Cooked Beef Kidney, Liver, And Heart

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”
--James Joyce, Ulysses

I took three different beef innards that I got from my butchering class and prepared them three different ways. The parts I used were the liver, the kidney, and the heart. I took them out of the freezer a few days ago to let them thaw out a bit, and they were ready to be cooked tonight.

I removed them from the plastic and set them on the cutting board.

I cut the liver up into slices and set it aside.

I soaked it in milk for about an hour. This helps take some of the bitter taste off of the liver.

While the kidneys were soaking, I started preparing the kidney. I cut it into thin slices.

I threw them into a pan with mushrooms.

I added a little water to the pan and braised them.

I added some bacon to the mix, and I had myself a pretty nice dish.

I decided to give the liver a little more time by preparing my piece of the heart. Since the heart is a muscle like most other steaks I would normally prepare, I cooked this as if it were a regular slow cooked steak. I put a rub on the steak and put it in a 250 degree oven with a timer set to 130 degrees (rare).

With the heart in the oven, I moved back to cooking the liver. In a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper, I covered the sides of the liver slices.

I added some butter to the pan and put the liver slices in there as well.

I also sauteed some onions to go with my liver.

By this time, the heart was done. I had let it cool, but then I seared it to give it some color.

I made a plate with some individual portions for myself and ate it.

This was a fun experiment, and the three parts were very different from each other. I think it was wise to have prepared them such different ways. The heart was easily the most palatable. However, the kidney and the liver were also not bad. Of course, I'd rather eat a porterhouse than any of the three, but it's not as adventurous or as exciting. Like other parts of the cow, different preparations bring out certain flavors or textures of a particular cut. The same is true for the innards.

One of the great things about cooking is that we can take ingredients that are great and elevate them by either preparing them a certain way or combining them with another element. In this case, I had to take some items people don't normally find appetizing and make them taste good. I really enjoyed the challenge, and even though I wouldn't necessarily choose to eat beef liver from a restaurant, I know what to do the next time I might have to prepare it.

Thanks again to
4505 Meats for the delicious protein.
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