We have begun to buy a whole cow’s heart every now and then that we share with the cats. It’s between 2-4 kg and the tallow works well as cooking fat after rendering it while the meaty part is very delicious to eat!
This was a nice and quickly made weekday dinner. Cut “fillets” of the heart was gently fried in the cast iron pan with only pepper and salt. No need for more seasoning at flavour rich meat like that.
Together with the heart we had oven-roasted brussel sprouts, which in our opinion is one of the most yummy thing there is! It was also time for the nice carbon steel pan to cook shredded white cabbage with some dried chili flakes and dried basil.
Together with some fresh greens and a click of butter on top it became a really nice meal!
We have had a red cabbage laying around in the kitchen for almost a week now, so it was high time to make use of it! It ended up being as a red cabbage salad.
The procedure was nothing fancy, using the food processor to shred the cabbage and grated the lemon zest off by hand. After salting the cabbage we massaged it and let it rest for a few minutes.
Next add the lemon zest and season with some black pepper. Mix and squeeze out the juice from the lemon and pour about a deciliter of olive oil on top, mix again. Before serving sprinkle with some of the additional lemon zest and possibly some slices of lemon that were made before pressing out the juice…
Together with the salad we had fried pieces of cow heart and oven roasted hokkaido pumpkin.
The really nice thing about massaging the salt into the cabbage is that one can enjoy the salad the same evening. Using vinegar it is of course also possible to eat the salad the same day, but it is just not the same as if one leaves it until the day after.
The lemon also made a really nice complement to the slightly bitter taste of this red cabbage.
What is your favorite way of enjoying cabbage? Salad? Oven roasted? Steamed? Or some other way? Please let us know!
In this post we will share a recipe for a wonderful side-dish inspiration as well as connecting back to what one can do with a whole cow’s heart.
First out is the side-dish. We have really enjoyed the availability of brussel sprouts at FRAM the past few weeks. The dinners with the brussel sprouts have probably been the ones that we have looked forward to the most. Anyhow, we thought we would share a new way of enjoying them.
The ingredients for the side dish was:
300g brussel sprouts
1 small head of cauliflower
Coconut oil for oven roasting
150g feta cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
Start the oven at 175 °C. Pick apart the cauliflower head into smaller heads and mix with the brussel sprouts in a ramekin. Season with pepper and salt and top with coconut oil.
Put the ramekin into the oven for about 40 minutes. Watch the brussel sprouts so that they don’t get burnt though… In that case lower the temperature slightly or cover with some aluminum foil.
While waiting for the vegetables to get ready, separate the pomegranate seeds from the fruit. There is a tonne of “best ways” of doing this around, but the by far easiest that we have found is to just slice the pomegranate in half and then systematically pick out the seeds. It takes some time, but it definitely yields the best results and the process is actually quite mindful, so definitely not a waste of time.
As meat to this dinner we made some slices of the whole cow’s heart that we bought the other week. In the end we managed to slice up some beautiful steak-like pieces that we seasoned before frying in our cast iron pan.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and place on the plate, top with pomegranate seeds and crumbles of feta cheese. Finish it all of with a nice olive oil.
We were actually surprised of the tastiness of the sliced heart. Much better than a normal piece of meat and so much more nutritional! The slices were really tender and heart has just a wonderful taste. Definitely not the last time we do this! Together with the dinner we had a nice Greek wine, that we thought would go well with the feta cheese. It was okay, but not too interesting unfortunately. The food itself though, was a great success!
Our friend, Klara found that Gröna gårdar has a BARF-box containing basically all the pieces of meat, including tendons, that they can’t sell for eating, but which is perfect for our pets. Gröna Gårdar (~Green farms) is a company specializing in selling grass-fed organic beef and lamb’s meat here on the West coast of Sweden, the boeuf tartare that we do are usually on meat from them. Their meat has this wonderful flowery taste and no wonder since the animals are allowed to grace freely on their farms. It feels really nice to be able to give Olivia and Neo some real meat that is also not suitable for human consumption, in that way it is also much more environmentally friendly. That together with the economical aspect of buying regular meat to our cats have been our main concerns, so it is nice to finally find a way to deal with that!
