Beef Heart : A Complete Guide
BEEF HEART GUIDE INTRO
Beef Heart is not only extremely healthy with bioavailable nutrients like Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iron and Choline, Beef Heart is an extremely mild tasty cut that can be enjoyed just like a steak 'with benefits'.
Here is a look at the areas we will cover in today's comprehensive deep dive into all things Beef Heart related :
- What is Beef Heart
- What does Beef Heart Look Like?
- Beef Heart Nutrition
- Where to buy Beef Heart
- How to Buy Beef Heart
- How much is it?
- What does Beef Heart Taste Like?
- Can I eat the outer membrane?
- What is the texture of Beef Heart?
- How to Clean Beef Heart
- How to Cook Beef Heart
- 2 Beef Heart Recipes
- How to get Kids to eat Beef Heart
- Heart vs Liver
- Eating Raw Beef Heart
- Beef Heart for your Dog.
What is Beef Heart?
Beef heart, also known as Oxheart, is an organ meat cut. It is the heart of a cow which is responsbible for pumping its blood throughout its huge frame throughout its life. Avergae beef heart weights 3 to 4 lbs.
Beef Heart is nutrient-dense and delicious with many steak-like qualities.
Adding beef heart to your diet is a tasty way to boost your consumtion of bioavailable nutrients and a great way to embrace organ meats and nose-to-tail eating. This means that no part of the animal goes to waste, even the more undesirable cuts like organ meats.
What Does Beef Heart Look Like?
The beef heart’s appearance depends on how the meat is purchased. A skillful butcher can easily cut the beef heart to look like a steak by removing the outer membrane and other tendons leaving deep dark red lean meat. If you buy half a pound of heart meat trimmed, it will look completely different than purchasing the organ meat whole.
When you purchase the heart whole, it will be large, usually weighing anywhere between 4 to 6 pounds. You will be able to see the rigid, yellowish outer membrane (the pericardium), complete with tiny blood vessels and muscular top flaps called auricles.
Once the beef heart is sliced open, it will reveal lean, deep red meat, valves, and several small tendons known as chordae tendineae.
Halved or quartered beef hearts will look similar, with the interior boasting the same deep red hue.
Beef Heart Nutrition Benefits - Is It healthy?
Beef hearts are loaded with nutrients to keep your body healthy, including iron, protein, selenium, and zinc. It is pretty low in fat compared to other cuts of beef, with approximately 4 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving.
This organ meat also contains a substantial amount of complex B vitamins, like folate, riboflavin, and Vitamin B-12, that protect against heart disease and naturally improve energy levels.
Those who live with anemia may want to consume beef hearts to aid their Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Although, we believe anyone can benefit from incorporating beef hearts into their diet to fully reap the offal’s stellar nutrients.
Heart meat is incredibly valuable to those on a strict animal based diet such as the Carnivore Diet, Lion Diet, Paleo Diet.
Beef Heart Nutrition Profile
Based on 3-ounce serving and % of Recommended Daily Intake ( % RDI) for each nutrient.
- Saturated Fat 7%
- Cholesterol 71%
- Sodium 2%
- Potassium 6%
- Total Carbohydrates 0%
- Protein 27%
- Iron 68%
- Phosphorus 22%
- Copper 24%
- Folate 2%
- Selenium 48%
- Zinc 17%
- Riboflavin 61%
- Vitamin B12 383%
- Magnesium 6%
- Vitamin B6 17%
- Choline 36%
Vitamin B12 is the standout nutrient in Beef Heart at 383% of RDI
Where To Buy Beef Heart?
While it is unlikely to find beef hearts on the shelves of your go-to supermarket, you can purchase the organ meat from craft butchers or meat markets.
Another option is to source high quality beef hearts and other organ meats from online butchers like TruBeef Organic. You can have grass-fed, ethically sourced, organic beef hearts delivered straight to your doorstep in only a few days.
How To Buy Beef Heart?
You can purchase beef hearts in a number of ways, whether by the pound or simply cut into pieces. The most common ways to order the organ meat are whole, halved, or quartered. They can be left untrimmed, in their natural state, covered by the pericardium.
You can also request to have the beef hearts trimmed, meaning the butcher they will remove the outer membrane and other less desirable parts of the organ like the valves and tendons. This practice is typically employed by butchers when halving or quartering the Oxheart.
