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I've got one in my freezer. The whole heart. After a cool defrost...

How should I cook this heart o' cow?

Steaks are the only application that come to mind.

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Don't overcook or it will get tough –  Mark Schultheiss Jan 8 '13 at 16:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If it's from an animal that is "young at heart" (veal/calf), it may be tender enough to cut into thin strips and pan-fry or grill quickly as "steaks." Don't overcook, or they will be really tough, and you'll be heartbroken.

But to get to the heart of the matter, if it's really an adult beef heart, it's too tough and chewy to cook quickly. Braising is my preferred method and the one closest to my heart. This is one of those things can cook all day and will eventually become incredibly tender -- tasting like a slightly unusual and hearty pot roast.

You can also stuff them and then either braise or roast them -- again, "low and slow" heat is the most heart-friendly. If you roast it, also be sure there is enough moisture in the stuffing (i.e., leave a "soft spot" in your heart), or else it can dry out during a long bake. (You can also "roast" it in a dutch oven or something.) When you open up your heart after cooking, a dry stuffing will just leave you with a heavy heart.

A final option is to use it as stew meat. It will take longer to cook than most stew meats, so you might want to simmer for a while first before adding vegetables. Then cook until the flavors come together and your heart's content.

Once, when I had leftovers after making a stuffed heart, I was just going eat it, but then I had a change of heart. I chopped up the tender meat and added it to chili. It probably was about 1/3 of the overall meat in the chili, along with some diced chuck chunks and some ground beef. It came out incredibly good: there was a deep earthy flavor that really worked well. I served it to a number of friends without explaining the dish, and they didn't notice anything unusual; I didn't have the heart to tell them. In fact, a number of people said it was some of the best chili they had tasted, which was really heartwarming to hear.

Take heart! There are lots of ways to cook it. Any slow-cooking method or recipe you might use for a tough cut of beef will probably work -- just follow your heart.

(I am actually serious about all of these methods -- but, okay, truly sorry about the puns. From the bottom of my....)

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2  
I like the cut of your jib. –  Sobachatina Jan 8 '13 at 20:11
    
you could also consider grinding it for use in other preparations to utilize it's nice mineral-y flavor. –  Brendan Jan 9 '13 at 18:21
    
What a nice, heartfelt answer. –  JWiley Jan 15 '13 at 16:50

You can find in some sites a method you would like, such as Site 1 or Site 2.

But as a personal experience, we chop the heart it into cubes. In a frying pan put some olive oil, slice an onion or two; then place the heart. After being a little brown, add some lemon juice. Let them boil for 10 min, then pour in hte serving dish. Upon serving you could add some Sumac spice.

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One of my favourite dishes as a kid was stuffed lambs hearts but these were tender enough to be roasted and the fat in the stuffing helped to cook the heart.

Hearts are hard tightly packed muscle with very little fat to help cook them. Pig, calf and lamb hearts are tender enough to be cooked with a stuffing which includes some form of fat, but ox and cow beef hearts are simply too tough to cook that way and need to be treated as a tough cut of meat and braised until tender.

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