Got Heart - Eating The Offal

pig-pork-heart-cleaned-freshPig Heart - freshly cut on the right, cleaned on the left

That's right - Heart! Another offal nutritional superstar, heart is rich in iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc. You can check out heart's nutritional information here. Handling and cleaning the actual muscle was interesting - more like theater than cooking!  I really wanted to stage a shoot of me pretending to rip the pig heart out of Scrapple's chest, Indiana Jones style, but then decided it might be best to wait until AFTER we were legally married to broach the subject of acting out strange mock ritual reenactments. Maybe next time?  

When contemplating how to make the tastiest first attempt at cooking this noble muscle, we asked the dudes behind the butchers counter at The Meat Hook for their advice. The general consensus was

Read More

Liver! Eating the Offal

Pastured Pork Liver and Carmelized Green Onion Over Lemon Grains
Smooth, rich, briny, savory, mmmmmm! Liver! Yes my friends, liver.  I know that many of you have had a traumatizing run in or two with the mushy non-muscle as kids - luckily I never did and so I headed into my first encounter hoping it would taste just like pate (I’m serious).  And it did!  Well...similar - very delicious with that guttural mmm! inducing taste that you only get from naughty things like bacon, pate, and pork shank (mmm!).  I’m a recent convert so you'll just have to deal with my enthusiasm.

Ever since we finished the left-overs of my liver experiment a few days ago I’ve been craving it!  My counterpart Scrapple, on the other hand, hasn’t been obsessed, but he did enjoy it.  There’s obviously a reason this organ has been prized throughout history by everyone from roman warriors to the beloved Julia Child.  It's reputed to be a miracle food - high in vitamins and minerals and possessing some very unique qualities in addition to its addictive flavor.  
Read More

Eating the Offal

Photo Courtesy: DKImages
When we were visiting Alan and Nancy Brown at Lewis Waite Farm a few weeks ago (post about that coming soon!) I had a chat with Nancy about which cuts are the worst sellers. I'll just put it this way, when we’re raising and selling our own meat we won't exactly be eating filet mignon every night. We’re going to be eating like farmers! We’ll make use of the less popular parts in our own kitchen to be sure that the full animal is utilized, which reduces waste and also nourishes our family. Not surprisingly, the most ignored parts of the animals are the offal.  Offal, eh?  Here's Chris Cosentino's definition: 
 "OFFAL those parts of a meat animal which are used as food but which are not skeletal muscle. The term literally means “off fall”, or the pieces which fall from a carcase when it is butchered. Originally the word applied principally to the entrails. It now covers insides including the heart, liver, and lungs (collectively known as the pluck), all abdominal organs and extremities: tails, feet, and head including brains and tongue. In the USA the expressions “organ meats” or “variety meats” are used instead."
Read More