However, the outer membrane, valves, and tendons are 100% edible. So, we at TruBeef leave them on for our customers and when cooking beef hear for ourselves. They add to the offal’s unique texture and nutritional value.
How Much Is Beef Heart?
Beef Heart can cost anything from $4 per lb for conventially raised feedlot finished beef to $15/16 per lb for heart from an Organic Grass-Fed raised animal.
What Does Beef Heart Taste Like?
Beef hearts offer a robust beefy flavor comparable to that of a lean steak.
You will not have to worry about any weird first bites or smells when first eating a beef heart. It has a slightly gamey taste much like venison. Oxhearts are significantly more mild than other organ meat cuts like beef liver or beef kidney.
Can I Eat The Outer Membrane of Beef Heart?
In short, yes, you can eat the outer membrane of beef hearts known as the pericardium. Its role is to keep the organ in place and ensure it works properly.
The outer membrane is entirely edible, much like the inner valves, tendons, and auricles. It is quite tasty, especially when pan-fried or grilled.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper first to lightly season the outer membrane. Remember to always start cooking the membrane side down directly on the heat or open flame to render it down.
What Is The Texture of Beef Heart?
Beef hearts have a unique texture, unlike other organ meats, and are more like a sirloin steak. It has less of a chewy mouthfeel that you would find in beef kidneys.
The outer membrane, which is also edible, gets crispy when rendered down. When cooked correctly, the beef heart is not tough at all, with a pleasant, fork-tender texture.
How To Clean Beef Heart?
We often receive this question from our customers, so we wanted to address it in this comprehensive beef heart guide. You do not have to clean beef hearts before cooking them, other than the optional trimming depending on the recipe you choose. We personally do not clean our beef hearts and have never come across any issues although we do advise against eating raw for food safety reasons.
With that being said, we know that some people may feel more comfortable cleaning organ meats.
You can do this by allowing the beef heart to steep in a bowl filled with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and cold water for one hour.
You can also steep the meat in milk if you do not have apple cider vinegar on hand. Then, rinse the beef heart under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
How To Cook Beef Heart
After you clean and/or trim your beef hearts, it is time to get cooking! Even though organ meats like Oxheart seem intimidating, they are actually pretty easy to prepare.
Pro-tip : always face the outer membrane towards the flame or hotter side of the pan first. This will ensure the pericardium has time to render, creating a crispy exterior crust.
Some methods that you may use to cook beef hearts include:
- Pan-Frying – We absolutely love pan-fried beef hearts, so this method is our personal favorite. You will want to season the organ meat with salt and pepper. Then, lightly pan-fry with butter or ghee in a cast-iron.
Grilling – You may grill beef hearts using a cast-iron grill pan or outdoor barbecue. Generously season your meat and grill the heart on each side for 5 to 6 minutes. Leave it untouched in between flipping at the halfway mark.
Grilling Beef Heart over an open flame is our favorite way to enjoy its flavor and steaky texture.
- Crockpot or Instant Pot – Beef hearts taste finger-licking good when slow-cooked in a crockpot or instant pot. Coat the beef heart with salt and place it into the instant pot with any other ingredients like onions or celery. Pour water or beef stock over the meat with fresh herbs. Then, allow the beef hearts to cook for 75 minutes on a high-pressure setting.
- Oven Roasting – While this method is time-consuming, it produces yummy and juicy beef hearts. Place the offal on a baking sheet and cover it with tin foil before tossing it into a pre-heated 375-degree Fahrenheit oven. Let it roast for about 2 and a half to 4 hours. Once removed from the oven, allow it to rest for at least fifteen minutes before slicing. You may then serve it with your favorite side dish or incorporate the meat into a hearty, leafy green salad.
Two Easy Beef Heart Recipes
Below are two simple beef heart recipes that you can whip up at home.
Easy Beef Heart Recipe #1 – Slow Cooker Beef Heart Stew
Beef heart stew is a staple in Moroccan cuisine, although beef is occasionally substituted for lamb or mutton. These stews often feature ingredients like apricots, cinnamon, ground cardamom, and fresh ginger.
Beef hearts taste fantastic when slow-cooked, allowing the meat to tenderize to perfection while absorbing the stew or soup broth’s flavors.
The recipe below will be a bit simpler, but feel free to substitute the ingredients if you want to make a Moroccan-inspired beef heart stew.
