This is half a pastured pig and about 35 lbs of grass-fed beef both from local family farms. I asked if I could have the fat from the pig to make lard, and Matt’s dad was nice enough to give us the heart along with our part of his cow. I am constantly learning new ways to work with meat, especially the less expensive and a lot of times more nutrient-dense cuts and parts and pieces that most people want nothing to do with. A little piece of info on the nutrition of beef heart can be found here. My first experience working with heart of any kind was a rather pleasant one. I’m not really into liver and would rather have it raw and covered up by the tastes of bananas than to eat it like a regular person. Julia Child’s chicken liver mousse is alright, just not something I want to particularly eat on a daily basis. Other than that, my organ meat experiences have been few and far between and I plan to change that. I pulled the 4 lb heart out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge about 4 days prior to working with it. I really had no idea what I was doing so I just went with it and trimmed off the sinewy parts. I was planning to make a Moroccan stew to freeze because there was no way the three of us would consume 4 lbs of heart before it went bad, (not REALLY Moroccan, but Americanized) but wanted to cut off some to taste it just seared medium-rare. Part of me wishes I would have had a big party and grilled the whole damn thing up on skewers because it really is delicious nice and bloody. Just like a very lean steak with a lot of iron taste., a little gamey I suppose. Here’s a photo from before:
After trimming, I cubed it and seared it on all sides and threw into the crockpot with the following:
1 large cubed sweet potato
2 small onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
about a teaspooon of the following:
red palm oil
Let it cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6. The heart doesn’t get quite fall-apart like it would with a regular stew meat. Like I said, it is completely Americanized and not real deal Moroccan, which I am learning about. They use ingredients such as harissa and preserved lemons which I don’t have in my pantry quite yet so I cheated a little. Although not so pretty, the outcome was rather delicious. Warm and earthy, just as a spicy sweet stew should be.
Conclusion on beef heart: Preferably eat med-rare. With a good glass of red wine. Followed by dark chocolate.