2

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Offal question: how to cook spleen (and any nutritional benefits)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 16, 2010 at 6:53 PM

I've recently spotted stalls carrying (cheap) whole veal spleens at a local market. I'm thinking of trying some, just out of curiosity. Thing is, I have absolutely no idea how to cook it. From what I've read, spleen is quite a fragile, crumbly tissue enclosed in a thin fibrous capsule... but how that translates gastronomically I'm not quite sure. Anyone have any experience, ideas, recipes? What does it taste like?

On a side note, I wouldn't mind knowing if there are any particular benefits associated with eating spleen.

Thanks

E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on December 08, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I don't suppose that the dogs have, either. Nonetheless, dogs don't need pasta any more than people do. Feed them the spleens raw or barely cooked. If you're worried about parasites (doubting supplier) freeze any organ for 2 weeks first.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 09, 2010
at 02:59 PM

Add pasta??? Do you even know what the paleo diet is?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78437)

on July 30, 2010
at 08:39 AM

I think I might put it off for quite awhile unfortunately. The taste/scent was reaaaly special. FWIW, pork spleen does not seem to be "as" strong, according to some foodie forums. Makes sense since it only contains about half the iron compared to beef spleen.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 27, 2010
at 01:36 AM

Also, in case anyone's curious, I guess it makes sense that spleen should taste strongly of iron as it is an extremely blood-rich organ (one of it's functions is to filter out old/damaged red blood cells from the blood), with its pulp actually consisting of millions of microscopic pools of blood rather than individual blood vessels. (ok ok, biology lesson over!...)

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 27, 2010
at 01:33 AM

Perhaps soaking and blanching it like suggested in jon w's answer might make the iron taste less overpowering. Though I should point out I haven't tried spleen yet... I keep meaning to but get put off by the lengthy preparation process.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 17, 2010
at 12:18 AM

Soaking, blanching, then frying is a pretty good general procedure if you don't know what to do with a weird organ.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 16, 2010
at 09:01 PM

Spleens taste offal. How do you stomach them? hehe

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12 Answers

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4
E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on February 16, 2010
at 10:30 PM

Of course you can always mix the stuff in ground meat or sausage and hide the flavor with seasoning, but I do enjoy the offal flavors.

I have used spleen from wild pig and goats. Just like liver and kidneys, I have found that pig is milder than goat, and young is better than old. I have had success with slicing and frying with onions (don't overcook), and if you find the flavor is too strong use blanching and or soaking. Blanching: immerse in cold water that has a few spoons of vinegar or other acid, bring to a boil and when it reaches boiling remove and rinse in cold water. Soaking: slightly salted water up to 12 hours.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 17, 2010
at 12:18 AM

Soaking, blanching, then frying is a pretty good general procedure if you don't know what to do with a weird organ.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78437)

on February 17, 2010
at 05:01 AM

I have never tried to cook it, but I found this humourous comment on another site--

*--- In [email protected], Charles Long wrote:

any ideas on how to eat/cook bison spleen?

Yes. Feed the spleen to the dog and cook a steak instead.

Yuk!! Why would

anyone want to eat spleen?

Charles *

There was a recipe for a pate that involved copious amount of white wine and cognac, with the results ending up on bits of bread, so it didn't meet the rules!

0
6196812107d0db8ae07710ed00468b62

on April 29, 2013
at 10:35 PM

Spleen is very rich on Iron. If you have severe mestrual(period) bleedings and or are low/deficient in Iron, you should consume cow spleen. Growing up in Perú, I always knew that the very sick and weak got spleen soup to help them recover post surgery or accidents where they lost a lot of blood.

COOKING the SPLEEN: 1. Clean/cut the other membrane. 2. Put the chopped spleen in beef broth and boil it for 1 hour. After spleen is 50 minutes in the broth, add the following to add flavour... 3. Add some vegetables like diced carrots and diced Celery 4. Add noodles.

Just imagine that you are making Chicken noodle Soup... Any other extra ingredients are also fine...

  1. Don't over cook the spleen, because its a kind of spongy texture.... Plus over cooking it will deminish the Iron content, just like vegetables... Jim

0
419ab1e9adf77fa64bf609a40bfb52f4

on April 05, 2013
at 04:56 PM

The Palermitan way is the best!

Pani 'cca meusa

Boil the spleen for about an hour. Drain and leave to cool overnight.

Cut it into thin slices, and slow-fry them in LOTS of lard.

Pick them out with a fork and put inside a hot bread roll.

A little salt, some grated strong cheese, and there you've got the best street food you've ever tasted.

0
50bb8062f19bc1a89bb974449899a493

on January 07, 2013
at 09:03 PM

OH... and I read on another forum that a guy ate a raw spleen (didn't say from what animal .. maybe a deer?) and he got real sick for a few days. My guess it was either an allergic reaction or the high high iron may have poisoned him if he has an iron reaction such as hemochromatosis and maybe doesn't know he has it.

