I am Ann Warren, of Holy Cow Beef, and I am blessed in so many ways. For instance, growing up with a stay at home mom, I would often walk into my home after school and smell ground beef cooking on the stove. It really did not matter what that night’s dinner dish was going to be – chili, Shepard’s pie, spaghetti, stuffed peppers – it always was going to be good. I was blessed to have a mother who loved to cook, especially loved to cook beef. The smell of ground beef cooking in my home today always invokes happy thoughts of days past and happy anticipation of a yummy meal to come. Once again, I feel blessed because I am married to a beef rancher; not just any beef rancher, but a certified grassfed beef rancher. When Weldon and I married, we had no idea God would bring us home to West Texas to become grassfed beef Ranchers.
This month, Kristin Sullivan with Veritas Kitchen, invited me to write a passage on a very popular product we carry at Holy Cow Beef; that is Primal Ground Beef. Holy Cow Beef’s Primal Ground Beef is 70% regular Ground Beef (80/20), 15% ground Liver, and 15% ground Heart.
In the wild, predators that successfully take down their prey, will immediately consume the organs starting with Liver, then Heart, then Kidneys, etc. The prime muscle, (at least, what we humans consider prime – steak, roast, and the trimmings we would use for Ground Beef, etc.) of that prey is often left for the clean up animals like hyenas, vultures, etc. You see, the most nutritious part of the animal is the organ meat. If you know any young people who are extremely into health food, you will notice that one of the first foods recommended to feed their babies after breast milk is liver, not a starch like most of us were taught. Rice cereal, oatmeal, and the like are not introduced until the baby is at least 12 months old. Second to breast milk, liver is considered the perfect food, followed closely by free-range egg yolks.
Dr. Tom Cowan, VP of Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine, founding board member of Westin A. Price Foundation, and contributing journalist for Wise Traditions in Food, and Farming and the Healing Arts, explains that today’s diet should include liver at least once per week. Liver is an excellent source (actually the best natural source) of Vitamin B 12, and is also very high in fat-soluble vitamins A & D. FYI, our bodies cannot absorb calcium without the presence of fat-soluble Vitamins A & D.
Sally Fallon is the President of the Westin A Price Foundation and author of multiple natural health cookbooks such as: Nourishing Traditions, Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare, Nourishing Broth, and Nourishing Fats. Sally Fallon explains that our modern cultural diet (SAD) has discontinued the use of organ meats because the “conventional or establishment” nutritionists instill fear of animal fats, cholesterol, toxicity, and the likes. However, our ancestors regularly consumed organ meats and were much healthier for it. Liver provides Zinc, Iron, Vitamins A & D, antioxidants, macro and trace minerals.
The recipe I am sharing this week is from one of my favorite natural health bloggers, Mommypotamus. She shared an interesting story that I wanted to pass along – although, admittedly the 1950’s animal testing practices are a bit questionable when discussing animal welfare and ethics, this short story still makes a strong case for liver consumption.
Back in the 1950’s Dr. Benjamin K. Ershoff selected three groups of rats for a feeding experiment. The first group was fed a basic diet fortified with 11 vitamins. Group 2 received the same ration along with b-complex vitamins. Group 3 also ate the same diet, but instead of b-vitamins they were supplemented with powdered liver.
After several weeks, the animals were placed one by one into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim. Rats in the first group swam for an average 13.3 minutes before giving up. The second group, which had the added fortifications of B vitamins, swam for an average of 13.4 minutes. Of the last group of rats, the ones receiving liver, three swam for 63, 83 and 87 minutes. The other nine rats in this group were still swimming vigorously at the end of two hours when the test was terminated. Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted. To this day scientists have not been able to pin a label on this anti-fatigue factor.
Even with all this nutritional information at our finger tips, some of us – even those of us who are “in the know” – still shy away from the strong flavor of liver. My husband Weldon loves liver, especially when cooked with onions – yet I have NEVER cooked Liver and Onions in our home…honestly, I do not handle very well the smell of liver cooking in my house. *(It has been suggested that you can boil a tablespoon of white vinegar to clean the kitchen air once you have finished cooking.) I am the Rancher’s wife, and I know full well the nutritional benefits of liver, yet I struggle with the aroma of liver cooking in my own home. All that said, it says nothing of the fact that I honestly do not enjoy the flavor of liver. I know some of you are blessed to actually enjoy liver. Three cheers to you all. However, for those of us who struggle with the aroma of liver as well as the flavor, but still desire to consume liver for its health benefits, Holy Cow Beef makes Primal Ground Beef.
People often ask what is my favorite dish using Primal Ground Beef. I sheepishly admit that I do not enjoy hamburgers made with Primal Ground Beef. I can still slightly taste the liver. However, I have found – and tweaked – a chili recipe that seems to elevate chili to a gourmet dish using Primal Ground Beef. I will share that recipe below. I also use Primal Ground Beef in my taco or Tex-Mex Ground Beef recipes and my spaghetti sauce (especially good served over spaghetti squash). Basically I enjoy Primal Ground Beef in anything that is highly seasoned. Weldon enjoys Primal Ground Beef in anything, including burgers!
- 2 pounds HCB Primal ground beef
- optional – chicken livers chop or grind and cook with Primal
- 2-3 large onions peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 8 large tomatoes peeled and chopped or 25 oz. peeled diced tomatoes ( Lucini brand comes in glass jars instead of BPA-lined cans)
- 1 cup beef bone broth or water
- 4 tbs chili powder
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp unrefined sea salt you’ll probably want to add more, but if you happen to use stewed tomatoes or broth that has salt added this is a good place to start
- 2 lemons or 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- optional – 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
- If using Beans, place beans in a bowl and cover liberally with water – they will expand to more than double their current size. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and allow to soak overnight.
The next day: Rinse beans and place in a pot. Cover with a few inches of water, add seasonings of choice (I use garlic powder, cumin, paprika and salt and freshly ground pepper) add Beef Bacon Ends, or Pork Bacon Ends and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until tender.
To make the chili:
- Add Primal Ground beef, onions, garlic, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and optional chicken liver, mincing liver as finely as possible while you sautee all ingredients until the Primal Ground Beef has browned and is cooked thoroughly.
- Once the Primal Ground Beef is browned, add the tomatoes and spices. If needed, pour in enough beef broth so that the meat is fully submerged.
- Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
- After chili has thoroughly cooked and blended flavors together, stir in optional beans if desired.
- Serve with cultured sour cream, raw milk cheddar, fresh cilantro, and chopped green onions!