Nothing but love for beef heart
By: Leanne Ely
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 liver.
If it helps, go ahead and think of 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 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 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!