Since I made a whole turkey this year for Thanksgiving, I inherited all the giblets that came with it. As you know from my Thanksgiving recap post, I used the neck and gizzard to make a delicious and nutritious gravy. Therefore, I was left with the liver and heart from my petite 8.42 pound local, pasture-raised bird. The experience of cooking organ meats is completely new and foreign to me, and honestly, something I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be doing. At every holiday meal growing up, I turned up my nose when my dad would eat the giblets (my mom always cooked them for him & she would’ve never heard the end of it if she didn’t), and seeing my grandma eat liver n’ onions in a restaurant was enough to make me get sick to my stomach. Well, after a lot of research, reading and exposure to the traditional foods and paleo world, I’ve come around and am now open to the idea of organ meats. Granted, I cannot eat them on their own, but rather, they need to be disguised. If it’s distinguishable, it won’t work for me. That’s why I figured a meatloaf would be the perfect way to go. The worst part was cutting up the heart and liver. The liver cut easily and almost melted in my hands, but the heart was tough and fibrous in spots. I say this was the worst part because I felt nauseous while doing it, and didn’t even know if I’d be able to eat the meatloaf. Thankfully, the nausea wave and lump in the back of my throat passed.
If you have a hard time chopping things fine, feel free to do so in the food processor. I ended up using mine because I had too big of pieces and really wanted the organs to be ground up well. Feel free to do this after sautéing everything or before — either will work. If you’re wondering, I did it after.
This meatloaf turned out wonderfully and the organ meats are not recognizable or distinguishable at all! Also, this meatloaf recipe was inspired and adapted from here. Feel free to serve the meatloaf with any vegetable of your choosing. We ate ours with steamed kale and topped the meatloaf with a little extra ketchup.
Also, plus = heart + liver.
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1 pasture-raised turkey liver, finely chopped
- 1 pasture-raised turkey heart, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or fat of choice
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 cup homemade ketchup (see below)
- 1 tube or can of tomato paste (tube is 5.3 oz, can is 6 oz)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
For the ketchup, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Store in the refrigerator.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Next, add the mushrooms, onion, celery, heart and liver. Sauté for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, salt, pepper, egg, heart/liver/veggie mixture, chili flakes, thyme, oregano and garlic. Mix well, makng sure to break up the meat.
- Lightly grease a large loaf pan and fill it with the meatloaf mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the ketchup for the top of the meatloaf.
- After baking for 15 minutes, gently spread the ketchup on top of the loaf.
- Continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes.
Yields: 6-8 servings, depending on how thick you cut your slices (2 piece servings)
Total time: 60 minutes