Conjure an image of a caveman on the hunt, ok? Now picture him and his tribe nabbing it, the mammoth or whatever. What next? Do they carefully butcher the thing, discard the fat and squabble over who gets the USDA prime cuts? No! They consume the most nutrient-rich bits: the organ meat. Later, you’d probably find them crunching on the cartilage and sucking the marrow out of the bones.
Fast forward. There we are at the modern butcher counter asking for boneless, skinless chicken breast. Boneless? Skinless? I’m certain our forebears would have declared this profane. Why would we throw away the best parts? Is it healthier? A quick look at our culture who has been eating these “choice” cuts to the exclusion of organs, tendon, sinew and bone and the answer is clear: it can’t be.
When it comes to our health, lets consider what people have been eating for thousand upon thousands of years. This is why I love traditional medicine systems. Truly, there is no single diet plan to suit all kinds. Constitutional assessment is necessary to ascertain the particulars of the individual within context of the demands of their life. Sometimes that means taking up a vegetarian protocol for some time. That said, we have evolved with pointy little incisors in our mouths for a reason. Why deny them the joy of tearing flesh? Check out what Weston A. Price‘s research says about all of this.
It might be hard to fathom bringing organ meat and tendons and sinews back to the table. In the case of organ meat, maybe some modern data might motivate. Chicken livers are probably the most palatable “starter” organs for newbies. These iron-rich little nuggets nourish blood and contain all nine types amino acids, some in quite high levels. One serving of livers contains 100% RDA of vitamin A and an impressive dose of 4 of the much-needed B vitamins. That’s good news if you like your vision, your immune system, your brain, nervous system and muscles.
Below is a simple recipe to help you get your caveman on–with refined elegance. I call it Cavegirl Pate. It’s delicious and easy, a gateway recipe for would-be organ meat eaters. It is quick to prepare and costs about a fifth of what you would pay in the store. Besides, the storebought stuff is on the no-no list for pregnant caveladies, but the fresh and homemade stuff is safe.
Once you get the hang of pate, you might find yourself dicing up pork heart to mix into hamburger meat. You might start thinking about how to extract the collagen and minerals from bones into your soup stock. You might make friends with a hunter and slow-stew a bear paw. If you do that last one, please invite me over. I’m almost always hungry.
Cavegirl Chicken Liver Pate
1 stick butter
1 small onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2-3/4 lb chicken livers
2 teaspoons brandy
salt and pepper
handful parsley, chopped
handful dill, chopped
Prep onion and garlic, wash livers. In a frying pan, melt half of the butter. On low heat, saute onion. Do not brown or caramelize. When onion becomes translucent, add garlic and bay leaf and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add chicken livers, cook 5-10 minutes or until nicely browned. Stir in mustard.
Measure brandy (or cooking sherry in a pinch) by the teaspoon. Holding spoon over pan, use a lighter to ignite the alcohol, pouring it into the pan. Let it flame for a few seconds to burn off the alcohol and then extinguish by blowing it out or covering the pan.* Repeat with second portion of brandy. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper as desired.
Pour everything in the blender with the rest of the butter, parsley and dill. Puree until smooth. Turn out into terrine or ramekin and refrigerate. Serve chilled on crusty bread or crackers. Or, my favorite, spread on toast in the morning and topped with a fried egg.
*When playing with fire in the kitchen, always keep a tightly-fitting lid handy to quickly extinguish the flames if necessary.