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Goat Liver, Heart, Tongue, and other Offal


Anna Friedman Herlihy
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Hello all,

When I picked up our whole goat today for our 4th of July bbq (yes we're doing a pig and a goat--120 people!), I was pleasantly surprised to find out it came with all the offal, and even had the top of the head cut off for easy access to the brain.

I don't really have time to do much with these parts for the 4th party or in the next couple weeks, so I'm going to freeze the ones that I know I can freeze (liver, heart, tongue), but I'd love some ideas on what to do with them. I'm assuming they are similar to lamb offal?

Also, it is possible to freeze the brain and kidneys? I've never heard of these parts being frozen. If not, I will try to eat the kidneys and brain on the 5th (I know you're supposed to use them right away, but I just won't be able to get to them--I just let pork kidneys sit in the fridge for 4 days before eating half of one of them for breakfast today, and it tasted excellent, although I did change out the acidulated soaking water several times--the rest went into a paté).

And also, the goat had what I think is the gall bladder, from what I can tell (my butchering book says they look like a small liver, but I've never had a carcass until now that had something that fit that description). I've heard these are not edible. Does anyone know?

One thing I was thinking of doing was a sort of headcheese from the head, once I take the brain out (which I've never done before--I assume you sort of pop it out with a spoon or something?).

PS--I did see the beautiful roasted goat head topic! But I think having a split open head on the bbq would be a bit much for some of the folks at our party (the intact pig head is more than enough).

Thanks much for any thoughts. I'll try to snap a pic of the split open head and what I think is the gall bladder tomorrow am, when I take it out of the cooler. The head is pretty neat looking in a sort of gruesome way.

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Its no wonder everyone at work runs away when I turn my monitor and say Hey check this out

happy 4th

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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And for those of you not familiar with the goat head thread, click here (at your own risk)!

P.S. The goat head pic was my desktop wallpaper for a short time :wub:

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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OMG. I love you guys. Where else can I logon and get this kind of fun?!

I have nothing to contribute to this thread except adding that this topic is a little like the one (can't remember which forum) where someone was looking for the fastest way to despatch his own frogs for cooking. Only on eGullet :)

Happy 4th to everyone! best, steph.

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Hello all,

When I picked up our whole goat today for our 4th of July bbq (yes we're doing a pig and a goat--120 people!), I was pleasantly surprised to find out it came with all the offal, and even had the top of the head cut off for easy access to the brain.

I don't really have time to do much with these parts for the 4th party or in the next couple weeks, so I'm going to freeze the ones that I know I can freeze (liver, heart, tongue), but I'd love some ideas on what to do with them. I'm assuming they are similar to lamb offal?

Also, it is possible to freeze the brain and kidneys? I've never heard of these parts being frozen. If not, I will try to eat the kidneys and brain on the 5th (I know you're supposed to use them right away, but I just won't be able to get to them--I just let pork kidneys sit in the fridge for 4 days before eating half of one of them for breakfast today, and it tasted excellent, although I did change out the acidulated soaking water several times--the rest went into a paté).

And also, the goat had what I think is the gall bladder, from what I can tell (my butchering book says they look like a small liver, but I've never had a carcass until now that had something that fit that description). I've heard these are not edible. Does anyone know?

One thing I was thinking of doing was a sort of headcheese from the head, once I take the brain out (which I've never done before--I assume you sort of pop it out with a spoon or something?).

PS--I did see the beautiful roasted goat head topic! But I think having a split open head on the bbq would be a bit much for some of the folks at our party (the intact pig head is more than enough).

Thanks much for any thoughts. I'll try to snap a pic of the split open head and what I think is the gall bladder tomorrow am, when I take it out of the cooler. The head is pretty neat looking in a sort of gruesome way.

The lungs and liver make great Sheesh Kabobs, and check out this thread to see what you can do with the Tripe and goat feet.

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As promised, some pictures!

Not for the faint of heart.

It came with the liver, kidneys, heart, and a mystery organ that hopefully someone can help me identify (unfortunately no lungs or stomach, so no goat haggis).

