Beef heart stew is tender and flavorful. It’s the best way to enjoy the health benefits of beef heart, which can otherwise be tough and gummy.
I’ve been making this beef heart stew often lately, almost twice a month. It’s easy to make, tasty, and very healthy.
What does beef heart taste like?
Beef heart 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, beef heart is a good place to start. And this beef heart stew is a great way to go about it. Another pleasant way to eat organ meat is this delicate, tasty chicken liver mousse.
How to cook beef heart?
As you can probably imagine, beef 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 beef heart, 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, beef heart stew is my favorite way to prepare beef heart. It’s tender and very flavorful.
Is beef heart good for you?
Yes. Just like all organ meats, beef heart is incredibly nutritious. I should add that for meat eaters, it’s also a matter of doing the right thing ethically to eat the entire animal. Eating just the muscle meat of the animals we kill is wasteful and irresponsible.
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. So I almost always serve beef heart stew on a bed of mashed cauliflower, then add a green side such as roasted Brussels sprouts.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat the leftovers very gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
Beef Heart Stew
- 1 beef heart (1.5 lb.)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 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 in the slow cooker.
- Add the stock. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and oregano.
- 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 skillet. Return the beef to the slow cooker and set to warm.
- To the liquids in the skillet, add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking often, until the sauce thickens, 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the beef heart to plates. Top with the sauce, garnish with parsley and serve.