When All Else Fails: Beef Heart Tartare

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Where your lame flowers and trite cards produce desultory results, a raw, bloody bovine heart sends the message loud and clear. That, of course, is assuming the message is, “I love you up to and including $3.60 per lb.”(approximate rate of heart from my purveyor… come to think of it, you may want to tack on the cost of additional ingredients…)  If, on the other hand, you’re actually trying to win some affection or make her feel loved, you should probably go with diamonds, or really anything that costs more than $4. A Big Mac with fries, for instance.

Hmmm… On further reflection, serving your lady the heart of a large farm beast may in fact make her feel cheap and squeamish, so you may want to avoid it altogether  unless you really know what you’re doing, or you in fact don’t love her, and are perhaps a tad curious to observe her reaction after she learns what she just ate. Anyway… getting back on point…

If this looks or sounds less than romantic, I’m pretty confident it would seem much more… amorous if served in a heart-shpaed mold, which I don’t have, so you’re going to have to use your imagination because I’m not here to freaking impress you. Alternatively, a mold in the shape of a star, clover, etc. would theoretically make the dish more enticing as well. Hell, any of the Lucky Charms shapes should get the job done.

The preparation for this one, while quite simple, was made unnecessarily tedious due to the fact that I don’t currently have a meat grinder (one of these days, Elysia…), meaning I had to manually fine-chop the dense, tough heart employing the old-fashioned, or “stupid” method, being a mild pain in my ass, and a massive pain in my wrist.

After getting my arm workout in, I mixed the finely-chopped heart with a few egg yolks and some unorthodox (as is so often the case with what I make) Asian-inspired flavors: gluten-free soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, lemon zest/juice. Had it not been an extemporaneous application made with what I had on hand, I would have added ginger and sesame oil, but there’s always next time. A bed of fresh mixed greens tossed with some olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar served as a perfect companion.

While it’s certainly not a dish for the faint of heart (groaaaaaaan…), it serves as a fresh, tasty, nutritious twist for the adventurous offal eater… or, the unadventurous eater who simply doesn’t know what they’re eating (just tell them it’s steak, and I swear they’ll never know the difference). Happy Valentine’s Day!

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