Nose to Tail Black & Blue Burgers

Lacy and her husband Dustin live in Southwest Missouri raising three (soon to be four) free range kids on 45 acres.They focus on pork, chicken, and eggs for local customers as well as growing the bulk of their own veggies and dairy.


It is equally important to them to cultivate their local community and they provide an event space, overnight getaways, and community gatherings to help bring their people together.

When you raise your own meat it is unavoidable to notice the amount of nutrient dense cuts that american culture tells you not to eat. They want you to believe it’s weird, taboo, a sign of lower class, and doesn’t taste good. When in reality industrialized agriculture and feed lots have started producing on such a scale that the organs are just too much work to do anything with and get cast aside as only fit for animals to eat.
But I’m here to tell you differently. Those organs are the most nutritious part of the animal. A healthy animal I should say. Which is part of the feed lot problem but let’s stay on topic! Eating liver is one of the easiest ways for your body to absorb valuable iron. It is also super high in folate, vitamin B, vitamin A, and copper. I know we could all use as much as possible these last few weeks of the dark, lack of fresh fruits and veggies winter.
So if I have even remotely convinced you to try them let me give you a great easy recipe to segway you into the world of eating offal. Heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, gizzards, tongue, and so much more if prepared correctly can not only be edible, but a delicacy.
In the Stewart house, we LOVE a good burger. These black and blue burgers are nothing fancy. But if the thought of eating liver makes you squeamish its a great way to incorporate it into a meal and maybe you won’t even tell its there!
I personally love the flavor. And all the extra flavor and punch these burgers have to offer make it a meal you will not only tolerate, but come to crave!
Yields: 12 burgers (We only cook 6 at a time so I love to freeze the other half of premade patties for a quick weeknight meal)
For the patties
1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound bacon (cut into small pieces)
1/2 pound beef or pork liver (you can also use heart if you’re not quite ready for the full flavor of liver)
1 butter
1 red onion (use 1/4 the onion diced. The rest can be sliced for a topping)
Blue cheese crumbles (use half inside burgers. Reserve the rest for topping)
Blackening season blend
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (my kids are spice wimps. up to 1 tsp if ya like heat)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon good quality sea salt
-Mix blackening spices in a bowl and set aside.
-Use a food processor, blender, or grinder attachment to dice up your liver. Alternatively you can cut into very small pieces by hand but I find the food processor the most convenient and incorporates the flavor throughout the patties better rather than one large bite of liver.
-Add beef, pork, liver, chopped bacon, diced onion, and half of blue cheese, and 1 tsp blackening seasoning into a bowl and use your hands to combine. Form into 12 uniform patties.Sprinkle seasoning mix on both sides to your desired level of spiciness.
-Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers 4-5 minutes per side until internal temp reaches 170 degrees.
-Serve on brioche buns or bonus points for homemade sourdough buns. Top with sliced red onion, lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, and a bit of barbeque sauce. Or if you want to be even extra, fry up a couple pieces of bacon and/or saute some red onions and mushrooms.
These burgers pair well with some oven fries tossed in pork lard and a crunchy caesar salad. Now stop drooling and start cooking! Your body and your taste buds can thank me later.


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