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Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Posted by johnliu (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 20:30

I am playing Freezer Roulette.

You know the game.

Poor organizational skills, insufficiently permanent ink, or simply lack of moral character, have cursed you with many anonymous bundles of white paper-wrapped meat-things in your freezer. SWMBO has ordered that the frozen fractional cow that seemed like such a good idea last year be Eaten! Before! she sees you bring home One More! cut of fresh - and identifiable - meat from the butcher.

Your protests land on deaf ears. SWMBO is unmoved by the prospect of unearthing the kids' pet rat or Aunt Maggie's head. Possibly she thinks you're making it up. Possibly she grew up eating her pets, or her aunts. Sometimes you wonder.

So you place the revolver's muzzle to your head and pull the trigger. One pull on the trigger yields a whole beef heart. The second pull lands a hunk of beef liver.

Preferable to Aunt Maggie's head, this surely is. But how, err, do I cook a beef heart or cow liver?

My request is two fold. First, recipes for heart and liver. Second, stories from your own sessions of Freezer Roulette.

(By the way, Squeakers or at least his mortal coil did inhabit our freezer for a couple years. As for Aunt Maggie, I really don't know everything that goes on around here.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

We had a funny incidence of Freezer Roulette in a restaurant where I worked once. The owner/head cook was notorious for not labelling stuff that went into the freezer :-)
One day, we had run out of cream of zucchini soup and I was making a new batch for the dinner session. Owner fished a plastic container of frozen stock out of the freezer and gave it to me to use, thinking it was chicken stock. As the soup simmered, I could smell a very strong fishy smell in the kitchen and wondered who had been cooking salmon. Then the penny dropped.
"Houston, we have a problem," I told the owner and got her to come and smell the soup, which had been made with, you guessed it, fish stock. She looked horrified. "What do we do?" Dinner was upon us and we needed a soup course.
"We add a little cream, garnish with some prawns and call it 'prawn bisque'," I suggested.
"Prawn bisque" was a sell out :-D


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Ah, yes. Freezer Roulette. I know it well.....

As for Squeakers, I had Ashley's pet rabbit in the freezer for several months. The darned thing died in January or something, and no way could an appropriate grave be dug. So, double wrapped in plastic garbage bags and into the freezer in a box for Rug Bunny. He had his appropriate somber and proper interment in the spring.

Now, liver. I actually like the stuff, just dusted with flour, salt and pepper and tossed into a pan with hot bacon grease rendered from a few slices of bacon. Toss some onions in first, then the strips of liver, it's very good. My doc doesn't like me to eat it, something about cholesterol. Figures. I'm also a fan of liver pate. Be very careful not to overcook the liver, it'll get dry and tough quickly.

Heart gets ground, along with tongue, and made into sausage, although many hunters here pickle the heart and tongue of venison and eat it sliced with bread or crackers or ground up with hot peppers as a sandwich spread. I've not tried this recipe, but I've had it saved for a while now:

ANTICUCHOS (GRILLED BEEF HEART)

8 dried Puya chiles or 4 dried California chiles, wiped clean
4 Chiles de Arbol
2 tablespoons Annatto seeds
1 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound beef hearts, trimmed of all sinew and silverskin

Remove stems from chiles and shake out and discard seeds. In small saucepan place chiles with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes to soften.

Drain and discard water. In a blender combine dried chiles, annatto seeds, garlic, cumin, red wine vinegar and jalapeno. Puree at high speed 1 - 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Add olive oil and salt and blend again until mixed.

Cut beef hearts into 2 x 1/4-inch strips. Place in a bowl, pour over chile mixture and toss to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill or broiler. Thread 4 - 5 pieces of beef heart on a bamboo skewer. Grill until seared on all sides, about 3 - 5 minutes. Serve hot.

I played Freezer Roulette tonight. I got lucky, pork chops.

Annie


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I rarely, if ever, have raw meat or poultry in my freezer so don't have any good freezer roulette stories. I have made both veal and beef hearts many times, mostly stuffed and baked.

For beef hearts, soak heart in cold water for two hours. Drain. Remove interior veins, arteries and muscles with scissors but keep outside shell intact. Parboil for 20 minutes and remove from liquid to cool.

