Every Sunday I hurry to our neighborhood’s farmers’ market. The first stand I’ll check is the meat stand. When I get there, there is already a line of carnivores waiting patiently for their turn.
The energy is a little tense. The good cuts go fast here, and there’s a limited amount of these. And by “good cuts” I mean offal.
It seems that the awareness for nose-to-tail eating and the health benefits of organ meats has risen and so the demand for them.
That’s good news. The bad news is that I have to wake up early on Sundays and rush to the farmers’ market.
Recently I’ve had some great experiences with lamb liver, which I find much more accessible and tastier than beef liver. Last Sunday I got lucky and was able to put my hand on some beautiful lamb hearts and kidneys, and it was totally worth my early rise.
The Health Benefits
The heart is a muscle and nutritionally is similar to other muscle organs like steaks or roasts. However, it has a higher amount of protein, B vitamins, selenium, CoQ10, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Three ounces of heart, provide 200% of your B12 daily requirement!
Kidneys have a nutritional profile that is a lot like liver, which means they are a real super food. There is an abundance of protein, B vitamins, and minerals.
In the Kitchen
The meat was so fresh that I decided to treat it minimally. Salt, pepper, a short sear with good fat, and that’s it!
- Slice the hearts to half-inch slices. One heart should give you four to five slices. Don’t trim the fat!
- Remove the outer white membrane from the kidneys with a sharp knife.
- Slice each kidney lengthwise so you get two symmetrical parts.
- Use scissors or a small, sharp knife to remove the white part from the middle of each half.
- Season with salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt.
- In a heavy pan heat a generous amount of ghee or lard (pork fat) until very hot.
- The cooking should be quick and accurate: Gently put the heart slices and kidney halves in the hot pan. The kidneys should be ready before the heart. About thirty to forty seconds on each side. The heart slices may require a little bit more. You want both to be cooked to medium pink.