It’s odd to think that we’ll happily butcher animals to satisfy our palates or our nutritious needs, but some of it we’ll refuse to eat. Without even trying it, most people won’t touch certain parts of an animal; they’ll even go as far as calling it offal.
But offal can be delicious. And what’s more, offal can be far more nutritious than the muscle-meat that we are more the happy to eat. We’re talking about the heart and tongue, kidney and liver, brain and tripe; those parts of an animal we tend to waste for no good reason. As such, we’re going to explore some of these options and give you some quick tips on how to cook them. Enjoy.
Let’s start with the liver.
The liver is arguably the best organ to eat, and that is because it has the most concentrated source of Vitamin A and is absolutely chock-full of iron. But the benefits of eating liver don’t stop there. Liver is also a rich source of folic acid, purines and copper. In short, it is great for you; it’s nourishing. But how do you cook it? Well we suggest you either slice it and pan fry it, or roast it whole, and you won’t need much seasoning either, just a pinch of salt and pepper will do the trick here.
How about the heart?
For some reason we ignore the heart whenever we are cooking even though it is a muscle-meat. In fact, the heart is very similar to steak. The only real difference is the cost; it tends to be a lot less expensive. But if that isn’t enough reason to serve roast heart for dinner, what about the fact its protein content is higher than steak too. And that’s not all; there is a bunch of other nutrients found in this major organ, such as thiamine, zinc, folate, vitamin B and amino acids (these are great for your metabolism). To cook heart, especially the likes of ox heart, we suggest you cut the fat off and leave it to marinate overnight in a mix of oil, garlic and vinegar.
On to tripe?
You’re probably thinking to yourself, what is tripe meat?’ Well, beef tripe is usually made from the muscle wall found in three particular chambers of a cow’s stomach; the rumen, the reticulum and the omasum. Like other offal, tripe is a great source of minerals and vitamins, however it does have a high cholesterol content so it should only be eaten in small amounts. What’s more, it can be quite chewy, which is why we recommend you use it in soups or stews to begin with; just while you get used to the texture.
It’s time you tasted tongue.
Much like tripe, tongue tends to have a high cholesterol content, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it because it’s an organ packed full of nutrients. The most notable of these is its high level zinc and iron, which will boost your immune system and prevent anemia. It is also a seriously good source of protein. In terms of a menu item, tongue is an absolute joy to eat. We recommend you slow cook it with onions, garlic and bay-leaves, then enjoy it either hot or cold.
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