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organ meats


Ivanhoe

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Never been a fan, though liver & onions with a heavy beef gravy was edible when my mother made it.

https://chrismasterjohnphd.substack.com/p/my-new-favorite-way-to-eat-organ-034
 

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A few years ago, however, I was at a Weston A Price Conference where tacos were served for lunch. The tacos were delicious. Only after I finished lunch did I find out they were 25% organ meats, with the majority of that being liver, and I was shocked because I couldn't tell at all.

The secret then? Mix them into ground beef and heavily season them with taco seasoning.

Over the past six months I have perfected, for my purposes at least, an exceedingly simple organ meat taco recipe that I consider to be the best way of eating liver I've ever experienced. I feel comfortable saying this tastes good.

I start with White Oak Pastures paleo ground beef. This is 60% organ meats, 40% beef, all ground together. It's 20% liver, 20% heart, 10% spleen, 10% kidney. I also start with a packet of Simply Organic Taco Seasoning.

 

I'm kinda wondering if chicken livers ground with dark meat chicken, with some heavy spices, might taste good. Sort of a "chicken scrapple" concept.

 

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I'm divided. Had some very good liver and blood foods in Finland and Brazil, but some others were just horrible. A mix of thinly slized beef liver, pork belly, lots of onion and something called "jilo", all fried with plenty of butter, was one of the best things i've had in brazil, after grilled picanha&maminha anyway. Something called "moela" in portuguese, cooked right was awesome, too. Not sure what it's called in english, but it's that muscular part of the bird digestive tract the bird uses with ingested sand to grind it's food. It's slaughter waste / dog food in Finland and very tough, but turns out that softened with time in the pressure cooker with red wine, onion & spices, it becomes very good, flavourful meat.

And yes, black pudding was my favourite of the Irish breakfast table a few years back in a conference. Very familiar flavors from some Finnish blood sausages, but IMO even better.

For getting started with liver, bird liver is certainly a lot milder in flavour. And the key for me at least is the right balance of flavours, too strong liver/blood flavours become off-putting but thinly sliced liver for enough maillard surface, lots of onion for bit of sweetness for balance, plus butter, comes out great. (And bacon makes everything better of course, it's like butter that way...)

Now as for kidneys... if the food smells of piss when you cook it, i will pass, thankyouverymuch...

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, jmsaari said:

I'm divided. Had some very good liver and blood foods in Finland and Brazil, but some others were just horrible. A mix of thinly slized beef liver, pork belly, lots of onion and something called "jilo", all fried with plenty of butter, was one of the best things i've had in brazil, after grilled picanha&maminha anyway. Something called "moela" in portuguese, cooked right was awesome, too. Not sure what it's called in english, but it's that muscular part of the bird digestive tract the bird uses with ingested sand to grind it's food. It's slaughter waste / dog food in Finland and very tough, but turns out that softened with time in the pressure cooker with red wine, onion & spices, it becomes very good, flavourful meat.

It's the "gizzard" which derives from Norman French, with Latin roots. One of the components of the "giblets" collection of chicken parts.

Sounds similar to the treatment deer heart gets, here in the US. Stuffed and baked slowly to tenderize.

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Chicken hearts diced very, very finely can be used to make sort-of chicken goulash. Liver... all good. Beef lungs can be made quite good both in the stews and BBQd, in which case they are first boiled for a while, cut in the thin strips and then BBQd.

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6 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Does Black Pudding count? Always rather liked that.

Blood sausage is Finnish delicacy at least in some parts of country. 

I like liver and heart, but it depends a bit....

@bojan Bulgarian "hangover soup" was not for me... “škembe čorba” (шкембе чорба).

 

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Ugh, tripes... No thanks. :)

Ever tried "beli bubrezi*"? 

*"White kidneys" aka Rocky Mountains oysters :D

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11 minutes ago, Sardaukar said:

Blood sausage is Finnish delicacy at least in some parts of country. 

I like liver and heart, but it depends a bit....

@bojan Bulgarian "hangover soup" was not for me... “škembe čorba” (шкембе чорба).

