For valentine’s day: lamb’s hearts February 14, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Innards.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately even Valentine’s Day can be graphic when dealing with lamb’s hearts; don’t scroll beyond the orchid if you don’t want to see the photos!
Valentine’s Day is, of course, a time for sweets, chocolate and teddy bears. However, there are other romantic things – hearts, for example. I decided to create an edible and romantic Valentine’s Day feast, with the star ingredients being lamb’s hearts.
As with many muscles which do a lot of work before they reach the plate, hearts are best either cooked for a few minutes – as in this stir fry recipe from the indolent cook – or stewed for a long time. I decided to stew them for a few hours until they were tender.
To start with, I had to remove all the fatty tissue from the hearts. This was easier than I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised that they were still intact without any major cuts in them. Next time, I’ll have to try stuffing them.
I started by salting and peppering the hearts, then browned them on all sides. I had to turn them a few times to make sure all sides were browned.
When they were browned, I took them out of the pot and added sliced onions, celery, carrot, tomato, and turnips. I also added some spices: mustard, bay leaves and paprika. When the vegetables had softened for a bit, I added stock and red wine, then returned the hearts to the pot, so they were covered by the liquid.
And this is how I left them for about 2 hours, simmering gently on the stove. I checked it occasionally to make sure it wasn’t simmering too hard, and poked the hearts a few times to see how soft they were. It was almost 2 hours exactly when I decided they were ready.
Being Valentine’s Day, I decided to serve them in a suitably romantic way.
As well as being very romantic. these hearts were very delicious. I have had ox heart before, but had never tried lamb’s hearts. Texturally, they reminded me of tongue – softer and somehow more yielding than more standard cuts of meat – but still tasted very meaty and quite rich, with no offal-type taste. This make sense, as the heart is of course a muscle, not a gland or organ, but it is interesting as many people are quite squeamish about hearts when they are just another muscle. The vegetables had also taken on much of the hearty flavour and went very well in the dish.
Whatever you are planning for Valentine’s Day – whether you buy into the hype or not it’s always nice to do something for your significant other – remember, sometimes, all you need is a little bit of heart.