Heart, liver and beef meatballs in tomato sauce


imageWould you like to include more organ meats in your diet but you or your family don’t like the taste? Try this recipe that blends liver and heart with minced beef and other goodies into tasty versatile meatballs.

Heart like all red meat is a very good source of iron, zinc and B vitamins but heart also is  the best food source of CoQ10 in an easily absorbed form.

Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in existence and contains many  that are difficult to get elsewhere, it is very rich in vitamin A, folate and vitamin B12 and much much more. For more information on the health nutrients in liver go here

imageIngredients.  for the meat balls

500gms minced beef.

500gms heart, lamb or beef. I am using lamb hearts

250gm liver.

3 medium onions.

2 eggs.

fresh herbs. Or dried if you don’t have fresh. I used parsley, thyme and sage.

100gms mushrooms.

2 tablespoons sour cream. Optional, makes for a softer creamier meatball, but omit if you are dairy free.

2 teaspoons of salt. Plus some pepper.

this will make quite a lot of large meat balls but I do this quantity because the heart and liver usually come in this size pack. They freeze well so it’s not a problem.

Peel and chop the onions into large pieces then chop finely in a food processor, the mushrooms can be processed next. If you are using  beef  heart  cut  out any large tubes  that are visible, for lambs heart they will be fine as they are. Cut into large chunks and process in a couple of batches until finely chopped, do the same with the liver, cut out any visible tubes and process.

Chop the herbs finely, either with a knife or in the processor. Add all the meat, onions, mushrooms, herbs, eggs, sour cream if using and salt & pepper to a large bowl and mix. It is easiest to use your hands. Prepare a couple of roasting pans by melting a good tablespoon of coconut oil in each one. The mixture is very slack but do not worry, simply grab large handfuls and place into the roasting pans.I made 27 large balls with this amount of mixture. If you wanted you could make smaller balls. But they would need cooking for less time.


Cook in the oven at 180c for about 20 mins, they will just be beginning to brown nicely. Be careful not to cook for too long as they can get tough and dry out, we want them to be soft and succulent.

There will be a little moisture and a few bits that are left in the pan, simply pour this into the sauce.

Ingredients for the sauce.

1 tin of tomatoes.

2 tablespoons of fish sauce, gives a wonderful depth of saltiness and anchovies go so well with beef.

plenty of good olive oil, I used about 50ml of our local Nelson grown kakariki olive oil 

a large bunch of parsley.

salt if needed, the fish sauce is quite salty so taste before adding extra salt.

finely chop the parsley and put everything in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. I like to use a potatoe masher to smush everything as its cooking, you could use an immersion blender to get a much smoother sauce if you like. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit.imageserve with vegetables on the side, here it is with lightly steamed collard greens and buttered smashed swede.

for a lower carb more Keto sauce option you can use 300ml of cream with a couple of large handfuls of grated cheese and some chopped herbs, simmer all together until the cream has thickened a bit.

The recipe makes 25-30 large balls. The total carbs in the meat balls is about 50gms, so less than 2gms of carbs per ball.image

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Just finished making these with a few adjustments. I added ‘Moroccan’ spice mix and a tablespoon of Za’atar and oregano. The sauce also had some homemade Worcestershire sauce to add a touch of sweetness to the tomatoes. It’s turned out really well with plenty to go into the freezer. Fresh cavolo nero from the garden, wild asparagus from the nearby fields and cous cous as an accompaniment for tonight’s dinner. Thank you..


    1. Sounds wonderful. 😋


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