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Beef Heart processing question

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I eat a lot of beef heart. Sometimes the beef heart has a funky taste and smell to it. I have also noticed black spot in the heart, which I assume is dried blood. My hypothesis is that beef heart needs to be processed correctly in order for it not to smell or taste funky. This processing should involve draining the blood from the heart so that it doesn't congeal in the heart.

Does anyone else have the same experience? Do people agree with me?

9b2e3130786c8c33ae0ec7439c277e0f

(280)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Every meat processor I know does this way- people have the option though of asking for the organs ahead of time (so hanging on the carcass is optional. Most of the time organs are treated with warm water and a lactic acid (or other antimicrobial) solution to prohibit ecoli growth before being moved to a cooler.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on August 08, 2012
at 07:39 PM

ewww, if you have a butcher that hangs heart, I think they're doing it wrong. The organ meats should not be hanging with the meat. They should all be immediately removed and then soaked in cold water specifically to get the blood out. It usually takes a couple soaks for a heart, more for a liver.

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5 Answers

1
0b07ab133c4511774b8ae80cfaef4c0f

on August 08, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Blood remaining in the meat will turn it and make it taste odd. Sometimes during the slaughtering of the animal blood will speckle the heart meat, it could be due to the trauma or if the carcass was not bleed quickly. That is what the "black spots" are.

1
07243c7700483a67386049f7b67d90a4

on July 07, 2012
at 12:45 PM

Your beef heart is going off sometimes due to blood remaining in the tissue after slaughter. Blood will turn the meat very quickly, with the difficulties in removing blood from the heart and it's low value mean that greater care in purchase may be necessary. The black bits are blood BTW.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on July 07, 2012
at 10:58 AM

The last time I had heart, I used it to make liver pate. The trick to both the liver and the heart is not to overcook them. Think lightly seared, very rare on the inside.

I soaked both in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes to let the blood and other stuff out of it, and rinsed in the middle, then when ready, removed all the silver skin off them. The liver had a very light smell to it, almost like grape fruit, and I was very tempted to try to eat it raw. Maybe one day I'll work up the courage to do so. :)

I used this recipe here: http://farmlet.co.nz/?p=199 using both the heart and liver instead of just liver and ghee instead of butter. I probably used a lot more ghee, garlic, and wine than the recipe calls for.

Once the sauce reduces down a bit, I add the heart and liver, and I don't let it cook for very long, just let it get lightly coated in the sauce and cook it only for a few minutes on all sides before killing the heat and putting it all in the food processor.

I dump this into a pyrex container, and top it with tons of ground pepper. You can also add some cocoa powder and/or cinnamon. Once cooled, it goes in the freezer, so it can last a long time.

I occasionally chisel out a hunk of it using a knife, and put it in my lunch - since it's frozen, it keeps the rest of the lunch, usually a salad, cold, and by the time I'm ready to eat it, it's nicely thawed. It has a somewhat cheese like flavor to it, but it's really good.

1
0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on July 07, 2012
at 10:28 AM

I haven't noticed it with the hearts I've eaten yet, but I got a cow tongue once that smelled like a stinky barn. After slow-cooking it was fine, but it did kinda turn me off from buying tongue for a bit.

I like to trust my nose when it comes to food, so eating something that smelled like it was marinated in manure and then rinsed off before packaging doesn't seem quite right. That's probably just the smell of a cow's mouth, but...eh.

I eat a lot of heart, too. It comes already sliced for $1.99/lb where I get it, and I've probably had it a dozen times now. It's conventional, but I just trim any fat the butcher might have missed. I prefer to cook it medium-rare like a steak in the cast iron pan. Good stuff!

1
9b2e3130786c8c33ae0ec7439c277e0f

on July 06, 2012
at 11:21 PM

I kind of wonder if your beef heart is dry aging with the carcass. When you hang a beef in the cooler usually the organs hang with it until it is time to process the beef- it could be the time it's sitting in the cooler. I am not sure how all slaughter houses do it- but you might be able to ask for it to be packaged right after it is slaughtered. If the slaughter house has unstable temperatures- that can change the meat too. Not to mention- Slaughter facilities have a sort of smell to them that the hearts might be taking up a little (like where it hangs in the cooler might have something to do with it).

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on August 08, 2012
at 07:39 PM

ewww, if you have a butcher that hangs heart, I think they're doing it wrong. The organ meats should not be hanging with the meat. They should all be immediately removed and then soaked in cold water specifically to get the blood out. It usually takes a couple soaks for a heart, more for a liver.

9b2e3130786c8c33ae0ec7439c277e0f

(280)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Every meat processor I know does this way- people have the option though of asking for the organs ahead of time (so hanging on the carcass is optional. Most of the time organs are treated with warm water and a lactic acid (or other antimicrobial) solution to prohibit ecoli growth before being moved to a cooler.

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