Stuff cooled heart with your favorite bread filling, as you would make to stuff a turkey but with marjoram instead of sage. Cover top opening with a double layer of cheesecloth and secure with skewers to top edges. Bake in covered roasting pan for three hours at 325, adding about 1/2 inch of hot beef broth after the first hour. Add more broth if needed.

Let heart stand while making a gravy with the pan juices and additional beef broth with a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and lots of freshly ground black pepper added. Slice crossways about 3/4" thick to serve.

For a whole liver or thick hunk of it, I like to remove any outer skin and leave it whole and marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. I use a marinade similar to that for preparing London Broil - red wine, garlic, mustard, etc. and grill it until what would be medium on a steak, slightly pink in the center. Let rest and then slice thinly on the diagonal and serve topped with Bercy butter or garlic butter and a squeeze of lemon.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I like liver if someone else will cook it, the traditional liver and onions, but I don't cook it so can't help you.

My BIL cooks both heart and liver like his father did (European). Liver was fried/sautéed in olive oil with onions and peppers. Heart was stewed with tomatoes and peas. Yes, peas, always and don't ask me why. It isn't a meal I join them for, I can't find anything appealing about it :)

The oddest package I've ever had in my freezer was cougar. DH had a contractor he supervised occasionally who was an avid hunter, and to his credit he consumed what he killed. He 'treated' us to a package of cougar steaks many years ago and they stayed in the freezer for a very long time :) I did finally thaw them and took a peek - the meat was pink. I couldn't tell you what it tasted like, I threw it away.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I like liver slow cooked. Dust slices with flour and brown, brown bacon and onions. Add beef stock, red wine and a little tomato puree. let simmer for a long time - the bacon almost disappears and the gravy is so thick and tasty........... lovely with potato mash.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Freezer drama, haha. Just had to eliminate to make room for the recent harvest. A few things just labeled 'Sally'. (SIL's goat) and 2011 things. Since FoodSaver my label skills are a bit better. 'needs spice', 'too spicy', 'dry, needs sauce'. 'O' is ofal. I always date M/Year now.
Babysitting my niece for a week in the country, she was 4, recapping the day to her mother on the phone..."Connie just got stitches, dinner is in the dishwasher, we can't find Uncle B, and Merle is in the freezer". (dog injury, lack of counter space, fly fishing, pet cat died).

DH makes a killer pate'. I make scrapple. That is our ofal tolerance. The rest of the 'O' is for pet food. Cod roe and tripe is such awful stench i grind it part frozen.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I'm half English, so everyday food when growing up included things like chicken livers, beef liver and onions sauteed in bacon grease, and everyone's favorite: beef kidney stew. :O)

The oddest thing that ever came out of a freezer was the beaver tail that my friend recently tried to give me. I passed on it. lol!


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

My son calls the freezer the cemetery for food. Once things go in there, they die a slow death from freezer burn. I am too lazy to package things correctly, always thinking I will use it in a day or two.

Under no circumstances would I eat heart. I would eat chicken liver and even calves liver, but try not to think about it.

My dad, a surgeon, once brought home an amputated human part (nothing large, and I do not know the story behind it). He put it (wrapped) in the fridge. My mother found it. Enough said.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I'm not sure I'm doing proud by this heart and liver. Everyone in the family refuses to eat it, which is rather deflating to my ambitions. I've ended up simply experimenting with different cooking methods.

I simmered the liver and some heart in red wine, then put it in the trusty Cuisinart with salt, pepper, lots of garlic, fresh sage, olive oil, and some of the broth, and processed to a loose pâté. Not bad, if you like pâté.

Some more heart went into the pressure cooker with wine, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and is working away. The liquid will get reduced down and hopefully the heart will get soft.

The remaining heart is sliced thinly, and refrigerated. Tomorrow I'll do some fajita-ish thing. Or maybe I'll make a beef heart smoothie.

Of course, that still doesn't solve the problem that I'm the only one who's going to eat this. I guess I'll be bringing plenty of protein to lunch on at work this week!