- 2 lbs. of Beef Heart
- 1 lb. of Stew Beef
- Onion, diced
- Garlic, minced
- Beef Stock (bone broth, water, or vegetable stock are possible alternatives)
- Trim your beef heart if necessary and cut it into 1-inch cubed pieces.
- Season the meat with a lot of salt and black pepper. We like to combine cubed beef heart and stew beef for some variety.
- Place your diced onions and beef in the slow cooker. Top it with beef stock, minced garlic, and any aromatic fresh herbs.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook the beef heart stew on high for at least 4 hours.
- Serve the beef heart stew over a bowl of rice or with potatoes. You may also add your potatoes to the slow cooker for a straightforward one-pot meal.
Easy Beef Heart Recipe #2 – Pan-Fried Beef Heart
Pan-fried beef heart is as delicious as a juicy sirloin steak. They are best served at medium with a bright, pink center and crispy brown exterior crust. Fried Beef Heart is also super quick and easy to prepare, making it a terrific weeknight dinner meal.
- 2 to 4 lbs. of Beef Heart
- Butter (you may use cooking oil or ghee as an alternative)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Trim and butcher your beef heart as desired. Then, season the meat with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. We suggest slicing the beef heart into strips as it makes it significantly easier to work with.
- Place a cast-iron skillet on your stovetop at high heat. Toss butter, ghee, or cooking oil into the heated pan.
- Add your beef heart strips to the pan, allowing it to sear on each side for approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Once each side of the beef heart is lightly browned, remove them from the pan. Allow them to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Other Popular Beef Heart Dishes
If you are looking for some more exciting ways to incorporate beef hearts into your meals, check out the yummy dishes below.
- Grilled Beef Heart
- Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Beef Heart
- Peruvian Beef Skewers (Anticuchos de Corazon)
- Red Wine Braised Beef Heart
How To Get The Kids To Eat Beef Heart
We know that children tend to be the pickiest eaters on earth. Once you mention eating “beef heart,” they might instantly throw a tantrum or protest eating dinner altogether. With that being said, the organ meat is highly nutritious and helps your kids grow up healthy.
Luckily, you can easily disguise beef hearts to look like steaks by removing the membrane. Season the meat with plenty of salt and other spices you would typically use for steaks.
Then, pan-fry or grill the beef heart and pair it with your child’s favorite side dish (since you may feel a little bad for tricking them).
Another great option for kids or picky eaters who may be put off by the sight of organ meats for dinner would be Ancestral Blend.
Beef Heart vs. Beef Liver
Though beef heart and beef liver are both incredibly tasty and healthy organ meat cuts, they boast a slightly different nutritional profile. Beef hearts have a significantly higher concentration of certain minerals like iron and phosphorus.
On the other hand, beef liver is a greater source of protein, Vitamin A, and selenium. Both offal meats are an excellent source of complex B vitamins, such as Riboflavin and Vitamin B-12.
Beef Heart is definitely alot milder than Beef Liver and is closest to a lean steak.
You will also have to cook the organ meats in different ways. They also have a slightly different textures and mouthfeel, with the liver being slightly chewier.
Beef hearts tend to be a little more versatile to work with than liver, which tastes best when sauteed or pan-fried. Meanwhile, you may braise, pan-fry, or grill beef hearts. The offal meats also make a fine addition to stews.
Eating Raw Beef Heart
We have many customers who order our beef heart and eat it completely raw. There is a schoool of thought that eating raw organ meats including Heart preserves all the nutrients however we would caution against this for food safety reasons ie food poisoning.
Beef Heart for Dogs
Dogs adore nose-to-tail organ meats like beef hearts or beef kidneys. They offer our four-legged friends many nutritional benefits, including a rich vitamin B content that keeps their fur coat silky smooth and aids overall digestive health.
Beef hearts also contains immune-boosting zinc and phosphorus, a mineral that strengthens bones. This is especially beneficial if your pooch is on a raw food diet.
- Beef Heart is both tasty and healthy.
- Beef Heart is rich in Vitamin B12 and Iron.
- The outer membrane ie Pericardium can be eaten by rendering on a pan.
- The lean meat is a rich darm red color and has the texture of a lean steak.
- Heart can be fried, slow cooked, grilled or braised in a stew.
- Beef Heart is afforable.
- Heart meat is a wonderful addition to you dogs diet.