This tender and flavorful beef heart stew is made in the slow cooker and seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano.
It's an excellent way to enjoy a cut that can be tough and gummy. Slow cooking makes it perfectly tender!
I've been making this beef heart recipe often. It's easy to make, hearty, and flavorful.
It's a simple recipe. You cube the heart, add spices and broth, and cook it in the slow cooker. Reduce the cooking liquids to create a tasty gravy, and serve!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this beef heart 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 order it online or ask the Whole Foods butcher to special-order it.
- Beef stock: Store-bought is fine.
- To season: Kosher salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano.
- Butter: I use it to thicken the cooking juices into rich gravy.
- Cornstarch: A small amount to help thicken the cooking liquids.
- Chopped parsley: Used as garnish.
- Smoked paprika is a good substitute for regular paprika in this recipe. I like the smoky flavor it adds.
- Thyme can successfully replace the oregano in this recipe. I tried both and liked them equally.
- Sometimes I use cilantro instead of parsley.
The detailed instructions for making this beef heart recipe are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Cut the heart into 1-inch cubes. (Photo 1).
- Place the cubes in your slow cooker pan. Add beef broth. (Photo 2).
- Add spices. (Photo 3).
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. (Photo 4).
- Use a slotted spoon to temporarily transfer the cooked heart to a plate, and strain the cooking liquids into a saucepan. Return the meat to the slow cooker, cover, and set to warm. (Photo 5).
- Cook the liquids with butter until they reduce into rich gravy. You can add cornstarch to speed things up. (Photo 6).
- Serve the stew with the gravy, garnished with parsley. (Photos 7,8).
The heart of a cow works hard and is a tough muscle. To make it edible, you need to either slow cook it as I do here or slice it into "steaks" and flash fry them - no more than 30 seconds per side, keeping the meat rare. Overcooking will make this cut tough and inedible.
In contrast, chicken hearts can be simply pan-fried in olive oil and spices and come out tender and delicious.
Yes! It's edible and delicious as long as you cook it correctly - either cut it into steaks and quickly grill or fry them, or slow-cook it until very tender.
Beef heart has a gamey flavor and a pleasantly firm texture. Although it is stronger-flavored than muscle meat (such as ribeye steak), its flavor is milder than other organ meats, except beef tongue, which is milder.
So if you'd like to experiment with eating offal, this recipe is a good place to start.
When cooking it low and slow, as we do here, there's no need for a marinade. If pan-frying or broiling, a marinade that combines acid, oil, and spices can help tenderize the meat and flavor it.
Since this is a saucy dish, I like to serve it on top of something that would soak up those yummy juices. Here are some options:
- Mashed cauliflower
- Cauliflower rice
- Zucchini noodles
- Baked spaghetti squash
- Mashed butternut squash
- Shirataki noodles
- Hearts of Palm pasta
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.
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Beef Heart Recipe
- 1 beef heart (1.5 pounds)
- 1 cup beef stock
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped, for garnish
- If the heart comes with a thick layer of fat, lightly trim it (but don't go nuts about it; you can leave a thin layer of fat).
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the heart into 1-inch cubes. Place them in the slow cooker pan.
- Add the beef stock. Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Use a slotted spoon to temporarily transfer the heart to a plate, and strain the cooking liquids into a saucepan. Return the meat to the slow cooker, cover it, and set it to warm.
- Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of cold water to the liquids in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat as soon as the sauce thickens.
- Transfer the beef heart to plates. Top with the sauce, garnish with parsley and serve.
- The heart is a tough muscle. To make it edible, you must either slow cook it as I do here or slice it into "steaks" and flash fry them.
- Some recipes instruct you to devein the heart, which is helpful when you flash-cook it. But slow cooking softens the tough parts, so trimming them is unnecessary.
- Trimming a thick layer of fat is easier if you cube the heart and then use a knife to trim the fat off some of the cubes.
- You can thicken the cooking liquid by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water directly to the slow cooker pan at the end of cooking. Mix in this slurry, cover, and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.
- Keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.