Anyhow, we thought we would give the BARF-box a try and last week we went to pick it up at a supermarket in town. Gröna Gårdar distribute their meat boxes to a selected number of stores around Gothenburg, so we actually took the car to get there and especially to get back home with the 10+ kg of meat. In addition to the BARF-box, which in an of itself contains 10 kilos of meat and tendons, we also ordered a cow’s heart. The heart is sold per piece and we were a bit reluctant at first, since we it seemed quite expensive to pay almost 200 kr for a heart, but when we picked it up we were really surprised with the size of it. Slightly over 4 kg (!). It was huge! So, in the end it was actually not at all that expensive, per kilogram that is…
Our main issue is really that we only have a small freezer, which usually is packed with the meat that we ourselves consume, but we had prepared and it was almost empty before we got the delivery of the BARF-box.
We split the meat and tendons from the BARF-box into smaller batches before freezing them. The heart we cut up in small pieces and distributed in smaller batches as well.
Since we had to stock up on food for the cats we also made a completely fresh batch of BARF. For this we used about 1 kg of meat and tendons from the BARF-box and an additional 700 g of heart as well as 1.5 dl bone meal and some water to dissolve and spread out the bone meal.
After chopping the meat, tendons and heart into pieces of about 2 x 2 x 2 cm we mixed them with the bone meal and the water and then split up in glass jars for storage.
Since it is really important that cats get all different amino acids we also add a small piece of liver when serving the barf. At the moment they get slightly more than 50 g each twice a day and a small piece of liver (~5 g) in the morning. They seem content with it this far. One huge positive aspect is that they have to spend some time chewing the pieces now rather then just gulping it all up and almost swallowing the meat whole as they did before with the minced meat.
Two reflections: It seems we have found our source of meat for the cats! There will definitely be more BARF-boxes in the future. The cow’s heart taste delicious. No, it was not only for the cats ;).
We try to buy the most of our meat from our butcher that supply us with locally, grass-fed and organic meat from cow, pig and lamb. Its a small tour to get there and heavy to take on the bus, so we buy some organic meat in the store as well.
Before going there this time we had ordered lambs heart, since organ meats (except from liver) isn’t their normal supply. Sad, since everyone should eat more of organ meats. But its good that we at least can order it!
Every time we go there, we also make sure to get our favorite meat! Do you know what it is..?
It’s oxtail! Amazingly tender meat with loads of fat and gristle. After eating the meat the bones are saved for bone broth, which get very gelatinous.
Our second favorite is the pork belly that become crispy and melting soft at the same time after a good run in the oven.
This time we also stocked up on some minced meat, were we get to chose the proportion of beef and pork. Usually we prefer to have slightly more pork in to get the good fat, but the beef gives a better taste.
Find more information about BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) in our recent post. In this post the recipe that we use for our cats will follow!
BARF recipe for cats
Put some effort in to find the best meat even for your cat. This is 100 % organic and grass fed meat.
15 % bones
15 % heart meat
5 % liver
65 % regular meat
For this batch, 3 kilograms:
450 g bone meal
450 g lamb hearts
150 g chicken liver
1950 g minced meat and chuck steak
On top of that I also added 60 g of ground psyllium seed that is very good for their gut flora. Mix everything together using a mixer but try to keep as big chunks as your cat accept so that they get to use their jaws. When Neo and Olivia gets more used to the tastes we hope to be able to give big pieces instead of this mash. Twice a week they will also get an egg yolk to get some extra vitamins and good fat for their fur.
How much is a portion of BARF?
No, you shouldn’t give 3 kg food to your cat, even though Olivia thinks that’s a really good idea… A good amount of food to give is around 2 % of your cats weight per day. We divide that into two meals a day, morning and evening. For us, this batch will be enough for about 15 days. We divide the portions into jars and keep in the freezer.