This beef heart stew recipe is tender and flavorful. It's the best way to enjoy the benefits of an animal part which can otherwise be tough and gummy.
I like to eat organ meats because I believe that for meat-eaters, it's a matter of doing the right thing ethically to eat the entire animal. Eating just the muscle meat of the animals we kill for our nourishment is wasteful and irresponsible.
I've been making this beef heart stew recipe often lately, almost twice a month. It's easy to make, tasty, and good for you. I make it mostly for the grownups - the kids are not fans of its strong flavor.
What does beef heart taste like?
It has a strong flavor and a pleasantly firm texture. Although it is stronger-flavored than muscle meat, its flavor is milder than other organ meats (except perhaps beef tongue).
So if you'd like to experiment with eating offal, this recipe is a good place to start. And another pleasant way to eat organ meat is this delicate, tasty chicken liver mousse.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Beef heart: You can't typically find it in the United States in supermarkets. I either order it online or ask the butcher at Whole Foods to special-order it for me.
Beef stock: Store-bought is fine - just check the ingredients to make sure they look OK.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Cumin, paprika, and oregano. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Butter: I use it to thicken the cooking juices into a rich gravy.
Chopped parsley: used purely for garnish. But it does make this brownish dish look prettier...
How to cook beef heart?
As you can probably imagine, it's a tough muscle. To make it edible, you need to either slow cook it as I do here, or you can slice it into "steaks" and flash fry - no more than 30 seconds per side, keeping it rare. If you overcook it, it will be tough and inedible.
In contrast, chicken hearts can be simply pan-fried in olive oil and spices, and they come out tender and delicious.
Although I do occasionally make steaks, a stew is my favorite way to prepare this cut. It's tender and very flavorful.
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Cut the heart into 1-inch cubes and place them in your slow cooker.
Add the beef broth and the spices.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Strain the cooking liquids into a saucepan and place the meat back in the slow cooker, cover and set to warm.
Cook the liquids with the butter until they reduce into a rich gravy. Serve the meat with the gravy, garnished with parsley.
What side dishes go with beef heart stew?
Since it's a saucy dish, I like to serve it on top of something that would soak up those yummy juices.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them very gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Beef Heart Stew
- 1 beef heart (1.5 lb.)
- 1 cup beef stock
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Prepare the heart by trimming the fat. The heart that I get at US Wellness Meats has a very thin layer of fat, so I don't bother trimming any further. Some recipes instruct you to devein the heart, but I find that slow cooking takes care of any tough parts, so there’s no need to trim them.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the heart into 1-inch cubes. Place them in the slow cooker.
- Add the beef stock. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and oregano.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Use a slotted spoon to temporarily transfer the stew to a plate, and strain the cooking liquids into a saucepan. Return the beef to the slow cooker, cover, and set to warm.
- To the liquids in the saucepan, add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking often, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the beef heart to plates. Top with the sauce, garnish with parsley and serve.