Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Because You Won't Stop E-mailing Me...

...and because I can finally get photos off my phone again (such as they are).

I went ahead and made the veal heart. I decided to try the grilling route (well, actually, I used my broiler - which Alton Brown says is an upside down grill). I came to this decision after Googling "veal heart recipes" and coming across Chris Cosentino's Web site Offal Good. On that site he has a recipe for Grilled Beef Heart With Roasted Golden Beets & Horseradish. Since all the other heart recipes I found involved baking, I took this as a sign that I was onto something. I even went so far as to email him through his Web site to ask what he thought was the best method. Turns out he prefers a quick grill or sear because he feels it dries the meat out less. He even suggested it would make great tartare! (I'm not quite prepared to go that route. Yet.) I thought it was pretty cool that he emailed me back.

Here's what I ended up doing:

Broiled Veal Heart with Chimichurri


1 cup lightly packed chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons shallot
3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Zap in food processor until combined but not pureed. Set aside for at least an hour at room temp to let the flavors blend.

Prep the heart

Remove what remain of any sinews and fat or other membrane. You should be left with two pieces of heart that are about 3 1/2-4" across and about 5 1/2-6" long and about 1/2" thick. Halve the chimichurri. Add a half cup of white wine to one half and add the heart. Let this marinate in the fridge for about an hour and a half.

Cook the heart

After heating the broiler to high, broil the veal for about 3 minutes per side. Then let the pieces rest for about 10 minutes under a foil tent. When ready to serve, slice the pieces across the grain thinly and serve it with the remaining chimichurri and some crusty bread.

Impressions after eating the veal heart:

Taste - the flavor is not like liver or kidney at all. Not "organ-y". Very close to "regular" veal flavor. A little deeper, but not gamey or anything.

Texture - This was the most tender piece of meat I've ever eaten. More tender than some filets I've had. And, again, because the heart is a muscle, it's meatlike when you bite it. Not like organ meat. I'm really glad I went the grill/broiler route on this.

Mr. Scoop dutifully ate the heart because that was what for dinner. I had recently had success in getting him to eat beef tongue under the guise of "Here, try this" and offering him mystery meat in a taco. He thought it tasted like pot roast and later rationalized that it was ok because the tongue is a muscle and not an organ. Therefore it was acceptable to eat. He applied the same logic to eating the heart. He has told me that he'll eat it again, although he found the tender texture less meatlike than I did and a bit weird. He'd rather I sauce it up in something that was a bit stronger, like a mustard sauce or something. Dave's Insanity Sauce might do the trick.

So, in summary, I personally recommend picking up a package of this if you see it at your supermarket at the prices that I've been seeing it ($1-1.50/lb.). Yes, you do have to trim some weird looking sinews off it, but once you get past that the meat marinates really well and cooks quickly. It results in flavorful, tender eats for bargain prices. I'm definitely going to try my hand at making this again in the near future!


cricket said...

Hmm, I've never had heart prepared like this, only in stews, stir-fries and other such dishes. I agree though it's great if done properly and cheap!

When I lived on the west coast you could often find in grocers that had butchers, usually presliced and cleaned up but still very cheap.

Ari said...

I say it's icky! However, that leaves more, MUCH more, for you and Mr. Scoop.

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