0
50bb8062f19bc1a89bb974449899a493

on January 07, 2013
at 08:59 PM

I never cleaned a deer, rabbit, nothing...not even a fish...until a couple days ago. I'm a city boy (old boy) but I remember the farm food I used to have at my grandparent's and food hunted by my uncles in the 1950s and 60s. Tasty! So here in my retirement I got the desire to learn. Squirrels come to our bird feeders and there's an endless supply. I ended up trapping a squirrel live... I drowned him and skinned him very soon after he expired. I skinned him and quartered him in a total of about 1/2 hour. Not too difficult (thank you Youtube). Of the organs, I put aside the liver (carefully removed the gall bladder), the heart, the spleen, the kidneys, and the testicles. All this stuff is pretty miniature... not enough for much of a meal...I put the muscle meat in a ziplock with italian salad dressing...going to let it age for a few days at 40 deg F. That should make it tender. Looking forward to that but cannot comment yet on the taste of the meat. But let me tell you about the organs. The heart was exactly like chicken heart. Very good. The liver was like chicken liver or maybe more like calf liver...firm and not grainy and very red and rich. It had a little bit of a bitter taste which might have been from bile. The spleen was very good too and not at all bitter. Some people comment on the rubbery texture of organ meat but so what? I like the texture. The kidneys were surprisingly good, too. Almost more like heart than like liver and no after taste. And then finally, the testicles. I was quite curious about them. In Colorado they really push the mountain oysters on the tourists but I never tried it...for the restaurant price I'd rather have a nice steak. But if I ever butcher a goat, sheep, or calf, I'll try the "oysters" for sure. Ok, so you may think squirrel nuts are a funny subject. I boiled all the delicacies in the same salt water for about 20 minutes so the testicles may have taken on a little bit of liver/heart/kidney taste. They are almost like a white textured firm paste compacted in a tight bag. Even after skinning them there was still a skin around them but it came off easy after boiling. I can't say that I learned what testicles taste like -- they were very mild. So I'll say if you were sustaining yourself on paleo wild caught food, the nutrition of all this, including the testicles, is a good thing. Very fresh and clean. Anybody with an "eewwww" factor hasn't been thinking about the crap they eat, like meat that was killed a year ago, hot dogs, and other commercially prepared garbage... eat what the pioneers ate: fresh kill. You don't engorge yourself with it and then you top it off with fresh vegs and berries. Now that I've done a squirrel, I'm up the learning curve enough to know that a rabbit, chicken, or even a deer is mostly all the same thing. It is work but interesting to get in touch with what our own ancestors dealt with a couple or more generations ago. None of them would have been squeamish...it is part of life. Next time I do a squirrel, I think I'll do his tongue.. I threw away the head but the tongue might have been easy to harvest and throw in with the rest of the giblets. I love calf tongue -- the Mexicans serve stewed tongue in their tacorias around here... very very tasty. To me it is goofy that people think that drinking Coca Cola and a hormoned-pesticided-antibioticed one year old caged genetically-modified-grain fed chicken's breast is NOT "eeewwwww"!

0
96ed00165e6168aaaf0f58fadb88dfd6

on December 03, 2012
at 02:30 PM

Seriously is that the ans url cumin up with..... Spleen is tasty.. U jus add indian masala & fry in gently.. Takes a while... Say 20min or so. & enjoy it wit sauce.. Yummy. Its ℓιкє u eating bubble gum ℓ☺ℓ

0
98974bc3dc008858a05a6d8119dad4cd

on November 03, 2012
at 12:02 PM

Travis is right, there's a lot of iron in spleen and liver and both are recommended for people with a chronic iron deficiency. You must make sure that it is fresh. Remove fat and membranes before cooking and be sure not to overcook it. The best way I know of cooking it is stir-fry, but the internet is full of many interesting recipes. Just google "spleen recipe" and you'll find lots.

0
Medium avatar

on September 27, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Wow, that is a lot of iron.

If someone had low ferritin levels and wanted to correct it fairly rapidly, they could couple spleen with vitamin C for maximal absorption. I wouldn't do this for too long though, as it would drown out several other minerals.

0
6d0d2f9d7bb4f806a2d70880c628f0d9

on September 27, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Yuk about spleen? Does anyone know what is in hot dogs?

0
812b6d23e4a0dcd66469746ad17772c5

on November 09, 2010
at 02:55 PM

I want to know how to cook it as it is cheap and there is a street dog here I am feeding along with her 6 pups. So help,, was just going to boil it up and add pasta

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 09, 2010
at 02:59 PM

Add pasta??? Do you even know what the paleo diet is?

E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on December 08, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I don't suppose that the dogs have, either. Nonetheless, dogs don't need pasta any more than people do. Feed them the spleens raw or barely cooked. If you're worried about parasites (doubting supplier) freeze any organ for 2 weeks first.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78437)

on July 26, 2010
at 02:08 PM

Sorry for bringing this back from the dead, but I just cooked some beef spleen today and I found it pretty unpalatable. The taste of iron was way to strong. Heck, the whole thing smelled like a whiff of fine iron powder. Is this normal, or did I get a bad spleen?

I cooked it well done in butter with garlic, thyme and salt, if that makes a difference. I enjoy eating liver and kidney pretty raw (just seared on the outside) but this was just too difficult for me to finish.

Also, looking at nutritiondata, 100g of the stuff provides 250% of the rda for iron!!

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 27, 2010
at 01:33 AM

Perhaps soaking and blanching it like suggested in jon w's answer might make the iron taste less overpowering. Though I should point out I haven't tried spleen yet... I keep meaning to but get put off by the lengthy preparation process.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 27, 2010
at 01:36 AM

Also, in case anyone's curious, I guess it makes sense that spleen should taste strongly of iron as it is an extremely blood-rich organ (one of it's functions is to filter out old/damaged red blood cells from the blood), with its pulp actually consisting of millions of microscopic pools of blood rather than individual blood vessels. (ok ok, biology lesson over!...)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78437)

on July 30, 2010
at 08:39 AM

I think I might put it off for quite awhile unfortunately. The taste/scent was reaaaly special. FWIW, pork spleen does not seem to be "as" strong, according to some foodie forums. Makes sense since it only contains about half the iron compared to beef spleen.

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