Beyond Meat and Potatoes
Here are descriptions of the most popular organ meats.
Blood sausage: Made from pig’s, lamb’s, or cow’s blood with oatmeal and fat and seasonings. Blood is very perishable.
Brains:Best from veal, lamb, and young beef. Brains can be poached, breaded, and fried or sautéed.
Kidneys: Best from lambs or calves. Grill or sauté. Often paired with mustard sauces.
Liver: Probably the most popular organ meat. Best from geese, lambs, calves, and chickens, but cow’s and pig’s liver are also frequently used.
Foie gras: Fattened goose or duck liver.
Sweetbreads: Thymus gland located in the throat. Best from veal, lamb, and young beef. Pork sweetbreads can have a strong flavor. Poach, sauté, or braise.
Testicles: Also called fries and Rocky Mountain oysters, they are the testicles from several animals, from bulls to ducks. The size of the fries helps determine the best cooking method. Favorite ways include deep frying and grilling.
Tripe: The muscular lining of the stomach. Best from beef. Must be thoroughly washed and scraped. Braise for several hours. An important ingredient in menudo (Mexico), pho (Vietnamese), and gras double blanquette a la Provencale (French).
Tongue: Best from lamb, calves, and young beef. Can be purchased fresh, corned, smoked, and pickled. Fresh tongue must be braised for several hours.