Love Some Liver Jerky
I spent this past weekend refining one of my recipes containing calf liver. I baked, Kirby tested. Eventually we got it just right, the perfect balance of smell and texture and taste. They may just be one of his favorites!
When we were finished I still had some calf liver left. I've made fish jerky (Kirbs loves Tilapia) and chicken jerky, so why not liver jerky? Liver can be rather runny so first I baked it in the oven at a low temperature to firm it up. Then into the dehydrator for the night.
They were just right by morning. I turned off the dehydrator and headed to work. That evening I took them out and, with Kirby begging please, please, please, gave him a small piece. Then I plated them and took a picture. After Kirby had eaten his supper I gave him another piece. Soon I was busy with our normal nightly routine. A couple hours later I went into the kitchen intent on giving Kirby one more piece and refrigerating the rest. What rest? Much to Kirby's dismay, one of our cats, Chelsea very much likes liver! The plate was completely empty. Not even a morsel for Kirby to savor.
I should have known better. After all Kirby loves fish so why wouldn't a cat love liver. I felt so bad for him but there was nothing I could do. He did get a few of the training treats but I could tell he really wanted some more liver jerky. Next time I will have to prepare a large enough batch so Kirby can share with the cats. I'll also remember to keep it safely covered.
If you want to make some for your dog or cat it really is simple.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 4 to 8 hours Yields:
- 1 lb calf liver
1. Thinly slice while it's still frozen. It will thaw very quickly.
2. Bake on a foil covered pan at a low temperature of around 200 degrees for about twenty minutes to let it firm up.
3. Remove to the dehydrator using parchment paper which will spare you a mess and still allow the air to circulate. If you don't have a dehydrator just let it cook in the oven for several hours at a very low heat.
When working with liver, be sure you clean as you go! Liver dries very quickly and can become extremely difficult to remove. Usually when baking my treats I place the used items in the sink and then rinse and place in the dishwasher when I'm done. When working with liver, I am careful to completely rinse each item as I use it.
Liver is the most concentrated source of vitamin A, C, D, E, and K, zinc, manganese, selenium, iron, B2, B3, B5, biotin, folacin, B12, choline, and inositol. It provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type.
It's a good idea to monitor how much pure liver your dog eats. Small amounts or less than three servings a week are very good for your dog. However, large amounts can cause vitamin A toxicity which can lead to bone problems, weight loss, and anorexia. Also, never feed your dog liver if he is taking vitamin A supplements.
Kirby says, "make more!"