Heart of darkness

grilled beef heart

Six months ago I started my gig here as guest writer; my first post was about beef tongue and eating nose to tail and local. I wanted to end on a similar note by sharing another good meal of offal with you.

Initially I wanted to do beef brains because I’ve had them before and loved them. But apparently the government no longer allows anyone to eat beef brains…what a shame. I understand not eating beef brains from a cow you don’t know…but locally raised beef brains…what the heck. So Eric, my meat purveyor, and I discussed the various organ meats that are available and I decide that a beef heart would be perfect. The next week he brings me a 6 pound heart. Scottish Highland Cattle sure are big!

I didn’t expect it would be so bloody…duh! Why didn’t I think of that. The heart, resting on the counter would literally ooze blood…it totally freaked me out and really nothing much does that to me. But I bravely work it over, prepping it according to a Chris Cosentino recipe.

I put together the marinade and I have to admit, I was really skeptical that such a delicate, lightly flavored marinade would make much of an impact on this heart. But what do I know? 3 hours later I’ve got the grill sizzling hot and I throw the meat on, cook it to medium rare, cooked a few scapes on the side, tossed a salad and call the family to dinner.

By the time I make it to the table Alex has decided heart isn’t for him. Okay, he tried…good for him. Dave is eating his, he agrees that it’s oddly sweet and the texture is different but he liked it. I cut into mine and the first bite was more than I could take, texture-wise. The texture is sort of stiff, but also very fleshy. There is an odd sweetness to it but I assumed that’s the marinade. The funny thing is that it really didn’t have any flavor. I expected an incredibly big beefy flavor and it just didn’t have it. I ate about three bites and that’s all I could do.

Lovejoy, my 14 year-old corgi-canaan dog absolutely loved the heart. Because it’s so lean it actually makes a great meal for him and since he’s such a good, old dog, we love to spoil him. So nothing went to waste and I learned that my adventurous appetite has limits. Perhaps if I had eaten it in a restaurant I would have liked it more…the blood really did freak me out. Or perhaps if I’d sliced it thin, pounded it, breaded it and fried it, and then topped it with a pan sauce…maybe that would have been better.

I’ve enjoyed my chance to write for you all. I hope you’ve gotten something from it as well. This week over at What Geeks Eat… I posted about homemade burger buns that I really recommend you try.