Beef Heart Jerky
Traditionally organ meats were considered the prized portion of the animal. Their nutrient density so valued that tribes would divide these organs so that everyone got a piece. In fact North American Natives would eat the adrenal glands first, because they knew that eating them would mean they would not succumb to scurvy. Whether or not they knew what it was that was in the adrenal glands that was so important at the time isn’t as important as the fact that they were eating to stay alive using their instincts. They were using their innate wisdom. This simple recipe for beef heart jerky is a great place to start if you’re just trying organ meats for the first time.
Innate wisdom is within us all. As modern food commerce has taken over, we’ve lost our abilities to listen to our innate wisdom, but if we remove all the foodstuffs we can begin to tap into that innate wisdom and remember what food really is. We begin to recognize which foods serve us and which foods are a disservice to us.
Most of the 40 and under crowd has never eaten an organ meat in their life-that they’re aware of anyway. I was one of them. My grandmother would cook liver and onions and I’d run! The truth is, that I haven’t found too many ways that I can tolerate liver still, but I’ve been trying other organ meats and have found that I like some other organs more. So, if you’ve tried liver and hated it, don’t despair, there may be other organ meats that you’ll actually enjoy. After all food should taste good.
What was a standard part of the diet for our grandparents and great-grandparents how now become something we often turn our noses up at. But the joke is on us, because children now are expected to live shorter lives than their parents for the first time in history. We have effectively shortened our lifespan, not only by the pace of our lives, the chemicals in our environment but also by the foods we eat. In fact, I’d put a large emphasis on the food we eat in this equation. To create a healthy body, we have to give it healthy ingredients.
Organ meats pack a huge nutritional punch, so learning to like them can give your body a boost it’s been literally dying for. Did you know that heart is the largest source of CoQ10 Or that liver is a rich source of absorbable vitamin A, B vitamins and iron? Tongue is rich in iron, zinc, choline, vitamin B12, other B vitamins? Or how about kidney, rich in B vitamins and iron?
Are you seeing a theme here? Nutrients that we are finding a large portion of the population to be deficient in are found in these organ meats that we’ve been turning our nose up to. Starting with something like heart jerky with pepper can be a great way to ease into organ meats. Try this recipe and let me know what you think!
- 1 whole beef heart
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Himalayan salt
- 4 Tbsp ground pepper
Let heart partially unthaw from frozen. Leaving it still partially frozen, makes it easier to slice.
Slice into 1/4" slices and place in glass jar with lid. I use a couple of 1/2 gallon mason jars. Make sure not to pack it too tight, so use more jars if needed depending on the size of the heart.
Mix together in a small bowl the avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Pour over the sliced heart in jars. If you feel like you need more, mix up another batch and add to jars. You don't need to to be covered in juice, but you do need enough that when you invert the jar you can see the liquid redistribute.
Place in fridge for 1-2 days to marinate. Every time you open the fridge, just take the jar out and shake it or invert it a few times to make sure your soaking all the meat in the marinade.
You'll need a food dehydrator to finish the jerky. I cut parchment paper to fit the rounds of the dehydrator so the jerky comes off easily and creates less clean up.
Place strips of heart on the parchment paper as close as you can while still keeping them in a single layer and not on top of one another.
Dry on 145º F for 6+ hours. You'll want to check it about every hour after 8 hours to make sure you don't over dry it and end up with a really dry jerky.
Remove from dehydrator, let cool and store in airtight container.