If you’ve followed the autoimmune protocol for long you know that there is an emphasis placed on eating offal and organ meat. According to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne “Organ meats are the most concentrated source of just about every nutrient, including important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and essential amino acids.” I have struggled with incorporating organ meat throughout my time on the autoimmune protocol. I drink bone broth regularly, and I choked down liver in the form of pate for a while in my early days of healing, but as soon as I started feeling better organ meat got dropped out of my regular meal plan.
However, after pregnancy, birth, and now breastfeeding I am keenly aware that my body is a little on the depleted side and in need of lots of nutrient density. I’ve got mega new mom brain fog, my hormones are trying to balance out and my adrenals are naturally being taxed. So, I have turned back to organ meat with a renewed commitment to finding what works for me. In the past I have always focused my attention on liver because there are a lot of recipes out there and it seems to be the way most people eat organ meat. However, I have a really hard time with the taste and the texture. (Side Note: I did recently tried Epic’s liver bites and they are by far the least “livery” tasting way to I have tried yet) Instead, I decided to give beef heart a try. Up to this point my only experience with beef heart was in Paleo on the Go’s Shepherd’s pie and I was honestly shocked that it contained organ meat at all because I couldn’t taste anything out of the ordinary. Because heart is a muscle it has texture that is much more similar to a steak or any other type of muscle meat that we are more used to eating. I went to my local farm and sourced a high quality piece of beef heart and came home to figure out what to do with it. I will say that the prep work was a little more involved than it is with liver. I washed it off, snipped the residual strings (veins and arteries) and cut off most of the fat. (This video is a helpful guide). What is left is a very lean, nice looking cut of meat. I cooked it in the slow cooker, in the way I outlined below, to help with the texture but when It was done I was still a little too squeamish to just sit down and eat it in a big slice, so instead I decided to shred it, mix it with ground beef and eat it in tacos and it was delicious!
This recipe isn’t an exact science because it was a process, but in the end I enjoyed the result and it was a very palatable way to increase my organ meat consumption and help build back up my nutrient stores.
Balsamic Beef Heart Tacos (AIP/Paleo)
1 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/2 cup of bone broth
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 lb grass fed ground beef
Optional Taco toppings: avocado, sauerkraut, AIP salsa, lettuce, cooked onions…
Prepare your beef heart by following the instructions here. Then, combine your salt, garlic, marjoram and oregano and rub it all over your beef heart. Place the heart in your slow cooker and add your bone broth and vinegar. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. In a small skillet, cook your ground beef, seasoning to taste with salt and garlic. Remove the heart from the slow cooker and either shred it with two forks or pulse it in the food processor. Combine your heart with your ground beef and use as the base for your delicious tacos!