The Heart of Yumminess
Like all offal, heart has been under-used for the past 50 years or so, but it's making a comeback (along with liver and tripe and sweetbreads). I recently discovered a big old beef heart in my freezer and it met my crock pot today, with excellent results. Heart requires long, slow cooking, but it's delightfully rich and satisfying when done well. It also comes with several convenient chambers, into which you can stuff MORE yumminess. Here is what I did with heart today, but experimentation on the basic premise of "stuff with yummy, cook in yummy" is encouraged.
1/2 small onion
4-5 mushrooms (any kind, but shiitake would be best)
3 slices bacon
minced garlic, about 2 cloves
Dice everything and sautee. Set aside.
Trim any extra fat and silverskin from the exterior of the heart and wash out the cavity. Make a seasoning rub:
3 large pinches salt
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
fresh ground pepper
Rub all over the inside and outside of the heart.
Stuff heart with the prepared stuffing mixture, and place in slow cooker. It's ok if some of the stuffing leaks out during cooking. Add red wine as needed and a few bay leaves. Turn on slow cooker and ignore for many hours.
When the meat is done remove the heart from the cooker and wrap in foil to keep it warm. Dump all the liquids from the cooker and any bits of stuffing into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce until the salt level is what you want for a sauce, then go just a touch further. Thicken if desired, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream and a shot of brandy. Oh yeah. A squirt of mustard is nice too.
Slice heart to serve and top with the sauce.