May 12, 2011 by Leah
I asked for – and received – a food grinder attachment for my KitchenAid for Christmas because I wanted to make my own sausages. I haven’t quite gotten around to making sausages, but I did finally make use of the grinder attachment. I ground some bison liver. And it was really fun.
I’ve been reading about how completely nutritious organ meats – liver, in particular – are lately, and I keep coming across recommendations to eat liver and shellfish once a week for the nutritional value, especially if you’re a woman who is thinking of incubating a baby in the not-too-distant future. Also, organ meats are relatively inexpensive. Grassfed bison liver sells for either $8.50 or $8.95 per pound at our farmers’ market, which is less than plain old ground bison. So, last Sunday, I bought some. Then I had to figure out what to do with it.
I think I had liver a few times growing up. I’ve never had any particular aversion to it as far as I know, but I’ve also never sought it out. When we were kids, my stepbrother’s absolute favorite food was liver and onions. He would order it at restaurants. I distinctly remember being like, “eww!” at such junctures, but then I hated onions as a child, so that might have been the reasoning behind my reaction.
I poked around the internet and found a lot of blog posts that detailed grinding liver and then freezing it in ice cube trays, after which you can add a cube or two to dishes that include ground beef. That sounded like a pretty innocuous way to start off getting liver into our diets, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I had some trepidation about handling the liver, but when I opened the package and rinsed the pieces, I was pleasantly surprised. The liver was gorgeous – shiny, deeply colored, no weird smell, and not at all strange to touch.
It felt a little different to cut than muscle meat, but it wasn’t tough at all.
Then, because I am a woman, I read all the instructions carefully before attaching the meat grinder and adding the sliced liver.
I flipped the switch and the machine started grinding away merrily.
It was so cool to watch the ground meat start to ooze out of the end of the grinder. I felt like a ten-year-old boy watching a horror flick I was so enthralled by the process.
Once it was done, I scooped the ground meat into an empty ice cube tray and froze it. After seeing the liver, though, I was kind of bummed that I ground it all. It was so pretty I really wanted to try pan-frying a whole piece, but I didn’t think of that until too late. Maybe I’ll indulge my curiosity when Aaron runs off to Las Vegas for a bachelor party in a few weeks.
Update: I attempted to get a liver cube out of the ice cube tray today. I broke the tray. The liver is still safely frozen.