If your first thought when it comes to offal is to turn up your nose, then think again.
Offal cuts are an economical way to eat nutritious and tasty meat and have been underrated for too long.
Back in our grandparents’ day, offal recipes would be family staples, well-loved because they could feed many mouths affordably, reduced waste and were tasty too.
Now that older values are coming full circle, many of us are turning to a less wasteful way of living. These beef offal recipes are perfect for reflecting our more mindful lifestyles.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of eating offal and what these delicious recipes have to offer.
What is offal?
Offal usually refers to the organs of an animal, but the term can also include discarded parts of the carcass that wouldn’t normally be eaten.
For these recipes, we’ve included beef tongue, cheeks and kidney, making the most of parts that you may not yet be familiar with.
Nutritional content and health benefits
You may be pleasantly surprised to know that there are nutritional and health benefits to choosing offal.
Beef cheeks, for example, are higher in protein and lower in calories and fat than conventional cuts of meat.
And any cut of beef will be packed with vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin B6: For metabolism and the formation of blood
- Vitamin B12: Another vitamin that aids blood formation and is essential for a healthy nervous system
- Iron: Plays an important role in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body
- Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is used by your body to convert food into energy
- Phosphorus: Helps maintain your teeth and bones
- Selenium: Protects your body from damage by free radicals
- Zinc: Keeps your immune system healthy
In short, the array of nutrients in any cut of beef makes it the perfect choice for a healthy family meal.
We are all turning to a greener and more planet-kind way of living. Choosing offal helps you to live out these choices authentically. Here’s why:
Using offal cuts means that no part of an animal is wasted. This has a knock-on effect, as it ultimately means that fewer animals need to be reared to supply demand. In turn, harmful livestock emissions are reduced.
It’s all about reframing how we approach every aspect of our lives: making the most of what we have and only producing what we need.
Ethically produced beef and the Provenir difference
Don’t just choose offal; choose ethically produced grass-fed beef from animals that have been reared the most natural way possible.
Let’s start with the grass-fed aspect. Mass-produced beef is derived from intensively farmed cows fed on grain in small, enclosed spaces. This is counterintuitive as the natural diet of cattle is grass and their instinct is to roam pastures to source their food.
Put cattle in an enclosed environment, add hormones to boost growth and antibiotics to combat diseases that can spread in a confined place, and you have a recipe for stressed animals and unhealthy meat.
At Provenir, our free-range, grass-fed beef cattle live as natural a life as possible, in harmony with their instincts.
Know that there’s a difference between grass-fed and grass-finished beef — our cattle’s diet is made up entirely of grass, not a combination of grain with just a small offering of grass.
What’s more, we use a mobile abattoir system on the farm where they are raised, meaning we are a true paddock to plate butcher with full traceability.
So there’s less stress to the animals and fewer food miles, resulting in more ethical, sustainable and healthier meat.
Want to know how to incorporate nutritious and sustainable offal into your family meals? Take a look at our three delicious recipes.
Grass-fed beef cheeks in red curry
What’s special about beef cheek cuts is that they include the animal’s chewing muscles. This means more blood flow to the area, tauter muscles and more flavour.
This recipe includes an assortment of Asian-inspired flavours, including coconut, lime and chilli, and is simmered for three hours to tenderise the beef and draw out the flavour.
Grass-Fed Beef Cheeks in Red Curry
- Preparation: 15 min
- Cooking: 3 h 30 min
- Ready in: 3 h 45 min
- 1 tablespoon Peanut oil
- 1 onion (finely minced)
- 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves (shredded or thinly sliced)
- Small bunch Spring onions (top part only, blended/pureed)
- 1 bunch Coriander (finely minced or blended – keep the leaves for garnishing)
- ½ jar Thai Red Curry Paste
- 860 ml Water
- 3 Provenir beef cheek packs (diced)
- 400 ml Coconut cream (one whole can)
- 500 g Sweet potato (peeled and cut into small chunks)
- 1 tablespoon Palm sugar (as preferred)
- ½ Lime juice
- Red chilli (sliced for garnish)
- Heat oil, add onions, bay leaves and shredded kaffir lime leaves. Cook for 10 minutes with a pinch of salt until caramelised.
- Add blended/pureed spring onions along with coriander stems and roots, then cook for another 5 minutes.
- Then add Thai red curry paste and 60 ml water. Cook until fragrant, for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add beef cheeks and coat with the paste, cooking on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add coconut cream, water and bring to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes then add a pinch more salt, reduce heat to simmer. Cover with the lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 2 ½ hours.
- After that add roasted, chopped sweet potato and cook for another ½ hour covered, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Stir in the palm sugar and juice of ½ a lime. Garnish with coriander leaves, lime leaves and sliced red chilli.
- Serve with steamed rice.
Beef tongue curry
Beef tongue has a milder taste compared to other offal cuts and is a great place to start if you haven’t cooked with offal before.
The combination of seeds and herbs in this dish adds layers of flavour and interest, making it an exceptionally tasty choice for a family meal.
