"Most housekeepers get into a 'rut' and buy the same steaks, chops and roast each week, having no repertoire of cheaper dishes," an 1888 edition of Table Talk laments. The author suggests that "a beef's heart or a braised calf's liver make an excellent and economical change." Certainly beef heart is one of the more neglected pieces of meat. And this is indeed a sad fact. For beef heart, if properly cooked, is quite delicious -- and exceptionally nutritious.
Here's an economical and tasty recipe for braised beef heart from food.com. Serve this dish with a green salad and a crusty loaf of sourdough bread.
Braised Beef Heart
3 lbs beef heart
3 tablespoons onion soup mix
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 cube beef bouillon
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1. Trim any fat off the heart. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off any large pieces of the connective tissue around the top of the meat.
2. Roll into a roast form and tie with string.
3 Brown in the oil on all sides.
4. Put in a dutch oven and add the onion, cut into about 8 pieces, and all the other ingredients, except the bread crumbs.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4 hours, turning every hour.
6. After 2 hours, add the bread crumbs.
7. When done, remove heart and use an immersion blender or regular blender to smooth the gravy. If desired, you can thicken the gravy some more with a water and flour mixture, bringing it to the boil.
8. Slice the heart lengthwise into 1/4" slices.