Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Heart Lamb Heart



I have a friend whose meat CSA has a cooler full of $1 parts such as hearts and tongue. Clearly they haven't gotten the memo about offal.

Like lobster and countless other foods that were once thought of as edible when necessary, offal has gone from rags to riches. To get a sense of the popularity of these non-meat cuts of meat, just google "the offal truth." That gives you a glimpse of how much it's being talked about, plus it's fun to see how many people thought that they invented the (admittedly clever) phrase.

But back in my world, two lamb hearts still cost a dollar. I adapted a recipe from Nose to Tail and braised the hearts on the stovetop with a cornbread stuffing (and by "adapted" I mean "left out lots of bacon").

The stuffing and the braising liquid were both the results of some serious scrounging. Ingredients included over-fermented cider and chopped up bits of Tom-Tom Turkey Sticks. Before there were in-sink-erators, there was braising.

Besides timidly nibbling chicken parts in gravy, these were my first real hearts. I won't share the recipe since it wasn't an unmitigated triumph, and the next time I'd probably try roasting or oven braising. But they did turn out well and I'd eat them again. The texture was quite nice - between steak and liver - as was the appearance. Sliced into cross sections, the stuffed chambers made for an attractive semi-spiral.

Also, cramming the stuffing into the heart provided a good visual aid for what it might be like to eat too many fatty foods.

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20 comments:

Karen B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen B said...

Simon Hopkinson writes beautifully on offal in "Roast Chicken and other Stories". I would eat anything he told me to.

Jay said...

I remember eating at an Argentinian (I think) steakhouse in Israel (kosher too so probably not that authentic) where the mixed grill included steak, kidney, udder, and chicken intestines. All delicious.

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