Is it pig blood?
September 17, 2006 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Is that red stuff seeping out of my now-thawed pork liver really pig blood?

Or is it colored flavored water of the "contains up to 15% of a solution" kind they pump into deboned chicken breasts? I ask because, as it's not even safe to eat uncanned spinach anymore, I hesitate to taste the raw red liquid myself to find out, and in any case I doubt that'd tell me as I'm not sure what pig blood tastes like.
posted by davy to Health & Fitness (27 answers total)
It's blood and flavored water. If you taste it, it will taste like bloody flavored water.
posted by jessamyn at 8:04 AM on September 17, 2006

and you will get sick and die ... please cook the pork liver and the red stuff before consuming
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 AM on September 17, 2006

I think that would be a mixture of pig blood and ruptured pig liver cell contents. Freezing is unkind to cells.
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2006

Of course its blood - you are eating a dead animal after all. I also agree with flabdablet and jessamyn, water and ruptured cell contents are also part of the milieu. Much of this solution probably originated in lymph...which is a clear fluid that is a component of the immune system (that can be come pus-like at sites of infection). Much of the "juiciness" often described in steaks originates from lymph fluid.

Don't taste that stuff until its cooked.
posted by dendrite at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2006

I'm confused here - what else would you expect it to be? would you really want to eat some kind of weird chemical-treated liver that DIDN'T have blood in it? Were you planning on eating it raw?
posted by luriete at 10:12 AM on September 17, 2006

Wait. You were grossed out by the concept of blood in your meat, yet you actually entertained the idea of tasting the fluid coming out of raw liver but thought better of it because of recent cases of food contamination?

For the love of pete, cook it well.
posted by sourwookie at 10:17 AM on September 17, 2006

I'm not sure what pig blood tastes like.

Very similar to human blood I'd guess.
posted by ed\26h at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2006

If you want to know what pig blood tastes like, you could get some kizka. Delicious. Or some other kind of blood sausage. They are all tasty.
posted by QIbHom at 10:59 AM on September 17, 2006

The Chinese coagulate pork blood into cubes and boil them in a broth. They come out tasting like a very smooth tofu -- not gamey at all.

I had pork blood cubes once and wasn't told what they were until after I tried them. They actually tasted pretty good.
posted by ernestworthing at 11:31 AM on September 17, 2006

For the love of pete, cook it well.

Sacrilege! You only need to give it quick fry on both sides - it should still be pink and a bit bloody in the middle. (Though I'm guessing liver that's been in the freezer will be pretty unpleasant, not to mention that pork liver is definitely a poor relation to calf, lamb, chicken, goose, duck... even beef is better.)
posted by jack_mo at 11:41 AM on September 17, 2006

For the love of pete, cook it well.
Especially if you want it to be really tough and even more strongly-flavored. (Being pretty strongly-flavored to begin with, it's more often seen in pâtés than the pan, anyway. Whatcha gonna do with it?)
posted by mimi at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2006

It's not blood. It's myoglobin in water. Myoglobin has an affinity for oxygen (like hemoglobin does) so that keeps it red/pink.
posted by bilabial at 12:55 PM on September 17, 2006

bilabial, I'm pretty sure there's more than myoglobin seeping out of a chunk of thawed liver, though heme iron is responsible for the red color.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 1:57 PM on September 17, 2006

It is NOT blood. It is called purge.

Purge: the juices that exude from fresh, cooked and cured meats and accumulate inside the package during shipping and storage.

PURGE: "Purge" or "weep" are terms used to identify the purplish-red fluid found in packaged cuts (vacuum or others). Purge may be an indicator of temperature abuse, excessive storage time or lack of full vacuum.

Purge can be a serious problem in vacuum packaged pork with a low water holding capacity.

Although it is not blood, it is not safe to taste this liquid because it has not been properly cooked.
posted by catseatcheese at 6:18 PM on September 17, 2006

Oh, and bilabial is correct, the color is due to myoglobin concentration.
posted by catseatcheese at 6:29 PM on September 17, 2006

So what is the difference between "purge" and blood?
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:05 PM on September 17, 2006

Purge contains myoglobin and water. Myoglobin is a water soluble pigment found in muscles. When water seeps from the muscles, it takes myoglobin along with it. All blood from the animal is "let out" during the slaughter process. Purge does not contain blood.
posted by catseatcheese at 7:15 PM on September 17, 2006

All blood is removed in the slaughtering process? I would assume small amounts would remain in the capillaries, am I mistaken?
posted by squidlarkin at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2006

So whether it's purge or blood, would covering it in coarse salt or soaking it in brine get rid of it? (Yes, I did just ask about "koshering" PIG liver.) Also, am I corect that organs are harder to make safe than muscle meat?
posted by davy at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2006

Also, is rock salt sold to de-ice sidwalks chemically/biologically pure enough to kosher food (i.e. without the salt making me sick), or should I spend the extra few bucks per pound on salt labelled for koshering?
posted by davy at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2006

So whether it's purge or blood, would covering it in coarse salt or soaking it in brine get rid of it?

Salting it would, but I wouldn't advise either unless you're entering some sort of 'cook the most unpleasant liver imaginable competition'. Just whack the thing in a pan already.

"Purge" or "weep"

Why is food industry terminology always so unpleasant?
posted by jack_mo at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2006

Why is food industry terminology always so unpleasant?

You are talking about a hacked-out pig's liver. It's not a peach that's dropped off a tree here.
posted by Jilder at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2006

The usual method of koshering liver (obviously, not pig's liver) is to broil it.

Rock salt would be the wrong texture. It is big, slow-melting chunks.

Can we think of other ways to torture this particular piece of meat? Parboiling for an hour, maybe?
posted by QIbHom at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2006

"Can we think of other ways to torture this particular piece of meat?"

A propane torch would cook it quickly! And I dimly recall an article about 10 years ago in the San Francisco Chronicle about some "exotic" Chinese restaurant torturing live animals (raccoons maybe?) to make their meat more tender (even my carnivority won't that far).

Seriously, how does broiling make kosher organs that by definition will contain lots of residual blood-related material?
posted by davy at 3:59 PM on September 18, 2006

davy, the proceedure is explained here.

That is not to imply that this piece of pig liver could be made kosher by any method I'm aware of although I'm no expert on kashrut.
posted by QIbHom at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2006

Thanks QlbHom! I don't expect anything I do in my kitchen will ever be truly kosher even if no pork is involved, I just like learning new skills whether there's any concrete reason to or not. And someday it might be helpful for health reasons to get as much blood out of meat as possible, y'know?
posted by davy at 5:55 PM on September 19, 2006

Oh, koshering a kitchen is fun, davy. Great excuse to buy a torch. Then you get in to the nifty arguments on whether or not a microwave can be koshered. Seriously, if you like learning stuff, read more at that link. The use of extreme logic in the cause of extreme deity-obedience is pleasant to see these days.

Despite having kept a kosher kitchen (yes, torch and all) for 10 years, I don't worry about blood, as long as the meat is either properly cooked (by non-kosher standards, even) or very fresh (as in "my buddy shot this deer 10 min. ago).

Spinal cord material and brains are a completely different issue.
posted by QIbHom at 7:52 PM on September 19, 2006

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