Happy Cow? Yes, I asked the rancher. Also grass fed and local. A friend and I purchased a quarter cow from a local farm near Seattle (Hallet Family) this summer. When picking up at the butcher they asked if I wanted an offal. Yes! Liver (made pate), kidney, tongue (can you say TACOS!) and heart. The intestines weren’t suitable this time, no loss – not a tripe fan. The kidney and heart are saved for Mr. Mason, the family fur baby.
Making a wholesome, natural dog treat and not wasting part of the animal makes this tutorial a win-win. I am sure you could also add spices, flavoring, much like a jerky and the dogs would love but this is allergen free and no extra sodium etc. A cow’s heat weights about 3-5 pounds depending on age, so expect at least half that in treat weight.
- Animal parts – can do this with really any piece of meat or animal part. I have seen esophagus et al turned into dog treats out on the inter webs.
- Zip locking bags
- Sharp knife
- cutting board
- large rimmed baking sheet (options)
- Disposable gloves, if you prefer
- Biology book if you want to geek out and look for things like aorta, mitral valve etc.
- Paper towel, lots.
Place your cutting board in a rimmed baking sheet covered with paper towels. if no baking sheet, put paper towels under your cutting board to help catch blood.
Slice the cow heart into thin uniform slices, less than a 1/4 inch if you can. The meat should be mostly defrosted if frozen – does make a little easier to cut. I did need to drain the blood from mine and give a quick rinse in the sink. From bigger pieces maybe cut into strips or make bite size nuggets for training treats if you like. Remove as much fat as possible. I didn’t do as good of a job with this and my treats have more fat than they should, so I am storing them int he freezer so they do not become rancid. But you can certainly store these at room temperature – plenty of beef jerky recipes out there; I recommend however fridge or freezer. Remember – the nose knows…. Note – I did not preheat the cook/heat the meat.
Lay on dehydrator trays and turn on and let it work its magic. I used the higher heat setting on mine – but you should follow your specific dehydrator’s recommendations. You could also dehydrate in the oven or other methods, especially if you have experience dehydrating meat/making jerky.
Expert Tip – move the dehydrator to the garage as the meat smell is not appetizing after a while and it will take at least four to five hours to dry out. When done I placed dried bits of love on a paper towel to dab off any extra grease I could. Store in fridge or freezer.
Treat Anticipation…… Check dramatic slow-mo of Mr. Mason trying out his treat for the first time.