 

 

I think the nearest I got was haggis, which was just a bit rich for me. :D

Wild boar sausage was also a bit rich. It didnt help you had to pick the bones out.:blink:

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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2 hours ago, bojan said:

*"White kidneys" aka Rocky Mountains oysters :D

That reminded of in VN, last evening before flight back to FIN, asking the locals for dinner ideas while still could try something i wouldn't find in Europe. After having vetoe'd option 1(*) we headed to some traditional foods restaurant for some grilled bull dick. As it turned out they had run out of dicks though, so we had cow titties instead: nice, soft meat, mildly flavoured, not in any way an extreme food experience. Came as raw cubes and a tiny charcoal grill in the middle of table to cook it in like raclette or hotpot.

(*) it turns out that somewhere between the stomach and anus there is a part of bowel where the contents basically aren't vomit anymore but not shit yet either, and the whole things is just twisted into sausage. Forgot what it was called but apparantely considered too extreme to eat by 90+% of locals too. I generally try to go with the principle of trying anything cooked from a vertebrate once, but there are exceptions......

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

 

I think the nearest I got was haggis, which was just a bit rich for me. :D

Wild boar sausage was also a bit rich. It didnt help you had to pick the bones out.:blink:

 

Nearest I got to haggis was deep-fried Mars bars in Aberdeen... Closer than that I'd not go to that thing called haggis...

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1 hour ago, Sardaukar said:

Nearest I got to haggis was deep-fried Mars bars in Aberdeen... Closer than that I'd not go to that thing called haggis...

Come on, you have not really visited Serbia or Bulgaria if you did not try "jagnjece sarmice"/"drob sarma"... That is +/- local version of haggis and is surprisingly decent. Maybe because we use spices when preparing it vs Scotish version that is much more bland natural tasting. Version where those are after cooking placed in the metal dish, sour cream and cheese poured over and then baked in oven is even better. :)

 

Edited by bojan
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I generally avoid organ meats but like black pudding and have always liked 'Dirty Rice' made with chicken hearts, gizzards and livers finely chopped.  I don't like liver at all. I've eaten kidney's a couple times and they are ok but nothing I'd order on purpose or make at home. 

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12 hours ago, bojan said:

Come on, you have not really visited Serbia or Bulgaria if you did not try "jagnjece sarmice"/"drob sarma"... That is +/- local version of haggis and is surprisingly decent. Maybe because we use spices when preparing it vs Scotish version that is much more bland natural tasting. Version where those are after cooking placed in the metal dish, sour cream and cheese poured over and then baked in oven is even better. :)

 

At least in Serbia and Bulgaria, one can get spicy food. In Romania, I was amused that their stuff, even when ordered "spicy" was really "bland". Go figure. 

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I have found it totally forgettable and considering how much it is talked about pretty much overrated, and I like vast majority of French cooking, even some pretty exotic things.  

5 hours ago, Sardaukar said:

...In Romania, I was amused that their stuff, even when ordered "spicy" was really "bland". Go figure. 

Neither Ottoman nor Austro-Hungarian cooking rubbed off in Romania and they are too far from Mediterranean to have that influence I guess. :( Couple of years ago some Romanian friends who visited Serbia for a first time ordered extra spicy pljeskavica... one with evil crushed red paprika... Their faces :D  Russians and Ukrainians have also recently noted that food is pretty spicy... while most of their food is considered pretty bland around here. Through, it is not only about spiciness, it is about balance of tastes - when trying good kulen (which should be pretty spicy since hot paprika is used) first taste should be smoked meat flavor, and only then should spiciness hit, while bad one is "burning" sort of spicy from a moment you put it into your mouth.

Edited by bojan
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Home made foie gras with brioche and a good Monbazillac is pretty good, but not good enough to overcome the negative aspects of its production, same sort of moral ity issue associated with crated veal.

Haggis is great and one of the rare foods that is perfectly cooked in a microwave, where it sits alongside steak and kidney pudding.

Tripe is boring. At best it takes on the flavour of what it is cooked with, so that would be smoked bacon and onions, then.

 

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  • 8 months later...

I bought a package of fresh chicken gizzards, and cooked them overnight in a slow cooker with some chicken bone stock. Not too bad, I've been making a simple one-pot meal with the gizzards, canned chicken gravy, and vegetables. Lower carb, fairly healthy, and filling. 

They're purported to have more micronutrients than chicken breast; maybe, but they seem like plain ol' muscle tissue. 

 

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