Lamb or Goat Liver Squares (Dog Treats)
A dog’s natural diet is a carnivore diet, the diet of a predator. Thinking of dog treats might bring up an image of a biscuit for many people, but the ancestors of our canine pets, wolves, didn’t eat processed grain. Our domesticated dogs may have acclimated a bit to a slightly different diet living alongside humans, but wolves and other carnivores eat meat, and most of the time, it’s raw. Cooked meat is also fine, but we think there’s something special about feeding a dog treats and diet supplements made from the highest quality grass-fed lamb and goat meat, in it’s purest form.
This was one of the first recipes Chef Alan Bergo designed for our grass-fed lamb and goat dog program. It’s nothing more than ground meat mixed with ground lamb or goat offal of your choice, like kidneys, livers, spleens or hearts. As long as it can go in a food processor or a meat grinder, it can go into the freezer, or even the dehydrater, but if you choose to dry them, for easy storage or so they can be transported, you will want to press the mixture into a flat disk for quick dehydrating.
After the mixture is frozen or dried, they can be stored in the freezer if frozen, or in a glass jar, or another container in the pantry if dried. Like our other treats, these aren’t meant to be a meal in themselves, due to the cost of serving our pets raw, high quality meat, but rather as a supplement for you to serve with their normal serving of food, or as a special treat.
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.
- Chop the lamb liver, kidney or heart and trim into 1-inch pieces then mix and keep cold.
- Pass the mixture through the a meat grinder, using the medium or small die, if a meat grinder is not available, pulse the mixture in a food processor until fine/nearly smooth.
- Pack the meat into the silicon mold, or alternately, form into small, 1oz balls, flatted into cakes, and freeze.
- After the cakes are frozen, transfer them to an air tight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
- Serve the patties as a treat for larger dogs, or allow to come to room temperature and serve alongside a serving of normal food as a raw treat/supplement.
- Instead of freezing, the patties can also be baked at 350 for 15 minutes, or until completely cooked, but should be stored in the freezer after cooling to preserve them, since there is no salt to extend the shelf life. The treats can also be dehydrated, but should be made as thin as possible for quick dehydration. Dehydrate cakes at 145 F for 24 hours or until cracker dry, store in an air tight container in a cool dark place, then break the dried cakes into pieces and feed to dogs as needed depending on their size.