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Fried innards

Jeelvy’s Keto Cookbook | Part 1 – Fried Innards

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For the past 3 months, I’ve been doing the keto diet. I go on the keto diet every now and then to keep my weight under control. It is the only way, I’ve found, to consistently work. Now, an interesting side effect of keto is the fact that you simply cannot eat out as much, because too many takeout dishes contain carbohydrates. As such, I usually cook my own food. Over time, I’ve developed quite a feeling for making quick and dirty keto-compliant food. This series will present to you the various recipes I prepare when I’m on the keto, beginning with my favourite, fried innards.

Nick preparing fried innards.
– Honey, what’s for breakfast?
– Blood and guts.

Where to buy ingredients

Before you go out buying ingredients, you must first find a friendly local butcher or at least a meat market. Supermarket-bought meat, I’ve found, simply does not make the cut and besides, the only innards I’ve found in supermarkets are chicken livers. Personally, I find chicken livers disgusting, so I only buy innards at my local butcher’s. Whenever he gets whole hogs, lambs or calves for roasting, he usually sells the innards separately, so getting innards is a bit inconsistent. I think of it a little bit as life handing me a little bonus: here’s this cut of meat that other people usually don’t like, but I love, so I get it on the cheap.

To make the core recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
– Pig, calf or lamb innards, including the heart, lungs, liver and (optional) kidneys.
– Butter or Lard (or both) to fry them in. I usually use a 2/3rds lard, 1/3rd butter mixture.
– 2-3 cloves of Garlic (optional).
– Salt

The guts of the matter

The following recipe works for calf, lamb or pig innards. Cut your innards into small pieces, each one ideally no bigger than two of your fingers put together. This will make sure they’re cooked all the way through and quickly. Before you start cutting, make sure your knife is razor-sharp. I’m not exaggerating. Some animal organs are very tough to slice. The easiest to cut and most similar to normal meat is the heart. Somewhat slimier but still rigid enough to be cut are the liver and kidneys. The lungs are spongy and tough and will be by far the toughest to cut. At least once I got so frustrated due to a dull blade that I just ripped the lungs apart with my bare hands. Viscerally satisfying as that was, the resulting mess was not at all pleasant to clean up. Don’t throw away the arteries and ventricles either, they’re an important part of the dish’s nutritional profile. Crush or cut the garlic to taste.

Fry, my pretties!

Put it all in a pan and fry over a strong fire for 15-30 minutes. The exact time varies depending on how thin you sliced the innards. As a general rule, you’re waiting for the liver, heart and kidneys to brown and the lungs to get a little crispy. If it starts sounding like a primus, that’s a feature, not a bug. That’s the air escaping out of the frying lungs. Personally, I use a cast iron pan for optimum results and maximum health effects.

Nutritional profile

Liver is good for you and innards in general are good for you. They bring all the benefits of meat, all the protein, but the liver and kidneys also contain valuable vitamins and amino acids, while the heart is essentially a super-dense muscle which has a similar nutritional profile as a steak, but in a more efficient package. The lungs, arteries and ventricles are also important to eat, not only because of their macro profile, but also because they contain collagen. Collagen is very important. Just as your body needs protein to rebuild the muscle tissues, so does it need collagen to rebuild the connective tissue.

What’s connective tissue? Bones, ligaments, skin, cartilage. If you do any kind of sports, but especially if you run or lift weights, your connective tissue is probably under comparable stresses as your muscle tissue. You eat meat and eggs to rebuild your muscles, but you gotta eat collagen to rebuild your bones and ligaments. All innards contain collagen, but the lungs and arteries contain the most.

Taste profile

If you love liver, you’ll love this dish. Liver is by far the dominant taste. It’s a bowl of organ meat, so that’s what it’s going to taste like. If, however, you dislike the taste of liver, you might want to head over to Saucy Simone’s and try her spicy liver. If you used butter, there’ll be a butter aftertaste, which I find works great with the dominant taste of liver. Underneath the blaring of liver, you’ll find the subtle, but powerful taste of heart. Heart tastes like life force and warmth. That may sound ridiculous, but you’ll understand when you try.

Now, as for the texture, the different organs have different texture. The heart has the texture of meat, but is much denser. The liver and kidneys, now well fried, should no longer be slimy but slightly brittle to the touch and a little rough. The lungs can be very chewy, but I usually leave them to fry a little longer so they can get a little crunchy. If, however, you have no issue with chewy organ meat, feel free to take the lungs out with the rest of the organs. No amount of frying will make the arteries and ventricles less chewy, however. Personally, I swallow them after 2-3 chews. Ah, the things I do for collagen.

So, there you have it. A quick and easy recipe. Takes maximum 45 minutes, depending on how fast you can slice and dice the innards. Over time, you’ll get more adept at cutting them up and frying them. These days, it doesn’t take me more than half hour to prepare this dish. Of course, I’ve been doing this for years and I also make this outside of keto, just because I love the taste of liver so much.

Hope this recipe is useful to you. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Jeelvy’s Keto Cookbook.

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