How to Cook Mouth-Watering Variety Meat

How to Cook Mouth-Watering Variety Meat

Preparing a unique protein for dinner is an exciting and appealing idea. But the challenge is often too intimidating. 

So, pork chops are on the menu again.

There are multiple benefits to trying out different types of meat. This article will break down some different kinds of meat and how to prepare them.

The term “variety meat” is often used to talk about less common meat, often in the beef family, and includes organs and more muscular meats.

These types of meat can be a bit tricky to prepare. Because of a lack of fat, they tend to be tough or chewy.

But give any novice cook the right techniques and they can make any type of meat tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Let’s take a look at the best way to prepare them to make a yummy dish everyone will enjoy.

The Familiar Kind

Some variety, or offal, meats that might sound familiar include liver, tongue, and heart, and brain. There’s no guessing where these meats came from. 


This may be the most common of all the various meats. Liver and onions are as old as the pilgrims, probably even older. 

But those who enjoy the flavor are more likely to order it at a fine restaurant than they are to make it home. 

Liver has a strong flavor. To counter this intensity, soak the meat in milk about an hour before cooking. Then it can be fried, baked, or grilled to perfection like any steak. Just be sure to add the onions!


The key to virtually every tender cut of meat is a long, slow cook. Tongue is no exception.

Cooking a delicious tongue has three basic steps:

  • Cut away the outer fat
  • Cook slowly 
  • Peel the outer layer

Now it is ready for tacos or any other appealing dish.


Like tongue, heart requires a bit of cutting before cooking. Since it is the heart, non-edible arteries and veins abound and must be removed. After that, simply marinade overnight and you have a tender piece of meat ready to be cooked up and served.The Less Familiar

Other types of meat need more of an introduction. For those who are not familiar with variety meat, tripe and sweetbread are just a few meats that are definitely worth the learning curve. Not only are they very affordable, but they are also full of nutrients.



Tripe comes from the stomach lining of an animal, typically a cow or ox. There are several types of tripe, depending on which chamber of the stomach it comes from. 

However, honeycomb tripe is the most popular. The name is derived from its honeycomb appearance. 

Tripe is the quintessential ingredient for several traditional Mexican recipes, including the classic menudo. Menudo is often served for special occasions or as Sunday lunch with leftovers to last the whole week.

To learn how to prepare, cook, and serve a perfectly Mexican dish, try this menudo recipe.  

Beef Hind Shank

Beef hind shank comes from the upper leg of a cow. Because of its location, it is very muscular and can be very tough. But it is one of those meats that if you give it some tender loving care, it will produce a nutrient-rich, delicious piece of meat.

The thick bone is also perfect for making beef broth, giving you multiple uses for a single cut.

To try out an amazing dish with beef hind shank, try this caldo de res beef soup. It’s another very traditional Mexican dish that makes the most out of every piece of cow meat.


Don’t be fooled by the name. Sweetbreads are anything but sweet. They come from the thymus or pancreas glands of a calf or lamb. Sweetbread requires a combination of techniques from the above-mentioned offal meats. 

Like tongue, the tough outer membranes must be removed first. Then the sweetbread must be soaked either in cold water or milk. This removed the access blood and tenderized the meat. After that, it can be cooked in any way desired.

The final product is a delicious, tender meat that will quickly become a dinner staple. 

Household Staples for Families

Variety meats have numerous benefits and are definitely worth learning more about. They are often some of the most affordable types of meat and are rich in essential minerals and vitamins. 

With a little practice and experimentation, these unique meats will quickly become household favorites.

Written by Beth Smith

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