Now, before you turn up your nose at the title of this article, please hear me out! Beef heart might sound tough to swallow (pun intended), but it really is quite a nice cut of meat.
While the heart is an organ, beef heart doesn’t actually qualify as organ meat. It’s a muscle, so it has a texture more similar to steak than the liver.
If it helps, go ahead and think of the heart as any other type of steak, but note that it has more protein and more nutrients. As with most of the sexy cuts, beef heart is also a cheaper cut than most other cuts, so you’ll get more meat for your money!
Now, let’s get a closer look at some of the nutrition you’ll get out of beef heart.
Firstly, heart has twice the amount of collagen and elastin as other cuts of meat. This makes it excellent if you want to fight the effects aging has on your skin!
Secondly, beef heart contains ample amounts of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short), which is excellent for the immune system and overall energy levels, and it also works as an antioxidant. CoQ10 could prevent heart disease (ironic, hmm?) and blood clot formation, and it can also lower blood pressure.
Finally, that beef heart also contains iron, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, zinc, lycopene, and numerous B vitamins.
I would strongly recommend that you look for beef heart from a grass-fed cow rather than a grain-fed animal. Grass-fed meats are always my preference because you are eating whatever the animal you’re eating ate (say that ten times fast!), and I avoid grains. Grass-fed beef heart will also contain more omega-3 fatty acids than its grain-fed counterpart.
Now that you’re ready to ask your butcher if s/he has a heart, I’m going to tell you how to prepare it.
You’ll want to cut away the fat, membranes, valves, tendons, and other connective tissue that doesn’t look very appetizing so that you’re only left with good, clean, dense muscle.
I suggest soaking the heart in a salty cold water bath to help draw out the blood from the heart. Discard the blood and then you can soak the heart in a bowl of water along with about a cup of apple cider vinegar to help tenderize it a little bit, or you can begin using it as is.
Dice the heart into bite-sized pieces, and sear in butter to make a nice hearty (ha ha ha) beef stew or chili.
Or, you might choose to slice the heart and fry it like you would steak. Heart can be braised or roasted in its whole form. It can also be popped in the crock pot like you would a beef roast—the sky really is the limit!
I happen to have a grass fed beef heart in my freezer. I heard that it was a very good meat and great in chili so I asked my in laws if I could have it when they butchered their beef animal. Everyone thinks I am a bit crazy.
My 10yo son and I cut up a pigs heart for the dogs recently and it just looked like nice red, lean steak. We are not as scared of the beef heart now. 🙂
My mother stuffed and cooked a beef heart at one time. It was when I was still a little picky and I didn’t eat it. Now, I am older and wiser and would like to do the same, but I don’t know where to start. Can you give us a recipe? Also, I remember enjoying “pickled beef tongue.”
I’m not surprised about this article because I was born in Lima, Peru and that is one of the traditional dishes called “Anticucho”. The beef heart is barbecued like a souvlaki and seasoned with “huacatay” chilli pepper sauce. It is absolutely delicious. On my recent trip in July I visited a very popular restaurant named “Grimanesa Vargas Anticuchos”, here is the link from TripAdvisor:http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g294316-d2463226-Reviews-Grimanesa_Vargas_Anticuchos-Lima_Lima_Region.html
It was absolutely delicious!!!
The pictures look delicious, but does it taste like liver? If so, is there a way to take away that irony taste?
Wouldn’t the saltwater soak also draw out nutrients?
I just cooked my first beef heart. I marinated it in ACV, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, and this TJs coffee marinade I had around (minimal amount of brown sugar but otherwise no funky ingredients). I sauteed some onions and mushrooms in some ghee, added the marinade, then added the sliced beef heart. I added a bit more ghee and a splash of sherry then cooked it all a bit longer. Oh, wow, so good.