The head with neck still attached:

gallery_53596_4840_1487982.jpg

The head, no neck (frozen for stew). Look at that tongue! Note that they carefully sawed off the top of the skull to access the brain, leaving the eyeballs intact:

gallery_53596_4840_163693.jpg

Please help me identify the bottom organ! The kidney on the top is for size reference. I have no idea what it is (gallbladder?):

gallery_53596_4840_847486.jpg

And just 'cuz I took 'em, behold the brain after being popped out of the skull (the spoon method worked beautifully):

gallery_53596_4840_872465.jpg

And the tongue (quite difficult to cut out, I might add--I'd love to know any tricks for removing one):

gallery_53596_4840_294567.jpg

So please, help me identify the mystery organ, and I'll be sure to post my culinary adventures with the variety meats of the goat!

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No help here with the mystery organ, either. And I thought I had seen it all! But, am wondering why they would give you something inedible, as they seem to be very much into bang for the buck when you buy an animal.

Isn't goat a great BBQ? I think it is entirely underrated in the world (except for the Islands - they know what to do with a goat in the Carib). Looks like you got a babe. Good job.

Head cheese is just a boiling and reducing process. A terrine if you will. Hubby loves it, me not so much.

I am happy to see you posting. Something tells me you are going to be lots of fun, Anna.

ETA: The spooning out of the brain was brilliant. The use of tools is what separates us from goats and pigs. Tongues are difficult. I know of no easy way to do that. A very nice Brunswick Stew can be produced from the head as well.

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Do you think your mystery organ might be the spleen?

I too wonder if it might be the spleen. I have never cooked a spleen, but I've seen spleen (either beef or pork) for sale in local Asian markets. My one hesitation is that the spleens I've seen at market have been a bit longer, and a little thinner in diameter, than the chunk of meat in your photo. But as I said, the ones I've seen have not been from goats. In any case, the texture looks right--at least, as best one can tell from a photo. This page has a photo of a beef spleen for comparison purposes.

I'm pretty darned sure the butcher would not give you the gall bladder, as if I recall correctly it's not only inedible, but the bitter bile fluid it contains can render inedible anything it splashes on.

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Thanks for the hints about the spleen possibility. I'm also assuming that whatever it is, it is edible. So it's vacuum-sealed in the freezer now, but I figure I'll cook it up someday to try it. Any other thoughts on what it is will be appreciated!

As for the culinary experiments, I present the first--Deviled Kidneys à la Fergus Henderson's lamb kidneys recipe. The presentation would have been a bit improved by some chopped herbs from the garden, but I was too hungry and too lazy to go out and get them (not to mention the 90 degree inferno outside right now). Accompanied by some leftover potato salad from the 4th.

I have to say, very good! I've only done the recipe before with pork kidneys, but the goat kidneys were definitely more delicate. I did soak them in acidulated water, because I can't handle the thought of a bite tasting like piss.

Here's the pic:

gallery_53596_4840_568456.jpg

Probably will be a bit before any more experiments--everything else is in the freezer, and I've not got much time in the next couple weeks (plus I've had my fill of variety meats lately with sautéed pork liver and kidneys, and the pork liver, kidney, and heart paté I made for our 4th party).

Oh yes, and it was a young goat. Not quite a baby at 48 pounds (so maybe a live weight of 60 or so?), but still young. It came out very tender and excellent on the bbq! (Although they gave me a bigger animal than I had wanted, so I had to cut it up into the primals to get it to fit on the grill).

And I wish more folks appreciated goat too! I love it, maybe even better than lamb. Luckily in Chicago we have plenty of ethnic groups who like goat (Greek and Mexican especially) and several places to get it on a regular basis.

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The organ in the photo is the Spleen.

It can be seasoned with S&P and grilled whole.

It can also be cut into 1/2 inch cubes and sauteed in clarified butter (ghee) with minced garlic and Coriander leaves (Cilantro).

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Please don't forget to scrape or peel the thick white coating on the tongue before you braise or sauce it. You can do it after boiling it tender.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

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Excellent. The spleen! A new variety meat for me. Thanks Chef Crash! I was looking through the Whole Beast and there also happens to be a pig spleen recipe that sounds good--sure I could convert it to this one on a smaller scale. Or perhaps I will keep it more simple as you suggest.

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The gallbladder would be hollow like a balloon, and horrible tasting. Bile is very, very bitter, somewhat iridescent green in color. If the mystery organ is solid rather than hollow it would be the spleen most likely. There isn't much else for it to be. Uterus, lungs, urinary bladder(would be hollow) are other vicera but none seem as likely as spleen.

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  • 2 years later...

