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May 14, 2012 08:43 AM

In need of some introductory recipes to cooking with kidney and heart, pork or beef please! Beginner offal dishes . .

Hey good morning I am looking for some offal recipes please. I am looking to start eating more kidney and heart because I believe they provide us with abundant nutrition! Not too fond of liver but would try a colorful recipe :) I most likely prefer pork kidney and heart but would also love beef kidney and heart recipes!

I am not a beginner cook however I want to start slow with these offal dishes, I don't want any native peoples' Inuit spleen intestines wrapped in brains dunked in blood type recipes. Obviously I would love to take a look at even these extreme recipes but I doubt I would actually enjoy these more intense ones!
Not too picky here, love anything fatty, with dairy, meat, vegetables, sweet. But no blood. Obviously would love if the kidney and heart are cooked in a way to minimize the unpleasant tastes!
Love authentic ethnic dishes, authentic dishes you would find in a certain region for example, or just really really extreme offal dishes that are unique and different!
Anything you can provide me with would be greatly greatly appreciated, even cookbook recommendations :)

Thank you so much have a good one :)

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  1. am not a fan of kidney, but i don't find the flavor of heart to be unpleasant at all. just beefy with a bit of an irony undertone. i chop up the beef heart, sear, then simmer in home-made beef stock, about an hour. let that the whole thing cool and chill overnight. next day add some home-made tomato confit (you could use marinara) and let simmer. toss in some fresh basil voila. yum.

    chicken livers i like as pate. poached in chicken stock or wine, then whizzed in the food pro with butter and seasonings. excellent and easy. i also pulverize them and mix with ground beef to cook both for what i call "supermeat."

    6 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      My mother's one-and-only way with beef heart was to simmer it whole in salted water until tender(ish), then stuff it with a bread and onion stuffing and bake it. That was a dish I don't think she had a written recipe for - at least there's no card in the box - but it shouldn't be hard to duplicate.

      Sweetbreads are very nice, too - there are lots of recipes, from simple to complicated, but most call for poaching and then pressing overnight. I got mine by ordering from a market's meat department - if you have a market with real butchers, those are the most likely - and a few days later took delivery. They were amazingly cheap.

      1. re: Will Owen

        one bonus of cooking and eating these oogly bits is you can get them from pastured and grass-fed animals, that are hormone and antibiotic-free, much more cheaply than steaks or chops from the same animal.

        frankly, i don't feel all that comfortable eating the innards from feed-lot animals.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I hadn't thought of that - those sweetbreads were from Harris Ranch, whose owner is a fiercely aggressive defender of factory farming and feed-lot finishing, insisting that corn-fed beef is the only kind worth eating. However, I have discovered that our local Whole Foods meat guys are more than willing to put in the same kind of custom orders, and tell me the per-pound price will be exactly what I'd pay for the same thing from the case.

      2. re: hotoynoodle

        wow man thanks for reply :)
        that's interesting, so what is the point of cooling and chilling overnight? and is that safe, bacteria wise? does it impart any sort of "funky" taste to the heart?

        chicken suggestion sounds good as well, i will look into it! honestly more interested in cooking with the pork and beef kidney first, then the heart.. chicken innards come later my friend :)

        1. re: certifiedhumane

          You don't have to chill the meat overnight (or longer), but it lets you separate the two cooking phases. You can do the first in the evening when you have plenty of time, and the second shortly before the meal. It''s like making stock, or preparing a stew one day, and serving it the next.

          1. re: certifiedhumane

            haha, bird innards were my gateway.

            seriously, i think heart is the least "funky" of most of these bits.

        2. Fergus Henderson is a good place to start. Check out the very simple, rotating menu here: His cookbook is very good.

            is a used book that covers nearly all offal, with a sampling of recipes for each, generally drawn from traditional European sources. It also compares offal nutritional content to 'steak'. Most offal has a higher protein, and lower fat.

            Tongue is, in my opinion, the easiest to transition to. While beef tongue is most common, I actually prefer pork tongue, which isn't as fatty.

            Heart is ok, though I'm not excited about it. It either needs to be cooked quickly (as in Peruvian grilled heart skewers), or a long time. I'm starting to buy it to use as a treat for my new puppy.

            Kidney is normally cooked quickly, till just done, often on a grill. But it needs to be trimmed well. Lamb kidney is choicest.

            Many of these parts require a two stage cooking - a long simmer to make them tender, and quicker reheating with a savory sauce. That's especially true of tongue.

            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              Especially as Lengua, in any application! I never hated Mom's "boiled" tongue, just simmered and served plain, but it never thrilled me until some Mexican guys chopped a cooked tongue up and then served me a plate full. Lengua tacos, lengua enchiladas or burritos, lengua on a plate with salsa verde …

              1. re: Will Owen

                we have a lao place here that does amazing grilled tongue, sliced thin, like roast beef and finished with a peppery sauce.

                i cook it too and braise it.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  A German lady I know has a specialty - boiled beef tongue served with white sauce liberally laced with horseradish. Very good!

                2. re: paulj

                  Great book if you can find a copy.

                  Back when I could get lamb kidneys at Safeway, my favorite way to prepare them was brushed with a little garlic olive oil and grilled. With a side of fresh fava beans, of course.

                3. You might be interested in making Kat a Kat, a curried offal recipe that simmers kidney, heart and liver together (sometimes also brain, and if it's in your pantry, lung :) Serve with fresh roti, and it is the breakfast, lunch, or dinner of champions!

                  None of the recipes I'm seeing on line match up with the recipe I've learned to make (which I sadly don't have accessible right now)....many seem to incorporate tomato, which isn't part of how I make it. That said, you can give them a whirl.....or, if it looks like they require too many special spices that you don't stock, pick up a packet of Shan kat a kat spice mix. Just make sure to halve the quantity of spice they recommend in their recipe, or else it may end up much more salty and spicy than you prefer. :)

                  The one thing I would say that might not be a part of recipes if to add your offal in stages, rather than all at once....first heart/spleen, then lungs/liver, and finally brains (which you may choose to poach lightly in advance for texture.)

                  1. This seems like a pretty simple recipe:

                    I've never made it, but I did have a good time eating at his restaurant. Click around on Chris Consentino's site and there is a link to video on how to butcher beef heart, which I didn't watch but might be useful.