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    Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 12:18 am
    Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 12:18 am Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 12:18 am
    HI,

    Last March I was introduced to beef heart at Rinconcito Sudamericano, which left a very, very favorable impression on me:

    Gwiv's photo:
    Image

    This evening at Woodman's in Kenosha, I found they were offering heart for $1.19 per pound. Interestingly, beef marrow bones cost quite a bit more.

    Last year after our dinner at Riconcito Sudamericano, Maria Kijac explained on the drive home while heart is delicious it takes considerable time and patience to trim it and remove the valves.

    If anyone else has worked with beef heart, could you please offer any tips? I'm quite likely to trim it and grill it rare this time, though I'd appreciate any advice one can offer.

    Rinconcito Sudamericano
    2012 W Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773-489-3126

    Woodman's
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Take I-94 north, exit at Highway 50 turn east at very next stoplight turn left and it is on the northeast hill.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 8:23 am
    Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 8:23 am Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 8:23 am
    At the Carpentersville Woodman's they are always offering Beef Heart in the discount meat bin for $0.99.

    I have never had the ambition to play around with it as the farmer's daughter wants NOTHING to do with ANY variety meats (cow brains, etc, was on the menu at least once a year when she was younger) and I don't want to eat tyhe whole thing.
  • Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:02 am
    Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:02 am Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:02 am
    C2,

    I may have had hearts before the veal heart we had at Klas, but if so, I don't remember what they were like. The ones at Klas were in a medium-weight cream sauce, and I notice the ones at Rinconcito seem to also be sauced somehow. You're going to grill...without sauce?

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 3:36 pm
    Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 3:36 pm Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 3:36 pm
    For years beef heart, v e r y slowly simmered along with the browned chuck, was the secret ingredient in my "Hunter's Moon Hearty Beef Stew" during my winery's Oktoberfest. It *had* to be kept secret, or no one would have eaten it, had they known it was "ewwwwww, HEART??!!'

    But it added a real richness to the flavor: I tried the stew w/o it and it was really not anywhere near as good.

    Simmered rapidly, it rapidly became rubber erasers.

    When you chunk it for stew it's easy enough to avoid the various plumbing 'hardware' inside the vessel.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 5:06 pm
    Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 5:06 pm Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 5:06 pm
    The LTH Anniversary Korean bash included heart to grill over live coals... I didn't see much point. No more flavor than the other beef items, and significantly chewier.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 6:42 pm
    Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 6:42 pm Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 6:42 pm
    I haven't cooked heart in many years, on account of no one in my family would eat it but me, but I suggest low and slow. I see that lots of the recipes on-line call for doing it in a slow-cooker,* which sounds like a good use of an appliance I don't happen to have. The German style Sweet and Sour recipe looks promising as well. I recall that I often turned into a variety of stroganoff, with mushrooms and sour cream and served over noodles.

    Just be careful. A significant portion of the recipes on line turn out to be for fish food.


    * though note that the last recipe in that collection calls for a marinade follwed by a quick grill, so maybe that's the recipe you're looking for.
  • Post #7 - January 8th, 2006, 3:57 pm
    Post #7 - January 8th, 2006, 3:57 pm Post #7 - January 8th, 2006, 3:57 pm
    Cathy2--

