OFFAL MEAT AWFUL or TERRIFIC?  VARIETY MEATS are CHEAP MEAT and GOOD COOKS CAN MAKE THEM PISS ELEGANT!

It's the RECESSION, stupid! So why go on paying 9$ an lb for  beef sirloin? l0$ for halibut? 15$ for fillet? Do that and an animal protein breakfast, lunch and dinner for four can cost 50$ a day. Take you one minute to read this piece where you'll learn to use super inexpensive, miscellaneous variety meats at a tenth of the cost and double the taste. This category includes cheeks (fish heads are long on cheeks) tongue, liver, kidneys, brains, tongue, tripe, and sweetbreads. (Don't kid yourself. The yummiest meat that exists, kiddo.)

Now strangely, "Variety meats" are called "offal" in England. Sounds too much like AWFUL and they're not. What the British were IN was an awful WAR, (1939 through 1945) and you only ate offal if you were lucky and knew a butcher. Meat was rationed. As the word was rubbing it in, sounding like  the word 'awful', the Brits began to call it by a more 'delicate' term.  "Variety meats." That is the catch-all term for the organ meats, brains, tripe, feet, and tails of butchered animals.

Earlier civilizations treated many of the organs as prized delicacies, and deservedly so since they're often as tender and as flavorful as the finest cuts of meat yet they're fallen into disfavor in our times, though, which means that you can get many of these meats for a song.

HEART  Long ago, primitive tribes believed that eating heart gave them strength and courage.   Today, few of us bother to test that theory.   It's our loss, because heart is tender and has a very delicate flavor.  It's also quite inexpensive, thanks to its lack of popularity.  To prepare it, you should rinse it in cold water, then cut out any blood vessels and connective tissue.  Veal or lamb heart is delicious if you sauté or grill it until it's medium rare.  If you cook it until it's well done, it becomes very tough. Alternatively, you can cook heart slowly using moist heat then add the fatty buttery, garlicky sauces as 'last stir' on top just before serving.

Kidneys are nutritious and, if properly prepared, delicious.  It's often hard to find them in markets, though, since many of them are ruined during the meat inspection process.  Veal kidneys and lamb kidneys are prized for their tenderness and delicate flavor.   They can be grilled or sautéed, though they become tough if overcooked.  Pork and beef kidneys are tougher, and need to be cooked slowly using moist heat.

Liver is rich in that rarest of vitamins, B-12 also iron and Vitamin A and has an unabashed flavor that nicely complements that of its usual companion, onion.   Calf's liver is considered to be the best, but lamb liver and beef liver are almost as good and much less expensive.   Liver can be cooked with dry heat, say by grilling or sautéing it, but it becomes very tough if it's cooked beyond medium rare.   Since liver has very little fat, you might want to baste it or lard it. Me, I just dredge it, fry it and 'onion' it.

Tongue is pure protein, is simmered over a slow fire for a long time (8 hours,) in a savory vegetable, spice soup. then sliced. DELICIOUS, served with Dijon mustard on rye. Lemme see you do that to TOFU!

CALF BACK PARTS - Rocky Mountain Oysters. You probably would need a  slaughterhouse to get hold of a pair. The rest are shipped to CHINA which is why everybody there is in the fast lane economically.
 

http://www.foodsubs.com/Meatvar.html

Offal Healthy: Eating Liver, Brains, and Other Variety Meats
from
 http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/offal-healthy-eating-liver-brains-and-other-variety-meats

The average supermarket meat department could almost convince you that cows and chickens are made solely of fillets and breasts. Of course, the truth is that there are many parts of an animal that don’t always end up on those shelves. A stroll through the farmers’ market where I shop would remind you that cows also have tongues, livers, and marrowbones, and at my favorite San Francisco taco truck, you can order burritos with cabeza (head) or tripa (tripe). These meats may not be pretty, but plenty of people still consider them tasty and delicious.

In the eyes of much of the world, Americans are culinary dilettantes. We eat only the tender, the lean, and the attractive parts of our feed animals, and that’s a reflection of our relative wealth compared with much of the world. For most of human history, only the rich could afford to eat those choicest cuts of meat, and the poor resorted to eating liver, brains and whatever else was left over, no matter how tough, stringy, or distasteful.

Today, these leftovers are called “variety meats” or “offal,” and many chefs consider the ability to skillfully prepare them to be the truest test of culinary prowess. After all, anybody can grill a steak, but only a consummate professional can make calf’s brain palatable. With the rise of Slow Food, locavore cuisine, and “nose to tail” cooking styles, offal is making a remarkable comeback, and the variety meats found in restaurants today not only are delicious but also have significant nutritional value.

