Feather and Bone is my favourite butcher in Sydney. They have the best quality ethically sourced meat in town, as well as pastured eggs and amazing charcuterie. One of their newer products is a mix of beef mince with organs, which contains 10-15% of heart, liver and/or kidneys.
Why buy beef mince with organs
There are people who cringe at the thought of consuming organs (or meat, for that matter) and, on the other end of the spectrum, there are people like me (my favourite meals as a kid include my grandma’s liver soup and my mum’s liver with onions; I also enjoyed having liverwurst as a spread on my breakfast roll). I realise most people fall in the middle of the bell curve, and they might need a bit of encouragement to buy and consume this product. Here are some reasons you might want to give beef mince with organs a go:
- It’s more convenient than mixing your own, especially if you don’t have a food processor or similar tool to grind the organ meats
- Good quality organ meats can be hard to find
- Organ meats (a.k.a. offal) are nutritionally superior than muscle meats (e.g. steak); more about this below
- Less food waste as more parts of the animal are being used
- Organ meats are, at least in theory, cheaper than muscle meats
- The mix might be more palatable for people who are not used to the taste of organ meats
- The taste might be more interesting than that of plain beef mince for people with adventurous palates
Nutrients in organ meats
Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses. History seems to indicate that our early ancestors ate the organs of dead animals first, presumably because they intuitively knew those were more nutritious than the muscle meat. Similarly, most traditional cuisines incorporate offal in their menus.
Organ meats are rich in:
- Protein, important for tissue growth and repair
- Iron, important for the transport of oxygen and enzymatic activities
- Zinc, important for many enzymatic activities in the body
- Vitamin A, important for vision, growth and development
- Vitamin B12, important for preventing megaloblastic anemia and demyelination of the central nervous system (myelin is the fatty sheath that protects and insulates neurons)
- Vitamin D, important for bone and immune health
- Folate, important for the development of the nervous system
It is important to note that different not all organ meats have the same levels of particular nutrients. The graph below shows a nutrient comparison between beef mince, heart, kidney and liver.
How to use beef mince with organs
You can use it instead of regular beef mince in casseroles and stews (such as cottage pie, chilli con carne, Bolognese), burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, etc. There’s a recipe coming soon!
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