Cooking Animal Organs
It amuses me that so many westerners are put off when they see traditional cultures that use every part of an animal once its killed. Often, live chickens are bought at the market, taken home, killed, and all parts are used. The organs can be cooked as meat or added with the bones to form a soup. The Chinese even collect the blood, coagulate it and cook it like meat.
These types of practices were common in. western culture up into the 1950's and 60's, but began to lose favor after that. Lambs Fries, Sweetbreads, Liver and Tongue were common on our grandparents table.
Medicinally, animal organs are very useful. After all, there can be no medicine better to strengthen a weak Liver and another Liver, right?
Following are examples of traditional Western recipes using animal organs:
See also: Organotherapy
Calves Feet a la Menagere (French)
3 Calves feet
Butter 1.5 oz.
1 large Onion chopped
1 large Tomato peeled
1 dessertspoon Flour
quarter Pint of Stock
1 liqueur glass of White Wine
Split each foot into 3; cover them with cold water and boil 2 hours; bone carefully. Melt the Butter, add the flesh of the Feet, the Onion, Tomato, the Salt and Pepper; stir, add the Flour and continue stirring; then add the Stock and Wine, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Ram Brains for Lethargy
and Mental Dullness
Decoct a cleansed Ram Brain with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Calamus.
This was traditionally distilled.
Decoction of Calf Liver or Ox Spleen
Ox Spleen or Calf Liver cut 1
Cinnamon 1 oz.
Cloves 0.5 oz.
Saffron a pinch
Cover with a mix of water and white wine. Boil gently, covered, for an hour. Strain and keep.
When Liver is used, is strengthens the Liver. If there is heat of the Liver, Chicory, Endive or Agrimony can be added.
When Spleen is used it was given for Melancholy, Spleen obstruction and to promote Menstruation.
Soup of Heart, Liver and Lungs
Heart, Liver and Lungs
of a Calf 1 of each
Decoct in equal parts of Water and White Wine. This was traditionally distilled.
Used for Wasting and Consumption.
Aphrodisiac Pie of Bull Testicles
Bull's Testicles 4
Boil them in salt and water; then cut them in slices, and sprinkle them with: White Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg and Cinnamon, of each equal parts. Prepare separately a mince from Lamb's Kidney's; also Gravy, a good pinch of chopped Marjoram, Thyme, and 3 Cloves. Prepare a normal pie pastry, then begin to make layers, starting with the slices of Testicles, then the mince until it is all used. Before covering the pie, add a glass of Wine; serve Hot.
This can also be prepared as a Soup.
Good for Men who are weak and impotent.
Plantain, Shepherd’s Purse, Soloman’s Seal
Calves Foot, Chicken flesh, Calves Heart
Used for weakness, wasting, consumption etc.
Ram Kidney Broth to
Strengthen the Kidneys
In Tibetan Medicine, Ram Kidneys are cleansed, then pierced a number of times and made into a Soup with Long and Black Pepper, Ginger and Radish with Rock Salt added.
It warms and strengthens the Kidneys, used for lower back and Waist pain, suppressed urine and seminal emission.
Other cultures have used Kidney similarly (see opposite). Of course, various Kidneys can be used.
Austrian Kidney Dish
Ox Kidney 1 lb.
large Onion, sliced
Salt, Black Pepper
half teaspoon Marjoram
Skin the Kidneys, slice thinly, remove the core. Steep the slices in cold water for 30 minutes. Change the water, rinse and repeat. Rinse, drain and dry carefully with a clean cloth. Saute the Onions until they begin to brown, then add the Kidney slices, the Marjoram and Pepper, and stir-fry quickly for 5 minutes.
Kidneys with Juniper berry
Veal Kidneys 4
Butter 4 oz.
White Wine 0.5 glass
Juniper Berries 12
Salt and Pepper
Sprinkle the Kidneys with Salt and Pepper, then brown on both sides using half the Butter. Cover the pan and cook slowly for 2 minutes. Add the Wine, the crushed Juniper berries and the remaining Butter, cut in small pieces. Continue cooking slowly until tender.
This recipe from Belgium shows a traditional way that Kidneys may be cooked as both food and medicine. This dish is very strengthening for the Kidneys.
Sweetbreads a la Minute (French)
The round ‘Heart’ Sweetbread is best. Prepare by removing all blood, tubes etc., and soak in warm water for 4 hours. Remove, put into a large pan, cover with cold water or stock, bring to the boil, and simmer for 2 minutes, then put into cold water, drain, and cut into cubes. Put them between 2 boards or plates with a weight on top until cold.
Prepared Sweetbread 4
Butter 1.5 oz.
Lemon juice 2 teaspoonfuls
Parsley, chopped 1 teaspoonful
Melt the butter, and when sizzling add the prepared Sweetbreads, and fry for 2 or 3 minutes until brown, then remove it and put onto the serving dish. Add the Lemon juice, Parsley, and a little Salt and Pepper to the gravy, and pour over the sweetbreads.