Liver
Whether or not they enjoy it, most people have consumed liver at one point or another. They’ve eaten beef liver stewed with onions, they’ve tasted goose liver foie gras or duck liver pâté, or they’ve tried chicken liver, which is often made into a mousse and served with toast points. Regardless of what animal it comes from, liver is an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, teeth, and eyes, as well as full of iron, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Beef liver contains huge amounts of copper and good amounts of healthy fatty acids.

Heart
Since the heart is a hardworking muscle, the texture can be a bit tough, so heart is often served stewed or braised in order to allow the meat to become tender. Heart is low in sodium and very high in iron. It also contains selenium, zinc, phosphorus, niacin, and riboflavin.

Brains
Brains are a delicacy in many parts of the world, especially Asia and Europe. Calves’ brains are popular items in French provincial cooking, and some peoples in Africa and Indonesia even eat monkey brains. They are high in niacin, phosophorus, B12, and vitamin C. Eating brains can potentially transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease except that American DEER have it) This is also known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It’s important to procure brains for consumption from a reputable source. An organic farmer would be best, someone who got rid of wobbly cows without cutting them up!

Tripe
Just about every cuisine in the world features some form of tripe, from Italian tripa alla Romana with tomato sauce, Cajun andouille sausage, and Vietnamese ph?. Since it consists of various kinds of stomach and intestinal tissue, tripe must be cleaned meticulously before it’s served. It contains vitamin B12 and significant amounts of protein. Tripe is also commonly used in making processed meats like commercial sausage and hot dogs.

The average supermarket meat department could almost convince you that cows and chickens are made solely of fillets and breasts. Of course, the truth is that there are many parts of an animal that don’t always end up on those shelves. A stroll through the farmers’ market where I shop would remind you that cows also have tongues, livers, and marrowbones, and at my favorite San Francisco taco truck, you can order burritos with cabeza (head) or tripa (tripe). These meats may not be pretty, but plenty of people still consider them tasty and delicious.

Kidneys
The traditional British steak-and-kidney pie is the most well-known recipe utilizing this organ, but kidneys from veal, lamb, pork, and beef can all be braised, roasted, sautéed, and even grilled. They’re high in protein and contain many B vitamins, such as riboflavin and niacin, as well as iron and zinc. Lamb Kidneys are supposedly the acme

Sweetbreads
They aren’t brains, as many people believe. Sweetbreads are the thymus or pancreas glands, usually taken from veal, but occasionally from lamb or young pigs as well. They contain a large amount of vitamin C, which is unusual for a product of animal origin. They are also high in protein, niacin, and phosphorus, with trace amounts of potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. They are also the most delicious meat you CAN eat. French serve in a cream/ garlic sauce. WOWIE!

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Although some people are still squeamish about eating offal, eatin' the l'il extras hanging on the animal provides legitimate social and environmental benefits, as well as the nutritional ones. Eating offal shows respect to animals, discourages waste, and fosters a more understanding and intimate relationship between an eater and his food. Plus, as many chefs have pointed out, much processed commercial meat—including ground beef, hot dogs, lunch meat, and sausage—is of indeterminate origin, but offal is impossible to fake—while it can be hard to know exactly what’s in a hot dog, there’s no mistaking that a kidney is a kidney, so you always know exactly what you’re getting.

One downside of variety meats is that, with few exceptions, they are extremely high in cholesterol. Among many of the more common types, a single serving provides significantly more than 100 percent of a person’s recommended daily cholesterol intake. Also, much of the fat in offal is saturated. Eating it may be an exciting culinary experience and a good way to enjoy “nose to tail” cooking, but because of its cholesterol and fat content, diners should consume it in moderation, just as they would other meats.

Our human ancestors didn’t have much choice in what they ate. No holding out for prime rib when a tribe of l00 was dividing the 'kill.' Each family got some of the buffalo hump, filet and sirloin but the organ meat, bone marrow outweighed it. Hungry tribe members settled for any part of an animal that they could get their hands on. We may be lucky to have more choice in our modern diet, but eating offal has proven for thousands of years to be good for the animal, good for the environment, and good for the body, too. Again, if you're not watching your cholesterol.

NOTE:  Refrigerate variety meats and use them within two days of purchase, or else freeze them.

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