I attended an other great butchery class in San Francisco last night, we took a whole goat apart. Part teaching, part hands on, 10 people in class. Might post pictures if they came out and I get around to it (still have a ton of pictures to process from 4 weeks in Germany, including lots of food and butcher shop pix).

Now I got the liver among some other morsels. I have not made any kind of liver ever, I have not eaten liver since I was a kid (and hated it), but I'm always up for playing with something new (like the 3 rabbits in the freezer).

I have no idea how goat liver compares to other livers, I would probably maybe dust with flower and s&p, fry and then slice, maybe with some onions?

Any other tasty ideas? Despite a wall of books I somewhat doubt I'll be able to find a goat liver recipe in there. Google gets me some curries and similar, but that just seems to overpower what ever taste the liver might have. Maybe on purpose?

Ideas?

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I have just read an excerpt from Robb Walsh's book Are You Really Going to Eat That describing a trip to Monterrey, Mexico, the cabrito capital of the world (they claim) where his wife went ape over some goat liver sausages which he said were called machitos. I thought that was another word for tripas but whatever. No recipes but you might Google for one.

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Many superior recipes from India, if you care for flavor palettes from those regions. Please note that these heavily spices because they are meant to be enjoyed with a LARGE amount of rice or wheat bread, the bread and or rice being considered an important and very enjoyable part of the meal, not a side-dish [rather, 80% of a mouthful]. So, the spicing and concentration is geared to that level.

Here is one recipe from Bengal that plays the flavors of mustard oil and desi ghee against each other and green Thai chili with crushed black pepper. These combinations may appear strange if you have not grown up acquiring a taste for them. Something like seal blubber, blue cheese or steak tartare: different cultural perspectives.

Salt and wash goat liver to extract blood and gaminess. Cut into chunks, leave to drain.

Thinly slice yellow onions on the north-south pole, root to crown, following the parallel venation of this modified leaf. Per kg or 2lb you may need 3 cups, say 3 medium sized onions. In a heavy pan, rondeau brazier type, or sauté pan, non-stick fine or stainless, say 12-14inch diameter (depending on quantity of liver), add a cup oil and onions, cover well, set on low heat, bring to simmer with a tsp. of sugar.

Meanwhile, in a blender, with scant water, grind a few cloves of garlic and some fresh ginger, wash but no need to peel. How much is how spicy you want to make your dish.

After you do this, place the ground spice in a bowl, add a couple of teaspoons of turmeric powder and the same of red pepper powder. Korean kochukaru adds flavor and spice without crazy heat. Please note that food from the gentry of West Bengal have little chili heat but a lot of sugary sweetness; from certain groups, a LOT.

Add water to make slurry that is convenient to spoon. Let it rest for flavors to develop. We are trying to imitate the stone grinding process. If you have a stone wet-grinder, either mechanical or manual, then please use that.

In India, it is customary to use whole spices for certain procedures but they seem not to work too well here, so later, you will be grinding fresh in that same grinder, a stick of cassia bark [sold as cinnamon], a few green 6-8 cardamom, and fewer 4-5 whole cloves. That will be your garam masala.

You will need in addition, tej patta [indian Cinnamonum tamala leaf, ideally, use a bay leaf if everything becomes too much of a hassle]. Not to be ground.

Black peppercorns, to be ground, for a finale.

Tomato puree from a can or fresh plum tomato + juicy beefsteak, cherry etc.

Then you scrub some russet potatoes, cube with skin on, gently sauté them in a non-stick pan with enough oil until slightly cooked/browned and hold.

The simmering onions in sufficient oil will seem to become rags, then those rags will begin to coalesce in eddies. Now uncover and carefully raise the heat a bit. Finally, these tiny clumps will begin to turn color. This slow, even browning/caramelization of very finely sliced onion in plentiful oil or ghee is the basis of superior braises or making an excellent curry base. You can achieve the same thing in 10 minutes over higher heat but the quality will be dismal. Don’t fret about the oil, especially if it is ghee it is called collateral damage. There is this modern day nonsense that everything, from 1 egg to a 10 lb roast, has to be cooked in 1 tb of oil. Well…

I would have added more ghee, because the liver is being cooked in a dry braise of a cooked spice paste and fat, as you will see. It is very rich an eaten in only small quantities, with a lot of steaming jasmine rice, cooked a bit on the moist, soft side. Actually, the small-grain basmati Kalojeera or Sitabhog is eaten, accompanied by a freshly sliced Thai lime [Citrus hystrix] or a green lime. You mash in the green chilies according to your desire for heat. Hot naan or chapatis are excellent, too. But we have move far ahead of the game.

