Matters of the heart
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This is my contribution to the HotM#7 Fruit & Berries - event.

Let me talk about some new experiences. A while ago, when experimenting for a cooking contest called “innards” I came into contact with some recipes and ingredients which so far couldn’t be found on my bill of fare. In doing so, I learned a great deal of new things and I’ve shed many a prejudice.

Recently, in a German TV cooking show they were frying a calf’s heart and everybody with at least a trace of taste enthused about it. Shortly afterwards I found a similar recipe in a German chef’s newsletter. I couldn´t help doing it any longer– I ordered a calf’s heart at the butcher’s.

When I unpacked the heart I did feel a little queasy. A heart is a very special organ. On the one hand it’s innards but on the other hand it’s pure muscle. This heart was well cleaned. I removed all skins and strings until there were only pure, lean pieces of meat in different sizes left. After all they weighed about 500 grams.

Now the meat is sorted in thickness and thin ends are cut off. With the thin snippets you can cook a wonderful sauce, for example with noodles.

For making a variety of Boeuf Stroganoff calf’s heart is also a very good choice. It’s very tasty with a sour or a sweet sauce. The fried meat’s taste is very mild and is reminiscent of liver. It has a medium firm structure.

As a course in a menu one calf’s heart is enough to serve 4 plates. Additionally, you can cook a very nice sugo for four persons with the thin cut-offs.

Calf's heart with Balsamico and pearl onions

Category: veal lights/innards
Serves: 4
Recipe source: based on a recipe by Vincent Klink

1 calf's heart, approx. 650 g
2  shallots
12 pearl onions (or small shallots)
1 clove of garlic
250 ml bouillon
1 tbsp. black currant marmelade
2 tbsp. Balsamico
125 ml red wine
2 tbsp. butter
vegetable oil
salt, pepper

Clean the calf's heart. Use only pure and lean pieces with about the same thickness. You can use the small and thin pieces for cooking something else, for example a pasta sauce.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C with circulating air. Roast the meat pieces shortly on all sides in a pan with a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. Then fry it in the oven for an additional 12 minutes. Remove the heart pieces from the oven, season with salt and pepper and wrap them in aluminium foil. Let them rest in a warm place for about 15 min.

Finely dice two shallots and the garlic clove and fry them with some oil in another pan until they turn golden. Now add the black currant marmelade and deglaze with the bouillon and the Balsamico. Add the peeled pearl onions and let them simmer.

Loosen all browned food particles stuck to the first pan with the red wine and pour the liquid into the pearl onion's pan. Let the mixture boil down until it is syrupy or slightly thicken with potato flour which is first dissolved in a little cold water.

Slice the heart pieces thinly and arrange them on plates. Season with Fleur de sel and ground black pepper. Add the onion and Balsamico sauce.

A buttery potato puree corresponds very well with this recipe.

A piece of advice:
The heart's structure will be medium firm. If you like the heart to be soft and tender use the low-temperature-method: after shortly frying simmer the heart pieces for 3 or 4 hours at maximum 75 - 80 degrees C in the oven.

I think it would be great to add some fresh black currants to the sauce too.
Don't worry too much about the buttery potato puree - it's so delicious that everybody's heart will jubilate.
Instead of the butter you could use Swedish butter oil, a rape-seed oil with butter flavour as well, or (ok, this would be the best) you take a native olive oil. These are heart healthy alternatives that you easily can make to many dishes.

Give heart a try. After all, cooking with calf’s heart is a very delicious, easy and reasonable affair.

Geschrieben von Franz um 11:32 | in: recipes in English
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Unbenannter Kommentar
I love calf heart but I haven't had it for such an incredibly long time, my mother and I used to feast on it when I lived at home. Thanks for reminding me and thanks for this entry!
Geschrieben von Anonymous um 07:51, 23.09.2007 | Link | |
Unbenannter Kommentar
That was me!

Ilva - www.luculliandelights.com
Geschrieben von ilva um 07:52, 23.09.2007 | Link | |

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