Monday, March 4, 2024

Beef Offal

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We were setting around the dinner table last week discussing different types of tacos, ground meat tacos (beef and chicken), fish tacos, cheese tacos, tongue tacos. And that’s when the conversation turned to tongue. Growing up eating wild meat, tongue has always graced our table. Grandma, while not fond of the other offal pieces enjoys a tongue sandwich when it becomes available so eating tongue isn’t an oddity at our table but not so for Aunt Cece. Her eyes held confusion as the words ‘tongue tacos’ registered in her mind.

Grandpa must have noticed (he has a long history of teasing his daughter-in-law) because he started to grin then began telling us about a gal, he knew who went to a restaurant and was told the special of the day was tongue. He said “When the waitress told her, she made a face, her nose wrinkled up, her tone got disgusted, ‘I can’t believe you’re serving us something that comes out of a filthy cow’s mouth. Yuck. Just bring me some boiled eggs.’ So, the waitress did.”

There was silence around the table for a moment then Grandma started to giggle, then I got the joke and we all started laughing.

Beef Tongue

(Grandma’s favorite)

Soak tongue overnight in the fridge in salt water (½ cup salt in ½ gallon) in a pan large enough to accommodate the beef tongue. In the morning rinse the tongue. Put fresh water in the pan then put on the stove over medium heat, bring to a simmer, turn down the heat so the pot continues to simmer and won’t boil over. Add herb and spice if so desired. Simmer until tender. Let cool so the meat can be handled, then peel the outside skin off the tongue (if the tongue cools to much it’s hard to pull the skin off; not impossible but instead of just fingers, a knife would be in order). After tongue is peeled and dinner is ready to be served put tongue back in the boiling water long enough to reheat it then slice and serve as if it were steak or roast.

Liver & Onions

(My favorite)

Soak liver overnight in the fridge in salt water. At dinner time cut liver into thin (1/4 inch) slices set aside. Slice an onion or two into thin (1/8 inch) slices. Put the onions in a sauce pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of water or oil. (With water the onions must be stirred constantly until they begin to sweat or they can burn.) When the onions are limp and translucent, in a preheated skillet (mine is cast iron) fry the liver without oil. When the liver is almost done (a  minute to two on each side) add a bit of oil or butter and the onions from the sauce pan. Let cook until the liver is your type of done then serve with a side of mustard.

Heart

(Kat’s {our oldest} favorite)

Soak heart overnight in the fridge in salt water. Before dinner time, prepare the heart by cutting it into ‘steak’ sized pieces so each piece will have approximately the same thickness throughout, removing any membrane connectors or parts to thin to let the ‘steak’ cook evenly.  Salt, pepper and add any herb/spice desired then cook just like a steak. Serve with steak sauce and gusto.

Note: Organ meat (also known as Offal) is high in the B vitamins. When liver isn’t available, I like to buy liverwurst and have a sandwich or two. I get a craving for liverwurst about every six months when I don’t have access whole liver then I’m good for a month or two. B vitamins help the body create energy and good feelings plus get rid of toxins. Pills are great but I try to get my nutrition from food when ever I can. 

In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and also in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at Reporter@leavenworthecho.com or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.


 

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