    I bet it would come out well in a Rommertopf -- clay pot. This might have a certain advantage in that you'd only have to add a little water, (and seasonings) thereby preserving the integrity of the heart flavor, whereas, if you braise it, you would add stock and muddy the results of your flavor experiment. I have a Rommertopf and a taginiere, which I would happily loan you. I also have some hearts on hand, so I'd be interested in how your experiment goes. But then my heart may go into the haggis-- wait, that doesn't sound quite right. But what cook worth his/her salt doesn't put his/her heart into it?
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 1:24 pm
    Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 1:24 pm Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 1:24 pm
    Havent done beef hearts, but I grilled some pork hearts this summer and they were pretty good. I marinated them overnight after slicing them maybe 3/8 inch thick. The valves were a bit tougher, but still quite edible. Overall, it reminded me of jerky, though not as chewy. In "Unmentionable Cuisine," Calvin Schwabe has several recipies, most of which are high heat/short time. He has two Italian recipies, cuore di manzo con funghi, and cuore di manzo in(?) salsa di acciughe. Both of which entail quickly sauteeing thinly sliced heart and serving with mushrooms or anchovies. Perhaps Antonius can elaborate. -Will
  • Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 4:00 pm
    Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 4:00 pm Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 4:00 pm
    After sharing this discussion with the Farmer's Daughter, I was told **not** to bring beef heart into the house ... no matter how it is served.

    Sounds like a good mystery meat meal in the near future ...(g)
  • Post #10 - January 10th, 2006, 6:21 pm
    Post #10 - January 10th, 2006, 6:21 pm Post #10 - January 10th, 2006, 6:21 pm
    MMMM... heart.

    The first time I knew I was eating heart was at a wild game dinner put on by the biology club when I was in college. Pickled deer heart. It was the best dish there...

    Heart is a muscle, which may be why I don't associate it with other organ meats. Seeing as it is in constant use, cradle to grave, naturally it is a fairly tough muscle...slow cooking, pickling, tenderizing, etc., the basic treatments for less desirable cuts of meat are in order.

    I'm not sure I agree with the cleaning part being more difficult, seems to me to trim up fairly easy. Though I agree cooking time is considerable and perhaps the preparation in order to make an edible grilled dish is time consuming (perhaps poaching or tenderizing).

    Fun fact, heart is a primary ingredient in those little sausages one finds by the cash register at gas stations across the country. Not exactly sure why the FDA requires it to be listed seperately, e.g., beef and beef hearts, but it does.

    Here is the Cook's Thesauras view on heart:
    http://www.foodsubs.com/MeatvarHeart.html
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #11 - January 19th, 2006, 3:35 pm
    Post #11 - January 19th, 2006, 3:35 pm Post #11 - January 19th, 2006, 3:35 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Last year after our dinner at Riconcito Sudamericano, Maria Kijac explained on the drive home while heart is delicious it takes considerable time and patience to trim it and remove the valves.


    I don't recall it being that hard to trim – the veins and arteries are fairly large and easily removed, the valves etc. are cut away more for aesthetics that anything else. I've only made beef heart in 1½ ways*. The way I've made it is marinade (oil, garlic, red chile, s&p) and grill – Peruvian style, after a recipe in "How to cook meat" (Schlesinger & Willoughby; Morrow Cookbooks, 2000; ISBN: 0688161995).

    Heart muscle is totally lean so the marinade (and basting) contains the oil and the pieces were 1"-ish cubes that grilled quickly. I didn' t realize till the responses on this thread that I could cook it low and slow.


    *the other half way was to use the leftover trimmings that didn't make for good looking skewerable cubes. Minced in a food processor, the enhanced burgers with their beefiness
  • Post #12 - January 29th, 2006, 8:31 pm
    Post #12 - January 29th, 2006, 8:31 pm Post #12 - January 29th, 2006, 8:31 pm
    When ya gotta a lot of heart, you gotta give it away!

    Thanks everyone for the ideas on how to prepare heart. I finally cracked into all 4.26 pounds of beef heart Friday evening, which happened to cost $1.19 per pound or $5.07. I found the heart had already had a butterfly cut, which allowed you to see a thin silvery skin wherever the blood rushed through plus tendons.

    Image

    On the outside was more thin silvery skin and fat. According to the Joy of Cooking, the fat, tendons and thin skin needed trimming away.

    Image

    This is halfway trimming the heart’s exterior.

    Image

    This is the interior of the heart already trimmed.

