Cooking with Organ Meats
I love eating organ meat. Yes, I said that. ORGAN MEAT.
My earliest memories are of Liver and Onions (with Tomatoes) at my childhood home. I used to be anemic as a child and my mom used to make it often for me to boost my iron levels. It was always so comforting to me, probably because she always made it especially for me. I never remember "not" liking it; Though I have recently started hearing about the benefits of organ meats. (Looks like Momma knew best!).
Aside from the usual organ meat that I eat, I want to share with you another organ I recently tried: Beef Kidneys. These teeny tiny organs (considering how large cows are) are little nuggets of health, so I hear. Here is what SAVEUR Magazine (my favorite mag this year) share recently on their page regarding many dishes that use Organ Meats.
Back to organs. Back to kidneys. Now, I'm no Hannibal Lecter so don't get it twisted people. I just love food and give EVERYTHING a shot. 😀
I treat all unfamiliar meats in the same fashion; I braise it. I like to taste its delicate texture but also when I eat something unfamiliar, I usually cook it an a familiar way. Does that make sense? (Remember that Instagram where I posted the beef cheeks and people were commenting things like "ewwww gross?" Well that came out awesome!).
The key ingredients to any braise is your braising liquid. Since I wanted the flavor or the beef kidneys to be pure, I wanted to braise it in unseasoned vegetable broth. This way I can have the seasoning pop from the kidneys alone.
My ingredients are always a 1 cup of mirepoix (celery, carrot and onion). I also add a bay leaf or two and my handy Dutch oven. Pretty easy huh?
I get my dutch oven piping hot, then add my oil (enough to cover the bottom of pan) then the kidneys, never crowding the pan (NEVER- this will steam vs sear the protein). It's important to sear these meats on high and remove them quickly. They cook pretty quick. Set them aside while you work on your mirepoix. Have your braising liquid ready to go. I pretty much use about a 1 cup for this recipe as I have about 10 kidney parts. Oh and sometimes, I use a bit of alcohol to get the brown bits off first. I used our favorite liqueur- Ancho Reyes (spicy ancho chile liqueur).
Bring your braising liquid and the mirepoix to a full boil before you lower the heat to simmer. Then add your kidneys, and cover your pot for the next hour. I wasn't sure how to eat this, so I just ladled them (along with the braised vegetables) and set them on a plate with a big ole' glass of red wine.
The consensus? Well, Let's just say it's much more "fragrant" than my liver. Maybe I should have looked at the suggestions from SAVEUR Magazine lol. But I don't face defeat so easily in my line of work. I ask questions, and I keep learning. Are any of YOU organ eaters? If so, I would LOVE your help!
Until Next Time,