Balsamic-Braised Greens with Giblets and Smokey Bacon

Balsamic Braised Greens

As someone whose life revolves around all things cooking and eating, I’m invariably interested, and usually excited, to try new foods and flavors. And though I definitely favor certain tastes and textures, I rarely come across a food I dislike. Sadly, organ meats have never been high on the list of things I just can’t live without—but I’m trying. I want to like them, really I do! The idea of using every part of the animal appeals to my desire to respect the food I put in my body and the life that was given to feed me. Not to mention the fact that organ meats are an efficient, economical way to obtain a dense amount of nutrients in a small serving of food. With that said, I’ve been working on ways to make organ meats taste less, well, organ-y.

I don’t often make New Year’s resolutions. But come year’s end, I do reflect on my life and goals, and then maybe set some intentions for what I’d like to (hopefully) accomplish over the following 12 months. This year, I’m determined to get organ meats into my body in a way I can actually enjoy. I’ve been starting with less pungent and assertive organs, like the heart. It’s actually considered muscle meat, and therefore more similar to cuts of meat such as steak. I also find that poultry organs (aka giblets) have a mellower taste and texture than organs from cows and other mammals. As my palate begins to take pleasure in organ meats, I’m hoping I can work up to other odd bits and new methods of preparation.

This recipe packs a nutritional punch not only from the organs but also from the dark leafy vegetables. (I’m sure we can all agree that most of us could add more leafy greens to our diet.) I like to sauté the onions until golden to give the final dish another layer of complexity. And what better way to venture into the world of organ meats than to add bacon! For the final touch, a splash of balsamic vinegar cuts through the rich meats and bitter greens, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.

Balsamic-Braised Greens with Giblets and Smokey Bacon

If you can find unsliced bacon (or smoked pork belly), have your butcher slice it extra thick for you (¼–½ inch), and then dice it to make large, meaty chunks. Try this as a main meal, side dish, or topped with an over-easy egg for an added wow factor!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 2–4

Ingredients
½ lb. thick-cut bacon, diced
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 large bunch dark leafy greens (kale, collards, chard, etc.), roughly chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8–12 oz. organ meats (I used the giblets from a turkey), cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

  1. Sauté bacon in a large, heavy pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside to drain. Pour most of the fat into a small cup, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.
  2. Sauté onions in bacon fat until golden. Add garlic and sauté 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens to onions and steam-sauté until bright green and tender, about 5–7 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar to greens. Season again with salt and pepper. Pour greens out of pan into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add a little more bacon fat to the pan and heat until hot. Add organ meats and season with salt and pepper. Sear until golden on the outside but still slightly pink inside, about 3–4 minutes.
  4. Return greens and bacon to pan and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and vinegar to your preference.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

  • chemical- and hormone-free meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • pasture-raised, organic eggs
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
  • whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
  • pure, clean, spring water
  • sea salt
  • raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Photo by Briana Nervig

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at www.mygreencuisine.com.

1 thoughts on “Balsamic-Braised Greens with Giblets and Smokey Bacon

  1. Sam says:

    Thanks for all of your creative recipes, Briana! I too would like to eat more organ meats. I love liver, but my spouse does not. Maybe I can sneak it into something… 🙂

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