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I am having visions of Hannibal Lecter.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

If you saw my desk or looked in my purse you would not think I am a very organized person. I do a pretty good job of labeling. I freeze of a lot of prepared dinners. So my labels say what it is, the cook book the recipe is in and the page number. One thing I don't do is date, which I need to. I do though keep a running list of what is in the freezer. I refer to it each week for meal planning. I also tend to put labels on food in the refrigerator. Sometimes I put things like "EAT!" on containers or suggestions for use. I use masking tape and a sharpie If I had a label maker I would be out of control, lol.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

I don't see how beef heart ever gets tender. I pressure cooked that third of a heart on high for about two hours, which will make an old shoe melt in your mouth, but the heart is still tough as Ebenezer's ticker.

There's no fat at all except a bit on the outside; the interior is solid rubber err muscle.

This cow was grass-fed, but I didn't think it was jogging for its feed. Not sure why I bother exercising, apparently it is enough to chew grass and watch flies all day.

The liver looked very healthy as well. Not drinking too much, I see.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Here is the basic method I use to manage the freezer.

First, I had posted a method to vacuum pack food to prevent freezer burn without buying expensive "Foodsaver" type bags.

Labeling is very easy. It is a pain having to write each label every time you freeze something. I use MS Excel formated to print labels on inexpensive pressure sensitive labels, 30 label on one page.

Actually there are not that many food that go into the freezer, Pork, pork chop, pork shoulder, pork loin, sirloin, chuck--------etc.

Indentfying the date is also easy. Just put on the label 1 to 12. I is January, 2 is Feburary, etc.

Peel off one of the labels, stick it on and you are done. The label stays on the plastic bag and will not fall off.

You can also do this. you have two label made of the same item, one for the item which goes in the freezer, one goes on a note book.

When you look at the note book, you will know what you have in the freezer still not used. When you use that item, you cross it out from your note book.

dcarch


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Here is the basic method I use to manage the freezer.

First, I had posted a method to vacuum pack food to prevent freezer burn without buying expensive "Foodsaver" type bags.

Labeling is very easy. It is a pain having to write each label every time you freeze something. I use MS Excel formated to print labels on inexpensive pressure sensitive labels, 30 label on one page.

Actually there are not that many food that go into the freezer, Pork, pork chop, pork shoulder, pork loin, sirloin, chuck--------etc.

Indentfying the date is also easy. Just put on the label 1 to 12. I is January, 2 is Feburary, etc.

Peel off one of the labels, stick it on and you are done. The label stays on the plastic bag and will not fall off.

You can also do this. you have two label made of the same item, one for the item which goes in the freezer, one goes on a note book.

When you look at the note book, you will know what you have in the freezer still not used. When you use that item, you cross it out from your note book.

dcarch


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

LOL, debra, I have a label maker. I can't find it. So much for organization, good think my meat packer uses the clear shrink wrap to package my beef/pork/etc and labels it for me, I'm lucky to just get a month and year written on things.

John, that's one of the reasons we use the heart in sausage, even when cooked until more tender it has a different texture, so grinding is a good option for it.

Annie


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

It turns out my favorite way of cooking heart, so far, is thinly sliced, salted and marinated for a day or so, then patted dry and fried for only about two minutes in a very hot skillet. It is earthy, rich, chewy, substantial meat. You feel strong and conquering when you eat it; you're eating a heart, man! You also feel, momentarily, far away. For a second, you're in sandals and short-sleeved shirt, squatting on a sidewalk in a small town somewhere in Mexico or South America or Southeast Asia, with a paper plate of fried beef heart and seasoned rice, or fat noodles, and a cold bottle of Tectate or Taiwan Beer or other local brew.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

Ruthanna
I have always loved the chewy unique texture and taste of beef heart. It evokes many memories of my mother's meals. But I never before considered stuffing and slow cooking it. Thanks for the idea.
Jonn
I have an image of you leaping from your seat onto the dinner table mid meal after a few bites of "heart, man!" You straddle the dishes, throw back your head, pound your chest and shout (or warble, or sing, or whatever Johnny Weismuller used to do)

 photo Tarzanstriumphcry_zpsc96cecf9.jpg

Which is Wikipedia's version of Tarzan's triumph cry, should you not recognize it.


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RE: Freezer Roulette And A Heart And A Liver

That sounds better than Hannibal Lecter!


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