Skillet Sauteed Beef Heart:
One of my favorite cuts of beef, lamb, goat or venison is heart. A warning, though, the beef heart is LARGE. Prepare to serve a lot of people, or to freeze extras (preferably for salads, re-cooking isn’t as good…), or to have it every day for a week. I’ll put a photo in of this cut at the END of this post, so those who are squeamish need not look if they choose not.
Most recipes ask you to put the heart into a crock pot or a roasting pot, cover with liquid and seasonings and cook for a bunch of hours to tenderize it. (I would do this for pork heart, or bear heart –were I ever to sample this — due to the need to make sure those meat sources are cooked well-done.) Some people even like to grind up their hearts into the hamburger meat (what a WASTE of fine tasting meat)!
No, instead hear me out: heart provides fine, very lean, very tasty meat when cooked medium rare.
Step One: Take your heart (well, NOT yours, but the one procured from beef, venison, lamb, or goat sources — or even if you have one to hand, from an elk or bison), cut off all the fat coating the top part of the heart (this is not the type of fat you’ll remotely want to eat, and even if you slow-cook it, this type of fat isn’t going to lend itself at all to moisturizing this cut). Remove aortas and valve material.
Step Two: Slice the heart into approximately 1/4 inch slivers. (You’ll also remove interior valve material — those stringy things that open and close the heart chambers when it beats.)
Step Three: Marinate in your choice of marinate. I used balsamic vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, ground pepper, just a dash of hot sesame oil for the batch I photographed. You have a lot of options. Marinate 3-4 hours, or overnight.
Step Four: Shred up some Swiss chard, and a ramp or two. (Ramps are in the allium family, and ramp season is now drawing to a close. I hear they are most related to leeks. If you don’t have ramps, I think subbing in a good shallot would be awesome. Other veggies that go well in a stir fry would also be good in this, instead of, or in addition to, the Swiss Chard.
Step Five: Heart meat is EXTREMELY lean. In a skillet, get your choice of fat up to temp at about medium-high: butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, your choice. You don’t need a lot, but you definitely need some.
Step Six: Toss in your meat and veggies and extra marinate, and move them around the skillet, flipping the meat, for about 4-5 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Serve. The meat should be medium-rare and tender! It won’t be as tender as fillet mignon, but it will be thrice as tasty, and not remotely chewy.
The heart, after all, is indeed muscle meat. (If you are prone to gout, you can eat heart. It is a true muscle.) And a good and tasty one! Reading recipes where people toss the item into the meat grinder, or worse yet, throw them out, makes me want to drop down on bended knees and pray they bestow on me, well, some heart…
Okay, so you have an idea what the heart looks like, here is the original beef heart just after I started removing external fat and before I remembered the camera:
Does anyone reading this post remember the old Sixties obscurity (even then), Captain BeefHeart?