I am planning a 25 lb Summer Sausage project, starting this weekend. Using Rytek's Cervelat recipie: calls for 5 lb of beef hearts.
I didn't think this would be a problem, as I just bought a whole cow (split it with a friend) and figured I had to have one SOMEWHERE, right? No luck. So I call the local Meat Processor (Beutler Meats, Lafayette, IN.. they are amazing) and the Beutler Lady says not only do they NOT have any hearts, they have three guys on a waiting list!
So I call the wonderful lady I bought my cow from and asked her. I figure, not everyone needs the organs, she'd know who she sold the cows to...Maybe I'd get lucky? I only need a couple to equal out to five pounds.
She makes some calls... no luck! Everyone she sold a cow to recently either threw the hearts away or gave them back to Beutler Meats.
So here I am, with this giant tub of Fermento, 20 pounds of beef trim and pork butt, all these casings, feeling pretty dejected. I even JUST bought a new grinder and have been dying to try it out on a big project. I have to really plan my meat projects around my work schedule, and between the grinding, curing, hanging and smoking, if I don't get started this weekend, I won't get to this project until Mid-October.
I *just* got the call from the Cow Lady: She sold three cows for slaughter last night, none of the buyers want the hearts. She's having the hearts packed separately just for me, I can pick them up right at Beutler's tomorrow afternoon!
I'm being charged $.49/ lb for them. You can't beat that!