How to Cook Hearts, Liver, and Gizzards

This guide shows how to cook animal and poultry hearts, liver, and gizzards in 4-5 different ways. It’s very easy, and the variation between all the different ways is small.

Pork heart with king trumpet mushrooms a’la creme

Ingredients for the main recipe (for 2)
* 400 gr of hearts or liver (from either lamb, goat, beef, pork)
* 100 gr of Eryngii (king trumpet/oyster) mushrooms OR 1 large onion OR 1 bell pepper
* A handful of fresh spinach [optional]
* 2 tbspoons crème fraîche or European style sour cream (probiotic)
* 1 tbspoon coconut oil
* Salt & black pepper (or Hungarian paprika)

1. Cut the hearts or liver in thin 0.5″ vertical slices. Wash them.
2. Wash and cut the mushrooms in vertical stripes. If you’re using the onion or peppers instead, cut them as you would onion rings, horizontally.
3. If your heart or liver is from beef or pork, consider boiling it for 30 minutes first, and then discard that water. This will make them less smelly. Young goat/sheep offal doesn’t smell bad, so that step is not required.
4. Heat the coconut oil in medium heat, and stir-fry the heart until it’s golden brown and almost cooked through.
5. Add the mushrooms (or onions, or bell peppers), and stir-fry them until they get golden brown too.
6. Add the spinach, and stir for 5-10 seconds.
7. Turn off the heat, remove from hot stove. Add salt and pepper. Add the crème fraîche, stir well. Serve hot!

Alternative way after step #4 above (Greek style):
5. Add the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of oregano.
6. Stir well. Serve with potato, sweet potato, or vegetable fries.

Note: The Greek style version of the recipe is also applicable to pork belly! That’s how we eat it in Greece!

Alternative way after step #4, for poultry hearts/liver/gizzards:

5. Pour everything into a cooking pan.
6. Chop down a small onion. Stir-fry it for 1 minute.
7. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce (or chopped, fresh tomatoes), and 1 cup of water.
8. Add some chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.
9. Cover, and cook until most liquid has vaporized.
10. Serve with baked spaghetti squash. The picture below shows it with rice, but that’s an old picture of mine, before I stopped eating grains. The rest of the recipe is as described though.

Finally, an alternative way to do gizzards, as a stew, can be found here.


Wes wrote on February 21st, 2013 at 2:42 PM PST:

Thanks for these ideas. I will try some. I cooked calf liver for the second time last week and did pretty well with:

1. Soaking the liver in water+lemon before cooking to make it tender/improve flavor (so I’ve been told)

2. Browning onions in coconut oil (30 minute process)

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 21st, 2013 at 2:44 PM PST:

I don’t think that calf’s liver needs soaking, it’s the softest liver you can find! 🙂

Of Goats and Greens wrote on February 24th, 2013 at 11:23 AM PST:

I really like your blog and your sensible approach to paleo/primal — and someone who eats offal, too! I made beef kidney for dinner last night (I got it from a friend who owns a farm), and some of the leftovers will make it (somewhat disguised) to work for lunch this week.

I don’t find the aroma of beef heart too strong — for beef, goat or lamb I often slice 1/4 inch slices and pan fry to medium rare, then serve with veggies. (Pork I cook longer. You know, fears of trichinosis…)

I grew up in a family where we’d have these sorts of foods often — although they’d boil the beef heart for several hours to tenderize it, and then cut it into chunks with a gravy.

These foods are worth eating.

Animanarchy wrote on February 25th, 2013 at 12:40 PM PST:

Cooking is not a requirement. I’ve eaten some raw beef liver, oysters, crayfish meat, a chicken heart, tasted raw squirrel brain. Usually these foods tasted better cooked, except the oysters.
To overcome your unnatural dietary conditioning and get your genes expressing themselves the way they’re supposed to eating some raw meat is a help.

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