28. “I can go out at 3am any day and within 20 minutes, eat a bowl of liver/kidney/intestines.”

    to me, that is just so much awesome!

    Joe Brancaleone wrote on March 8th, 2011
  29. Thanks for the link love, Mark.

    Here’s something else I’ve been working to perfect, and that is 1oz meatballs that in addition to a host of herbs & spices has bits of finely chopped carrot, onion, celery and potato for a bit of carbage; also, liver slurry, egg yolks, and reduced bone broth. In other words, 1oz portions of super and complete nutrition.

    Idea is for them to be good cold or at room temp so they can make an excellent snack or a meal anywhere.

    I’ll do a post on it when I’ve got it where I want it.

    Richard Nikoley wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • I was thinking meatballs too… I have GOT to see what you wind up with. I could use ideas.

      Dana wrote on March 8th, 2011
  30. Thanks for the inspiration- I have a heart and a liver in my freezer, and just haven’t summoned the courage to do anything with them yet!

    Julia wrote on March 8th, 2011
  31. Liver, heart, kidney…..these are good and almost tasty. But brains, tongue and testicles are where i draw the line.

    Rocco wrote on March 8th, 2011
  32. Using a mixer or hand blender, you can puree the liverwurst with some organic cream cheese and spread into celery. For some zip, top with hot mustard. Delish!

    Stephanie A. wrote on March 8th, 2011
  33. One of my favorite dishes that my grandmother makes when I visit Uruguay, is cow tongue. It is boiled, sliced and marinated with a mixture of oil, vinegar, parsley, hard boiled eggs and salt. They are also big on bar-b-q-ing all the other sweetbreads. I usually have my share when it’s cooked like that, but I have yet to find a way to choke them down at home.

    Wes wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • When I was in Uruguay we also had chotos (intestine, Chinchullines (chitterlings), and morcillas (blood sausage) all roasted over wood coals on a parilla. Que delicioso!

      Fideo wrote on March 8th, 2011
  34. I love beef liver and make it as often as my husband and son will let me get away with it. However, the rest of the organs from our side of beef either were fed to the dog (the kidney) or are sitting in the freezer waiting for me to get up the courage to cook them (the heart and tongue). However, our next side of beef is coming this month and I’m going to ask our butcher to grind at least the heart, and perhaps the kidney, up in our ground beef – my husband and I have no problem with that and what our teenager don’t know won’t hurt him. :)

    As for the slurry, I could do that, and add it to stews, soups and casseroles – no problem. I’d be leery of the pet food my butcher sells, though, for no other reason than they add commercial canine supplements to it.

    Jan wrote on March 8th, 2011
  35. Anyone snuck something I didn’t want to eat into my food, and I found out, it would quickly turn into a fist fight.

    Harry wrote on March 8th, 2011
  36. What a coincidence…I just took a break from grinding some pork, including the heart, kidneys, etc to see if I can make some super healthy sausage.

    Chowstalker wrote on March 8th, 2011
  37. I had goat brain yesterday. Lots of chopped onion and garlic sauteed in CO. Add turmeric, goat brain, paprika, salt, black pepper and garam masala(optional) and cook for about 8-10 minutes on low-medium heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro. YUM!

    maba wrote on March 8th, 2011
  38. The easy way: braunschweiger/liverwurst on pork rinds.

    Rojo wrote on March 8th, 2011
  39. If you have a kosher delicatessen or kosher-style style delicatessen in yours area (kosher-style is not strict about the kosher food preparation laws, but the foods are pretty much the same…Eastern European savory delicacies), you can get chopped chicken liver pate easily. It’s made with onions and chicken fat usually, and is so delicious.

    Also, kosher style beef tongue. I believe that it is pickled before (or after?) cooking. Then it is sliced thin and used on sandwiches, but is delicious by itself. It is also usually a gorgeous bright ruby red color. I believe that’s due to the pickling process. My mouth is watering now, I’d better head over to Brent’s Deli later…

    Scott Mercer wrote on March 8th, 2011
  40. This is one area I certainly need to work on. I’ve got a lot of grassfed organs sitting in my freezer, and while I don’t mind the basic Liver and onions, I haven’t had the guts (no pun intended) to attempt the rest yet.
    I’m all for the health benefits but organ slurry+ pregnancy = not appetizing!
    We do have a meat grinder, so I might try smuggling the organs into homemade sausage. Thanks for getting me out of my comfort zone!

    Katie wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • Despite what your doctor might tell you, eating liver occasionally during pregnancy is an excellent idea. You might consider sourcing more pastured dairy as well, where possible (you should at least be able to score cheese). Based on my research, and I admit I’m a layperson, certain urinary tract defects go along with insufficient vitamin A. My daughter was born with reflux up into both her kidneys and required surgery to correct it on the right side when she was just shy of two.

      They’re telling pregnant women to avoid liver completely, despite the fact that some adults can’t convert beta carotene and *no* infants can (so, presumably, fetuses can’t either), and that’s just completely irresponsible.

      Dana wrote on March 8th, 2011
    • oh meant to mention–the dairy will get you more vitamin K2, the mk-4 analogue, which is vitally important for facial and jaw development in a fetus. All these kids running around with braces now? Their moms didn’t get enough K2 during the pregnancy, and possibly not enough A either (which also plays a role in facial development).

      Dana wrote on March 8th, 2011

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