And I don’t mean that metaphorically. I saw a blog post a while back about grilled beef heart, which emboldened me to try heart if I got the chance. As luck would have it, I did. Nature’s Harmony Farm had some odds and ends for sale as add-ons to the monthly CSA so I decided to go for it.
Honestly, the heart sat in my deep freeze for a long time. It was big. It was scary-looking. It was kind of funky. But eventually the guilt got to me and I put it in the fridge to thaw. In the mean time, I searched out some recipes calling for heart.
I settled on Beef Heart Braised in Red Wine . It called for wine, after all, how bad could it be? With much trepidation, I removed the heart from the package and stared at it for a while. It was kind of like a train wreck, grotesque yet I couldn’t look away. How the heck am I going to cut up this monstrosity, I wondered.
The recipe said to trim off excess fat and – um – arteries. There didn’t seem to be much for arteries left on my heart, but there was a ton of fat. I felt kind of bad cutting off all that good pastured fat, but I was following the recipe and catering to test subject Bill, who doesn’t like to see or bite into a whole lot of fat.
I trimmed and trimmed and trimmed until I was satisfied, then as the recipe called for, I cut the heart in half, then sliced it. In case I forgot exactly what I was cutting up, I sliced through a portion that looked like a bunch of small arteries. That was kind of cool, in a Discovery Channel kind of way.
I dredged the heart pieces in flour and into a buttered frying pan they went. The recipe said that they should fry for 30-45 second per side, but I couldn’t even fit all the pieces in the pan at one time so I worked as fast as I could. Using my homemade beef stock and CSA box carrots, I added the rest of the ingredients and left it to simmer. It smelled fantastic!
It didn’t make a thickened sauce as much as I’d expected with the wine, beef stock and flour so it was a little thin. Wary of some comments on the recipe about the strong flavor not being for the faint of heart – um, hehe – I took my first taste. It required chewing but it wasn’t rubbery, which was good, and I didn’t think the flavor was that strong or undesirable, although it maybe did have a bit of an after taste. Test subject Bill said it reminded him of liver. (I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had liver. I know, I know…it’s on my list.)
Test subject Bill went back for seconds, so I count it as a success. If I happen upon a heart again, though, I think I may use the crock pot to try to make it a little
more tender. I wonder how it would be with this homemade barbecue sauce I made recently…