...Organ meats are worth reconsidering
Organ meats make most of us a little squeamish. But if we’re only eating muscle, we’re missing out on a world of high-nutrient delicacies.
Because mainstream U.S. culture has deemed them untouchable, buying and cooking organ meats, also known as offal, can be intimidating. But the learning curve isn’t so steep. And it’s worth it: they can pack a meal with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.
Buy fresh offal that comes from pastured animals, starting with heart, liver, or kidney. Soak in brine for an hour or two before cooking to rid it of bitterness. Then you’re ready to experiment by incorporating offal into your own recipes or trying out some traditional dishes. After a few tries, you may find that organ meats are your new go-to protein.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, sorted by ease of cooking:
Heart. Because it tastes like roast, this is an easy one to start with. You can stuff it whole, as you would a Thanksgiving turkey, but if that’s too much for you, just have your butcher cut it into thin slices (for skewers) or cubes (for braising).
Liver. It’s easy to disguise in a casserole, where it acts more like a secret ingredient than a headliner. Fold small pieces into chili or risotto to get started. Pan-fry along with some onions or whip cooked liver, cream, and herbs into a mousse or pâté if you’re feeling braver.
Kidney. One of the most versatile organ meats, kidneys can be braised with mushrooms, cooked into a ragout, baked into a pie, or simply sautéed with butter and herbs and served over crusty bread.
Until next time,
The Mastro Team