I bought a hardcore electric meat grinder from Amazon (one used for the BARF diet for pets, intended to grind both meat and bone) and have been putting it to use by buying beef hearts in bulk from my local grocery store. I prep the hearts (cutting off sinew) and grind them up, about 30lbs at a time (9-10 hearts). I separate the meat into sandwich-sized tupperware containers, using about half a container per meal and taking containers out of the freezer as needed. I cook with it just like regular ground beef, and no one who eats it is none the wiser. Those facial expressions after telling them what they ate are, however, priceless. It tastes fantastic, has tons of micro-nutrients that regular muscle meat does not have, including coenzyme-Q10 and an array of B vitamins, but when ground it tastes like muscle meat. In my opinion, it has the benefits of eating organ meat while tasting like muscle meat. Then I got to thinking about it, and realized that the heart is basically a very hardworking muscle, therefore it makes sense it tastes like a muscle.
The very first time I braved beef heart, I sliced it into steak-like pieces and spiced the meat like a steak, then tossed them on the grill. Those came out very similar to deer meat, which I love, because having grown up in Texas deer meat is kind of a treat.
The basic nutrition profile for beef heart is 110 calories, 4g of fat, .1g of carbs, 18g of protein per 100grams. By comparison, 100grams of chicken breast has 110 calories, 1g fat, 0 carbs, 23g of protein.
edited to answer a question below I buy it from my local H.E.B. in Austin, Texas, at the Riverside Dr. location for $1.69 a pound. At the same store, ground chicken breast is $3 a pound and cuts of beef are $2.97 and up. An average heart is ~3 lbs. The butchers have no problem making a bulk order just for me. At the moment my contact's name is Oscar, one of the managers in the meat department. It is not labeled as organic or grass fed, and to be honest it hasn't even occurred to me to ask if that's available, as I've just become accustomed to that being out of my price range as a college student. Wouldn't hurt to ask though! My local Wal-Mart, 'Fiesta' grocery store, and a relatively close Latin grocery store called 'El Ranchero' do not sell whole beef hearts. Fiesta sells pre-sliced beef heart, but the packaging was below-par and it was being sold at about $1/lb more. The entire meat department there had a terrible smell and it's not a place I intend to shop. I have not checked Whole Foods.
I stumbled upon a Youtube video last week about making tallow from the beef heart sinew, fat and cartilage. I look forward to doing this for the first time. I typically cook with coconut oil, but beef tallow would be fun to cook with too.
Beef heart has become my staple meat source instead of chicken. My meat grinder was an investment, but I think it will pay for itself over time. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and ask - Is beef heart Awesome?
asked byWhit (30)
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