Are you ready to learn how to cook organ meat recipes that give all the great benefits of nose to tail eating, help save money on your grocery bill, and actually taste delicious?
It can be done!
Nose to tail eating is a practical, budget-friendly, and enjoyable way of eating.
I am thrilled to see interest in organ meat recipes continue to rise. After blogging about the benefits and ways to eat them for so many years, it’s very exciting to meet more and more people interested in this way of eating.
It’s not for everyone, but chances are if you are here reading this post you are ready to try it out for yourself.
What is organ meat?
Referred to by many names like offal, odd bits, pluck, and variety meats, Wikipedia states
Organ meats are the viscera (internal organs) and entrails of a butchered animal.
These general terms refer to the whole category of parts, the specific edible bits vary from culture to culture. Typically muscle meat and bone are excluded from offal.
With German roots, the word
Offal means “off-fall”, referring to that which has fallen off during butchering.
You’ve probably heard of foie gras, pate, and sweetbread which are internationally recognized as gourmet foods. Once you start looking you will soon realize the variety of use these parts have and the important role they hold as culturally significant ingredients.
Organ meat recipes from around the world
From the USA to Mexico to Spain to England to China to Indonesia and everywhere in between, organ meats on one the menu. These are some of the most popular recipes from cultures around the world.
- Haggis a famous Scottish preparation similar to black pudding in texture, made out of lamb or sheep’s offal (lung, liver, heart), spices, onions, and suet, and cooked in the animal’s stomach (recipe)
- Faggots an old-fashioned British food made from pork belly and offal (liver, lungs, and heart) and caul fat from Great Britain (recipe)
- Chitterlings a classic southern soul food made from the intestines of a pig, boiled down, fried up, and served with apple cider vinegar and hot sauce from the U.S.A. (recipe)
- Menudo an aromatic Mexican soup made of tripe, hominy and chili, and is stewed for hours with garlic and other spices (recipe)
- Smalahove a Western Norwegian traditional dish made from a sheep’s head, originally eaten before Christmas (recipe)
- Sarapatel pork viscera (tongue, lungs, liver, heart) fried in lard and spice, then simmered in blood until the sauce is thick. Varying by region, you may find it with tripe or without the heart and with trachea instead. It may also be made from sheep or goat rather than pork. Originally brought by Portuguese colonists, it is popular in Northeastern Brazil and Goa, India. (recipe)
What is the best organ meat to eat?
Whichever organ you can find and cook in a way you enjoy is going to be the best to eat. In contemporary American culture, liver is the most popular and well known.
Most common types of organ meat are:
Others include, but are not limited to:
- Brain (would you believe it is best raw?)
Organ meat comes from many animals: beef, lamb, mutton, goat, bison, elk, deer, chicken, duck, goose, pork, and fish.
I do recommend sourcing grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic organ meats over conventionally raised. Although, not always possible, knowing the source of your food is very rewarding. Using the tips in this Guide to Buying Liver can also help for other organ meats of choice. Always do the best you can.
As you follow my keto carnivore organ meat recipe series (that you actually want to eat!) you will be introduced to beef liver, beef heart, and beef kidney. Other recipes with tongue, sweetbreads, brain, tripe, trotters, hooves, and bone marrow are found in my cookbooks.
This post may contain affiliate links. Primal Edge Health LLC may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you for any orders made through these links. All thoughts and opinions are our own and we never promote something we wouldn’t use ourselves.
How do you start eating organ meat?
Thanks to the modern food system, most of use are completely removed from knowing where food really comes from. After growing up and only eating, seeing, and tasting muscle meats, tip to tail parts are relatively foreign.
Obviously, this is cultural programming and just because we don’t know about something, doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad or gross. It might just be misunderstood!
Start with an open mindset.
The biggest hurdle to getting starting with eating more organ meats is a mental one. You have to want to do it. No one goes out and accidentally eats a lamb kidney.
Using encapsulated organ meat capsules may be a beneficial first step. Nothing is more convenient than popping a pill. With a list of combinations to choose from, Ancestral Supplements offers high-quality, grass-fed organs free from hormones, pesticides, GMOs, fillers and other ingredients that would degrade the quality of the product.
Given the opportunity tastes, gut bacteria, and cravings will change. Over time, you get more accustomed to organ meat recipes and enjoy them more and more.
We all know steaks are great but don’t stop there! Organ meats are highly nutritious, easily digested foods given to us to build our bodies, boost our immune systems, and nourish our brains.
Learn how to eat organ meat that isn’t gross!
