This wonderfully tender and flavorful beef heart stew is made in the slow cooker. It's an excellent way to enjoy an animal part that can otherwise be tough and gummy.
I've been making this tasty stew often lately, almost twice a month. It's easy to make and it's so hearty and flavorful. I do make it mostly for the grownups, though. The kids are not fans of its relatively strong flavor.
I like to eat organ meats because I enjoy their flavor and texture (except for kidneys, I just can't get used to that), and also 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 animal is wasteful and irresponsible.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this beef heart stew. 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...
So how do you cook a beef heart in the slow cooker? The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
First, you cut the heart into 1-inch cubes and place them in your slow cooker. Then you add beef broth and spices.
Now cover the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours.
The next step is to strain cooking the liquids into a saucepan and place the meat back in the slow cooker, cover, and set to warm.
The final step is to cook the liquids with some butter until they reduce into a rich gravy. Serve the meat with the gravy, garnished with parsley.
As you can probably imagine, the heart is 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 beef heart steaks, a stew is my favorite way to prepare this cut. It's tender and very flavorful.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! It's edible and very tasty as long as you cook it correctly - either cut it into steaks and quickly grill or fry them or slow-cook it until it's very tender.
It has a gamey 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 pate.
The heart is 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 on high heat, it will be very tough.
Recommended side dishes
Since it's a saucy dish, I like to serve this stew on top of something that would soak up those yummy juices.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them very gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
👩🏻🍳 I typically publish a new or an updated recipe once a week. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe! You can unsubscribe at any time.
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 actually don't bother trimming any further.
- 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.