    Image

    Altogether the trimmings weighed 20 ounces, which left 3 pounds of useable meat or $1.69 per pound real cost. I will admit my boning knife was dull, with my sharpening stone missing in action, so I could probably do a better trim next time.

    From all the information available, it was clear Heart can be either seared for a quick cook or braised for a long. I tried several methods of heart preparation especially since I wasn’t quite sure of the outcome for braising.

    I cut a ¾ inch section off, which I seared in a mixture of butter and oil to a medium rare. I cut this into chunks for my family to taste. They delighted in the taste and texture like I did the first time last year at Rinconcito Sudamericano.

    Image

    I took a 14 ounce section, which I finely chopped in my food processor, for Meat sauce Bolognese style, which I served this evening over Bucatini.

    Fully half of the heart was simmer for over an hour to make Ann Fisher’s suggestion of German style Sweet and Sour recipe. After simmering, the heart was cut into ½ inch cubes where they finished cooking in veloute sauce make from the heart stock and finished with vinegar and sugar. My Dad commented it was very similar to a dish his Mother made, though he thought mine tasted better. This is not a handsome looking dish as the sauce has a greenish-brown cast to it. Dill or chopped flat parsley may decrease the homeliness of this dish, though it does have a pleasant sour taste.

    All in all, heart was a very successful experiment. I could easily see a very quick dinner making heart over a Weber chimney grill next summer. The braised dishes warmed and scented the house this winter with the unexpected nostalgia tour with my Grandmother. It will not be a hard sell to have heart on the menu sometime soon. In fact the Joy of Cooking had a recipe for a savory stuffed and roasted heart, which could be an interesting. Unlike other organ meats, heart has no off the beaten path textures or tastes to challenge the timid. You will spend a bit more time trimming, which by itself can be very pleasant activity.

    Heart on the menu is something I heartily recommend!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - January 29th, 2006, 9:06 pm
    Post #13 - January 29th, 2006, 9:06 pm Post #13 - January 29th, 2006, 9:06 pm
    Tnx Cathy2, nice tour. You did some things that were new to me until they'd been suggested--glad to get your report that they worked.

    I like the meat sauce idea.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #14 - January 29th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    Post #14 - January 29th, 2006, 9:22 pm Post #14 - January 29th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    HI,

    The meat sauce idea came from reading posts on Sunday gravy. While I didn't want to disguise the taste of the meat with the mixtures proposed, making meat sauce Bolognese style seemed like the next best idea.

    I'm glad I asked for feedback before I began the heart adventure. You're right a lot of ideas popped up that I had not considered before either.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - January 30th, 2006, 11:08 am
    Post #15 - January 30th, 2006, 11:08 am Post #15 - January 30th, 2006, 11:08 am
    C2,
    Thanks for the post (initial and follow-up w/ details). As you mention, LTHers are a great source of unexpected information.

    I was struck by the size of the heart in your pictures - until I realized that what I had used and what I see at the grocery store is veal heart. I imagine they aren't very different though the beef heart probably is even 'beefier' tasting than the veal heart (which itself is quite beefy).
  • Post #16 - January 30th, 2006, 12:00 pm
    Post #16 - January 30th, 2006, 12:00 pm Post #16 - January 30th, 2006, 12:00 pm
    HI,

    I think in the Joy of Cooking they commented a veal heart is suitable for a single serving whereas beef heart can serve 5-6.

    There were veal hearts served in cream sauce at the holiday party at Klas. I'll buy some soon to give them a whirl. In your experience with veal hearts, did you have to do much trimming?

    I just had a silly thought, eating all these organ meats may just redefine organ-ic for my household. :roll:

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - January 30th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    Post #17 - January 30th, 2006, 1:54 pm Post #17 - January 30th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: In your experience with veal hearts, did you have to do much trimming?