Have you tried our Sri Lankan Beef Tongue Curry? This delicious ready to heat meal is packed full of flavour, 100% natural ingredients with NO preservatives and is ready to serve in 10mins. Making it a perfect healthy mid-week meal for busy folk.
Beef Tongue Curry
- Energy: 659 kcal / 2755 kJ
- Fat: 34 g
- Protein: 78 g
- Carbs: 8 g
- For: 4
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 4 min
- Ready in: 24 min
- 1 kg Beef tongue
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoon Curry power
- 1 Green chilli
- 1/2 teaspoon Seed/herb mix (Use a mixture of the following seeds – cumin, mustard, fenugreek, black sesame seeds and about 10% fennel seeds)
- 8-10 Curry Leaves (Fresh, frozen or dried)
- 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 1/2 can Tomatoes (or tomato passata)
- 2-3 Garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Ginger (fresh)
- 1/2 Lemon
- Cut the cleaned tongue into desired size chunks or pieces – we recommend cutting smaller pieces of about 1-2cm square (little cubes). Add the salt, the curry powder and mix well to coat the meat. Set aside for as long as you wish but the longer the better.
- Meanwhile, peel, wash and chop the onion. Wash the fresh chilli and peel the garlic.
- Warm a cooking pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and a little water or oil if you wish (we recommend drizzling just enough water to help the onion cook and soften slightly).
- Add the seed mixture to the onion along with the fresh chilli(s) cut into halves lengthwise. Cook for one to two minutes or until the water has evaporated and the onion is slightly soft. This process should involve cooking for about 3 minutes.
- Add the tongue which has been marinating for a while (we recommend even marinating overnight if you fancy), add some water (approx. 200ml) and stir. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomato, the tomato paste, the garlic, ginger, curry leaves and grind some black/mixed pepper. Stir, cover and cook for another 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool for 2 minutes. Give the lemon a good old squeeze making sure no pips are going into the curry (as those are not pleasant to bite into!).
Offal and Meat Sustainability
The consumption of offal – also known as variety meats or pluck – is also an important part of Provenir’s nose to tail philosophy. As part of our mission to combat the issue of waste in the Australian meat processing industry, Provenir is committed to utilising the whole animal, ensuring that everything is celebrated and nothing is wasted (learn more at our previous article, Provenir – A Meat Sustainability Story). This nose to tail eating also happens to have considerable health benefits for those that embrace it!
Steak and kidney pie
Beef kidney has a distinctive taste and texture that’s perfect for comfort food like this pie.
Add mashed potatoes and a selection of root and green vegetables, and you have the ultimate winter warmer dish that everyone will love!
Steak and Kidney Pie
The perfect winter warmer
- Energy: 2454 kcal / 10258 kJ
- Fat: 33.1 g
- Protein: 37.8 g
- Carbs: 6.1 g
- For: 6 serves
- Preparation: 25 min
- Cooking: 1 h 20 min
- Ready in: 1 h 55 min
- 450 g Provenir Grass-fed Rump Steak
- 200 g Provenir Grass-fed Beef Kidney
- 1 teaspoon Salt and pepper
- black pepper
- ¼ cup white flour
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 cup Provenir Beef stock
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 large Celery stalk (finely sliced)
- ½ tablespoon Thyme (fresh) (finely chopped)
- Fat-leaf parsley (fresh, roughly chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1 Leek (use white part only)
- 10 White button mushrooms
- 1 Capsicum (red)
- 1 ½ tablespoon Corn flour
- Wash leeks then quarter and slice the white part.
- In a high-sided frypan with a lid, fry leeks in 1 tbsp of olive oil till golden but not brown (about 5 mins).
- Add chopped capsicums, celery, sliced mushrooms, thyme, garlic and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Continue frying until mushrooms are softened (about 8 mins), then transfer vegetables to a plate.
- Cut any larger steak pieces so all are around 3cm in length. If kidneys are not already chopped, slice them into 2cm sizes, removing any fat.
- Mix flour, salt and pepper on a plate and toss steak and kidney pieces through the flour mix so they are lightly but evenly coated.
- Add the last tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and brown steak and kidney over a medium heat (about 3 minutes). Complete this process in two batches.
- add a bit of warm sauce to the cornflour mix first). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- If time allows, cool completely. If short on time, cool until steam has evaporated (20-30 minutes), then stir parsley through meat mixture.
- Using a 20cm pie dish, roll out one sheet of pastry on a lightly floured bench to cover the bottom a sides with some pastry hanging over the sides.
- Brush the overlapping edge with a little egg wash (whisk egg with a fork).
- Fill the pie with the filling.
- Roll the second sheet of pastry big enough to cover the top of the pie, place on top and crimp edges, it’s a rustic pie so simple thumb presses is fine. Turn any excess pastry into some decorative shapes for the top.
- Brush top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle over poppy seeds. Make a couple of small slashes in the top of pastry (for steam to escape).
- Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden, then serve with your favourite vegetables.
Tempted by any (or all!) of our beef offal dishes? Source your meat from Provenir, your ethical butcher for delicious Australian meat, grass-fed, free-range and raised to the highest welfare standards.