Monday, October 15, 2012

A good heart is hard to find

Couldn't stop myself with the pun (see here)

It is not often that Mr T and myself are going to town but last Saturday was such a day. We had a lovely breakfast in Nash19 - delicious by the way - and strolled through town. The English Market is always a must when in town and I stocked up at Mr Bells. We were of course also discussing what we would have for dinner that night. Believe it or not, Mr T was fancying a lamb stew for Saturday evening dinner.... so since we were already near Bresnan's - we got some lamb pieces. But our heart skipped a beat (can't help myself today with the puns) when we saw that Bresnan's also had a beef heart on display. After discussing several options on how to cook it (I never cooked one before), we decided to give it a try. The heart came to €4.50 which could feed around 4 people for a dinner. The butcher was removing the tubes and nasty bits so that we had a lovely piece of meat.

I spent Saturday evening going through my cookbooks to find recipes for heart. A lot of them mentioned heart but no recipes. Until I came to Darina's Forgotten Skills book - there was a recipe for stuffed heart. Since I am not a person to follow recipes, I just took the basic details - that it would need about 3.5 hours of cooking time and got to work myself. Here is my version of a stuffed heart (by the way, Mr T omitted spuds and vegs and ate the whole thing himself).

You will need:

1 beef heart (make sure your butcher removes all 'nasty' bits)
Heart before roasting
200g mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves (crushed)
Parsley, chives, sage, all finely chopped
Fresh Breadcrumbs
Butter & Oil
Beef or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 160C.

In a frying pan, heat the butter and oil and saute the onions until translucent and just starting to caramelise. Add the garlic  and continue to fry until rawness of the garlic is gone. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are short of taking colour. Take from the heat and put into a bowl.

Add the chopped herbs and season. Mix well. Add enough breadcrumbs to make the stuffing (the amount of breadcrumbs is really done to you - depending on how you like your stuffing).

Heart ready to eat
Sprinkle the inside of the heart with some salt and stuff with the mushroom mix (you might have to cut the inside of the heart to make more room). If needed, secure with twine. Place the heart in an ovenproof dish, pour the hot stock in and cover with some foil that has been oiled/buttered. Roast it for 3-3.5 hours.

The stock will have reduced a bit - so it will be perfect for gravy. Serve with roast potatoes and veggies. 

This is not the prettiest dish but it is hearty (sorry - last pun for today).

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