When the onions are very light gold, please drop in the tej patta or bay leaf. Indian tej patta sold here may need several because they are all dried out. But never overdose on the bay leaves [Laurus nobilis]. Then add the ginger-garlic paste from the blender. With the heat a little higher, stir until aromatic, then add the slurry of dry powdered spices. Stir to mix and cook a bit until the harshest smell abates. Add tomato in very judicious quantity, to add moisture for frying the spices without scorching and to add a base & piquant edge. Do not flood the spices with tomatoey flavor. Add sugar/brown sugar and salt to pull out the tomato water. Keep cooking until you have a nice brownish-reddish mass that pulls away easily from the sides, smells neither raw nor overcooked, but just toasty & right. Here is a problem, and that is, you need an experienced cook to show you the right degree of doneness just once. But hopefully, you will manage.

What you are going to do now is add both liver and potato, sprinkle some garam masala and mustard oil, a handful of Thai green chilies, and fry on higher heat just a little bit. Then you cover jut a little while. Water will get pulled out. You exercise judgment. Uncover and fry again. The idea is to just cook the liver and potatoes without adding water, or adding just ½-3/4 cup or so of scalding hot water, to distribute the spice matrix evenly. We are not looking for gravy but spices clinging to just-done liver retaining the smell of mustard oil. Better a tiny bit underdone. Add garam masala most sparingly in pinches, if needed.

Let be for a couple of hours for flavors to settle. Reheat very gently or not at all. Serve topped with hot, melted ghee and a hint of freshly powdered peppercorns OR roasted powdered cumin. The final taste should have a distinct edge of sweet, and the proportion of garlic should be more than the ginger. The green chilies are left whole to contribute their flavor. They can be mashed in as desired. This preparation is called METEY CHORCHORI or dry-cooked liver from West Bengal.

An excellent one from a good cook in Pune, India:

http://thecookscottage.typepad.com/curry/curry_in_a_hurry/

Here is a recipe from Hyderabad:

http://zaiqa.net/?p=244

From Kerala:

http://deepann.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/spicy-liver-fry/

http://www.indobase.com/recipes/details/liver-masala.php

http://www.tajrecipe.com/indian/cooking/re...-liver_428.aspx

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Please thank my august teachers. I am merely a fool who is trying to convey, most imperfectly, their knowledge, traditions and lore to a bigger world. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Additional note for the liver: a Joyce Chen 14 inch non-stick wok works well in the preparation above, as does any ordinary 14 inch flat/round bottomed wok.

An interesting observation: in some liver preparations, e.g. the dry spice Chorchori upthread, the proportion of potataoes to liver is almost 1:1. The flavored fat forms the GRAVY, and therefore is scant. The clinging spice, the film of flavorful oil (ideally neutral like peanut oil or best, ghee) that carry with it the overtones of mustard oil and fresh ghee are mixed in with plentiful rice or consumed with great hunks of bread. Thus, the net effect is that of almost a seasoning. That is why the base is made so rich, and the rice made moist.

There are several degrees of cooking rice moist in Bengal, between dry and congee. This actually is a fine art, and dishes are prepared to favor the unique textures of different varieties of rice cooked to different degrees of moistness. It also matters whether things are eaten steaming hot, tepid or cool, and what temperature the rice is for each side. These fine points of West Benga cuisine are rapidy becoming extinct, within a single generation.

Here, it should distinctly hold its shape but be moist enough to easily absorb the spice and be smashed and become a "ball''. Sticky rice might be good too, though it is never customarily eaten in West Bengal.

In Kashmir Pandit cooking, liver is cooked in a sweet-sour gravy fragrant with mustard oil where potatoes are the star and liver actually becomes a flavoring. This is a very interesting way to consume liver, and a little goes a long way.

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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wow, that sounds great, thanks! I put it in the freezer as I did not want to rush into it, might just have to take it out again :-)

Good idea with the frying a slice first, he actually cut two thin slices off just to show it's texture, I'll use those.

Amazing how big that liver is in a goat! Or maybe it was a heavy drinker?

I'll post what I made (and with what success). Sausages sound interesting too I must say.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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