I’m not gonna lie. The thought of eating beef heart was not appealing.
A few weeks ago, when I pulled it out of the freezer to defrost, I silently said “it’s now or never” as if I was gearing up to run a marathon (not that that would ever happen).
You see, that beef heart had been taking up space in our freezer for more than 6 months, since we got our grass-fed cow. The awesome Alaskan ranchers we bought it from literally give you the organ meats (and soup bones!) if you want them, and knowing the incredible nutritional benefits (and my ballsy-meets-grandma attitude in the kitchen), I eagerly said YES.
But here I was, standing in our 38-degree garage next to the deep freezer wondering what the hell I was gonna do with it.
So I did what anybody would do. I Googled it.
And Googled it.
And Googled it some more.
Turns out you can prepare beef heart in many different ways – like steak, in the slow cooker, ground and added to burgers, as tartar…
But since I’m not a crazy huge fan of steak (I know, weird) and the rest of the beef we eat is either slow-cooked or ground, I decided to take a different approach.
And because I have an aversion to actually following recipes, I decided to make up my own (I know you’re not surprised).
This was a huge gamble, but if I gamble with anything, it’s food.
So once this baby was defrosted, I got to work with my sharpest knife and loosely followed the advice from Master Chef Google.
First, I cut it in half. Then began slicing away any valves (because, duh, this is a heart!) and other iffy bits, which all went into a container in the freezer to add to my next bone broth.
I told you I’m a grandma.
And actually, there wasn’t too much to trim away.
That’s when I realized this heart was from a super healthy cow. Most of the photos I saw online showed a pale, almost anemic-looking flabby heart with big chunks of fat.
Mine was deep, deep maroon, solid in texture, and had minimal, healthy-looking bits of fat. It reminded me of seeing those cadaver exhibits of healthy lungs compared to a smoker’s lungs.
It’s as if my cow had lived his entire life grazing on a pristine, remote Alaskan island.
Oh wait, he did.
Back to the heart.
Once it was trimmed, I cut the heart into sections a few inches wide (I easily got three pounds of useable meat from this, by the way). Then into super thin slices, marinated it (in a yummy and super-easy-to-make Thai chili marinade), skewered it, and put it on the grill for the magic to happen.
Really, that’s it.
With a little hesitation, my husband and I grabbed a piece (and air-toasted the bites in case these would be our last), and quickly went back for another.
This was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!
My husband compared it to tri tip. I personally found the flavor to be a bit iron-y, but the Thai chili marinade and grilled veggies balanced it out perfectly.
I found it far more delicious than liver. We even invited people over to sample it and got rave reviews all around.
I would totally eat it again, but I’ll have to wait until next year’s cow to enjoy this delicacy.
Hopefully you’ll give it a shot one of these days. If so, here’s my recipe for Thai Chili Beef Heart Skewers.
Aaand loads of photos of the whole process because I know you’re super curious.
- 1 lb beef heart, cut into thin strips (that's approximately one-third the beef heart pictured below)
- 1-2 bell peppers, cubed
- 1 onion, cubed
- 2 Tbsp lime juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 4-5 dashes fish sauce (this is your salt)
- 1-2 tsp Thai red chili paste (depending on how spicy you want it - I use Mae Ploy brand)
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- With a very sharp knife, cut heart in half. Trim off valves and sinew (reserve for making stock or grinding into burger meat).
- Cut into one-quarter inch slices. Places in a large dish.
- Add marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Using kabob skewers, alternate slices of beef heart, bell pepper, and onion. Brush leftover marinade over entire skewer (share the love with the veggies!).
- Grill over hot charcoals for 3 min. When lightly brown, flip, and grill for another 3 min. Serve.
Have you tried beef heart before?
If so, how’d you prepare it? Share in the comments below.
Until next week,
PS – Want to learn more about the benefits of eating grass-fed beef? Read this!
Don’t be scared! Offal is not awful. 🙂