Home is where the heart is

Ok, so a warning to everyone reading: This post is going to be offal. Which really is a bad name for it, and might be part of the reason we’re so queasy about the stuff. There is an argument that if we’re going to raise an animal for meat then we really should be less wasteful and eat as much of it as we can. Everything but the ‘moo’, so to speak.

We had two packs of beef hearts in our freezer. They’d been on sale for pennies, so we’d bought them and forgotten about them. Note, no matter how cheap something is, if you don’t use it you’ve just wasted your money, so as part of our clear-out, we were adamant that we would use them and use them asap.

Beef heart is, obviously, meat taken from the heart of a cow. And as ‘meat’ is really just muscle, then it sort of follows that the heart, the hardest-working muscle in a mammal, should be more than edible.

I have eaten offal before. I couldn’t stand the taste of kidney and I didn’t much care for the texture of liver, but I once made stuffed lamb hearts, and those were delicious.

However, as Google suggested that beef heart is tougher than lamb heart, I decided to dig out my slow cooker, which will be getting a lot more work over the next few months, because winter and slow cookers are best friends.

Slow cookers not only look after your food when you’re out, cooking it very economically, the long, low cooking also makes tough meat more tender.

I had some rendang sauce that I wanted to use, and some coconut milk that was… more than a little out of date. I’m not going to tell you how long past its best before it was, because I pretty much ignore best befores.

I cut the heart into strips, added it to the slow cooker and mixed in the rendang and coconut milk.

Then I left and went and did some other stuff whilst the little cooker did its thing.

Ok, so as it was, the sauce was fiery. When I tasted it it nearly blew my head off. I cooled it down with some tinned tomatoes and yogurt. A heck of a lot of yogurt. Then it was damn good, though I’m sure it’s not rendang any more.

A bit of rice to go with it, and then we ate.

The texture, thanks to the slow cooker, was just right. The taste was nice, if (not unexpectedly) quite irony. The first half was delicious, but it was very rich, and I found that I couldn’t manage to finish about half of what I’d made.

There’s plenty left and frozen away for future meals, but maybe I’ll spread it out with some more veg or something.

I wouldn’t say that I’d be rushing out to buy it, but nor would I balk if it was reduced again.

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