Captain Beefheart

We were at the Allentown Farmer’s Market the other day, and Anne bought half of a beef heart.

There was a heart for sale at the butcher shop a few weeks ago, and she was so intrigued she asked the butcher what you’d do with one (he recommended pickling it). She was going to buy it right then and there, but the look of horror on my face stopped her in her tracks. Fast forward a few weeks, and this time I guess I wasn’t paying close attention…

beef heart
Cleaning the heart before cooking.

When we got home she washed the heart off and slow-cooked it for a few hours, letting it simmer with a bunch of spices — the house smelled awesome — and when it cooled she cut the heart into chunks, put it in a pickling brine, and put it in the fridge.

Pickled Beef Heart
Pickled Beef Heart

It was ready to eat after a day or two, but we needed to work up our courage — we ended up trying it when we got home after an evening out. It was shockingly good, with a very strong steak taste behind the pickling, and a similarly steaklike texture (but no marbling). I think the both of us were surprised, and it’s now one of my favorite cuts of meat. Who knew?

The ancient ones, that’s who…

Sliced Pickled Beef Heart
Sliced Pickled Beef Heart