    Actually, not a lot of trimming - but that may simply be a factor of the smaller size. Also the ones I got/see are cut (halved usually) so one can see the insides of the pieces and they don't have much outside fat, silverskin.
  • Post #18 - January 31st, 2006, 3:15 am
    Post #18 - January 31st, 2006, 3:15 am Post #18 - January 31st, 2006, 3:15 am
    the first image i saw really made my stomach growl... just by looking at it, makes me hungry.. :D
  • Post #19 - January 31st, 2006, 9:40 pm
    Post #19 - January 31st, 2006, 9:40 pm Post #19 - January 31st, 2006, 9:40 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Unlike other organ meats, heart has no off the beaten path textures or tastes to challenge the timid. You will spend a bit more time trimming, which by itself can be very pleasant activity.


    OK, Cathy, I'm with you on the "very pleasant activity" count, as long as I never again have to look at the first picture you posted. Clearly, it's the sight of the thing that challenges the timid. Yikes!

    This goes back to MikeG's observationthat meats from body parts that are easily visualized are more challenging to eat.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #20 - August 16th, 2008, 10:44 pm
    Post #20 - August 16th, 2008, 10:44 pm Post #20 - August 16th, 2008, 10:44 pm
    Not really with a clear-head, I headed down to the farmer’s market and picked up a random bunch of crap, one of which was a local grass-fed bison heart.

    It was already half-trimmed, so not much prep required on it:

    Image
    (I’m sure mine is more Kobe-looking) :wink:

    I don’t recall having heart in quite some time, so I decided to keep it simple, so I could have a little heart-to-heart with the heart :roll: , and really get the taste again. I was really tempted to prepare these in the Peruvian anticuchos style (or a bold braise), but I resisted said temptations.

    Essentially ripped off of this Cosentino recipe, I marinated the hearts in some white wine, blood orange jus, garlic, jalapenos, thyme, parsley & lemon juice (for a coupla hours). In the meantime, I put the trimmed beets in a roasting pan with some olive oil, OJ, water, garlic, red onions, chives, parsley, and agua. Roasted that sucker for about 50 mins and then peeled the beets (and in the meantime had a little snack of sauteed beet greens with shallots & garlic & red pepper flakes). Cooked the hearts, trying to get a med-rare on about all of them but not too successful:

    Image

    Image

    Served over the roasted golden beets with a little spritz of a chimichurri-kinda sauce:

    Image

    It was delicious, but probably better suited as an appetizer and, quite frankly, I thought the beets were the headliner of the show. The hearts actually had a very pronouced flavour, which I actually really liked, but it reminded me too much of my mom’s Pakistani-style liver (kelagi), just without the spicy ‘curry’ & roti (or naan).

    It’s dirt cheap though, and I’ll probably get a few more hearts this this year.
  • Post #21 - August 17th, 2008, 5:30 am
    Post #21 - August 17th, 2008, 5:30 am Post #21 - August 17th, 2008, 5:30 am
    tatterdemalion wrote:I don’t recall having heart in quite some time, so I decided to keep it simple, so I could have a little heart-to-heart with the heart :roll: , and really get the taste again.


    Little heart to heart......groan

    Looks delicious, in particular the idea of a chimichurri sauce topper.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - August 17th, 2008, 7:51 am
    Post #22 - August 17th, 2008, 7:51 am Post #22 - August 17th, 2008, 7:51 am
    That's a great recipe - have to try that if I get the heart next year when we go shares in a cow again...I agree, it's got a nice flavor, but the funk isn't overly pronounced (like sometimes in beef liver.) The bright and bold flavors you chose as an accompaniment sound like a really good match.
  • Post #23 - August 17th, 2008, 6:14 pm
    Post #23 - August 17th, 2008, 6:14 pm Post #23 - August 17th, 2008, 6:14 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Little heart to heart......groan


    The groan of a gentle bear, I can hear it all the way from Texas. :wink:

    The leftover heart made for some pretty good tacos, with some chopped raw onions & cilantro and topped with an aji-like sauce, though I think I'm done with heart for the next little while.

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