Beef Heart - Newbie suggestions needed
Just started primal and I'm getting some beef bones tomorrow to make some broth. I also can get a heart if I want. After reading I know it's good to eat organ meat but it's not something I've ever had before. I have no problems admitting that the thought of it makes me feel icky but I'm willing to give it a try.
Anyone have any suggestions for recipes and preparation for someone like me? I guess I'm looking for some 'ease into it' help.
I'm a big fan. Heart is actually much easier than beef liver. I just got a big batch of bison heart and here are the various things you can do with it.
1. Grind it up and mix 50/50 with regular ground beef. From there any kind of chili like recipe will do fine and you will barely notice the difference. I make a ground beef/heart, bacon, greens (spinach or kale), sweet potato & chipotle mix a lot as that is my favorite combo. If doing a burger you might want to decrease the percentage to 1/4-1/3 as it cooks faster than regular ground beef. Or use a 50/50 mix in any ground beef recipe that cooks longer - mexican style like taco meat, italian with tomato sauce, thai style, I have even make jamaican jerk style beef this way.
2. Cut into chunks and cook it like beef stew. This can be simple or fancy depending. I have made a full on Julia Child style beef bourguignon with everything except the flour (bacon, onions, mushrooms, carrots all individually browned, plus wine & herbs) just with beef heart and it turned out amazing. But sometimes I don't go that far.
3. Marinate in oil/vinegar for several hours, then 'grill' on grill pan like steak. This will be a little chewier but if you cook quickly and keep it more rare then it can turn out OK. Try this after you've done it the other ways. #s 1-3 you might not even notice you are eating heart but this way you probably will as it is a little denser than other steak muscles. This is a traditional dish in Peru. Anticuchos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
4. If you have a whole heart you can also slow cook it in a crock pot. I have also tried wrapping up one in bacon and slow cooking it in the oven and it turned out OK.
Well that's about it in terms of cooking styles - grind, stew, marinate&grill or slow-cook but you can also improvise and do various things from here. The ones to try first (ease into it per your request) are definitely the grind and stew.
Thanks so much TigerJ. These are great suggestions. It didn't even occur to me that I could grind it.
There's a bison farm about 20mins away from me too so I think I'll be contacting them about meat too.
I've just been looking at the availability of local meat. I'm pretty lucky. Beef, chicken, pork, goat, elk, deer, bison and fresh fish from the lake all within a 30 minute drive.
Last edited by Nettle; 04-04-2011 at 09:44 AM.
For all preparations, there is an area at the top that can have some aorta-like tubes (?) just cut that out. Then grind or cut into cubes for stew or thicker slices for the grilling method. Sometimes I will trim off some of the fat but others not, I kinda think fat around the heart might actually be good to eat. Try the bison if you can; wild animals and especially their organs are pretty much top of the list.
I just enjoy it cut into thin strips and fried until tasty and crispy, served with some mustard. Its not much off being steak to be honest.
I usually just cut it into chunks and fry it. It's delicious.
The butcher said to slow-cook lamb heart (I expect it's similar to beef heart) - tried that, didn't like the texture particularly. So I still buy them, but grind in the food processor and use along with regular mince in meat loaf (which is also a great place to conceal liver and kidney, btw). I'll try slicing and frying the next one - thanks for the suggestion.
Last time I trimmed the fat off separately from the blood vessels, cooked it down very slowly, and was left with nice pure lamb fat for cooking and a bunch of delectable crispy bits.
I made it into stew once, with carrots and royal trumpet mushrooms and asparagus, and a bit of garlic and ginger and red wine. Yum.
I've just ordered 5k of beef heart, haven't had it for a while but am looking forward to it
There is a link somewhere on here to a good video clip of how to prep a beef heart. Shows how to 'skin' the surface layer off of the inside and outside of the muscle to leave just the nice tender meat.
I've used it finely sliced in stir fry with veggies, chopped in chunks in stews and curries, or just in a slab like a small steak. All ggod
But this time I'll be attempting a variation of Anticuchos.