Meaning to grab a couple packs of short ribs at the grocery store last week, I arrived in the meat section as a young man was dishing out fresh packs of beef heart, liver, kidney (as well as tripe and pork belly). A last minute change of plans somehow consumed my entire being, and combined with all of the organ meat adding up to less than the cost of one pack of short ribs, I was on my way back to homestead with something unexpected.
I didn’t really want to mess with things, so after a brief hunt around the interwebs and being unable to find something that included all three, I decided to take a crack at chili. No beans here, this chili was going to be straight meat (with a handful of veg). Taking my trusty slower cooker out of hiding, I added two sweet onions, a zucchini, two hand fulls of mushrooms and a 14oz tin of diced tomatoes. Liberally coating everything in chili powder, I added my cut up beef liver and kidney. A stir of of the pot was need at this point, as well as a healthy dose of basil and oregano. With more room to spare, I chopped up the liver and along with a few pounds of stew meat. Seriously, I think there was almost 6 pounds of meat in this here crock pot.
Another mix of the pot, along with more chili powder and I put the dish on low; setting the time for eight hours. I periodically sampled the dish, and found the organ flavour quite strong. I tried to combat the in-your-face initial bite with more spices, and eventually found a nice mix. The liver is definitely not meant for a long 8 hour stew, and broke down considerably. The heart and stew meat were absolutely fantastic; requiring very little effort to eat. The kidney was, well kidney, and while it was tender and flavour, there was no hiding it. After pulling the pot from the heat, I did strain the entire bowl to skim the excess fat which was more prevalent than I first imagined. Final verdict…edible. This is definitely not going to win any chili awards, but that wasn’t the point. I took a chance, bought some off cuts of meat and went to town. If you didn’t pick out the liver or kidney, (meaning you ate a complete spoonful) you might not even second guess what was hiding inside….