I developed a free email mini-course that will introduce you to the most common organ meats and teach you how to properly prepare them with ease and pleasure.
You will learn my secrets to making nose to tail eating enjoyable, accessible and practical for your diet and lifestyle.
My recipes are all low-carb, keto, carnivore, whole30, GAPS, and paleo-friendly.
Consider them “template” recipes. They are very elemental, teaching all the necessary steps. Upon mastery, if you feel like improvising with other herbs and spices or additional sauces and dips, you certainly may.
How to cook with all the bits
Aside from desiccated organ meat vitamin pills, mixing ground organs into ground meat is the easiest way to get them in your body.
For beginners, I recommend introducing organ meats with “disguised” organ meat recipes.
I share my favorite hidden organ meat recipes in the email series. These are tried and true recipes I feed my family multiple times a month. Be sure to sign up by clicking the banner above and learn my secrets to making organ meat recipes you actually want to eat!
Pick your favorite burger, meatball, or meatloaf recipe and add in a ground organ meat mix of liver, kidney, and heart. You already like the texture and consistency of the recipe, I bet you’ll barely notice any change in flavor.
Ground meat recipes with hidden offal
- Low-Carb Cabbage Noodles and Liver (keto)
- Burgers with hidden beef heart (keto, carnivore)
- Curry Lamb Meatballs (keto)
- Beef Bolognese (keto)
- Ultimate Beef and Liver Chili (part of an epic round-up of 99+ other offal recipes)
Master the basics of hiding ground meat and then you’ll be ready for more advanced recipes like my Organ Meat Stew.
When taking a whole organ, the simplest ways to prepare offal is by baking, sautéing, pan-frying, or boiling. These are simple processes that are completed in just a few steps and don’t call for any fancy ingredients.
What do organ meat recipes taste like?
Each organ has its own flavor. Said to be “rich”, “earthy”, and “strong”, it is hard to pin down the exact flavor.
Each recipe varies due to the parts used and how they are prepared. Grilling will be different than boiling, which will be different from pan-frying. Do each of these cooking processes with a tomato and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Of course, herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme) and spices (ginger, cinnamon, allspice, garlic, onion, curry, hot pepper) also do quite a bit to mask any unusual taste. I provide simple, “template” recipes. You are welcome to add whatever additional flavoring agents you like. When in doubt, add more hot sauce.
All jokes aside, you have nothing to worry about and don’t even have to close your eyes because there’s nothing too odd starting back at you on the plate.
Liver pate is an excellent recipe for beginners. Read All You Need To Know About Liver Pate for Keto and Carnivore Diets and get started today!
How much organ meat should I eat?
The answer to this question really depends on you. There is no “one way” to eating organ meats. Nose to tail eating is now normalized in our family and I work liver, heart, and kidney in my weekly meal plan pretty effortlessly.
If you are just getting started, you might have one new dish every week for a few weeks. As your confidence grows you will be more comfortable with the handling of parts, cooking and overall concept as a whole.
Some people notice intense cravings for a certain part, this may or may not correlate to a specific nutrient deficiency that is remedied by eating that food.
A common concert about eating too much liver is the possibility of overdosing on Vitamin A. This simply is not the case. Studies that indicate toxicity were examining the isolated, synthetic form Vitamin A, not the naturally occurring Vitamin A form a whole food source. While the Vitamin A saga may be a lengthy one, the bottom line is that synthetic and natural Vitamin A do not act the same in the body.
There is minimal risk when it comes to increasing the consumption of organ meat. Eating intuitively, or as much as you like is usually a safe approach.
Can you freeze organ meat recipes?
Yes! You can freeze all the recipes shared in the email lessons. If you’re worried about organ meat overload, portion out servings and freeze them for the days and weeks to come.
A good example of this practice is to divide a batch of liver pate into smaller portions and freeze to last throughout the month. Freezing ice cube trays of pate will create individual servings that are easy to pop out whenever desired.
All the recipes I share are simple, modern dishes to be served on the side of the main entrée or as the featured portion themselves.
Each recipe is excellent for weekly meal planning. They may be doubled or tripled, divided, and then refrigerated or frozen for easy meal prep.
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Meet Jessica Haggard
Jessica Haggard is the creator of Primal Edge Health, where she shares simple, nourishing low-carb, keto and carnivore diet recipes. With a focus on from scratch, homemade cooking, animal-based nutrition, and easy DIY beauty and personal care recipes, there’s always something new going on in her kitchen! Jessica will teach you exactly how to thrive with all the best ingredients and enjoy the journey along the way.