Okay lets dive in here, offal is a dirty word. Most people’s reaction to that I was cooking heart for our consumption that evening, looked at me like I was a little bit crazy (okay well I am a little..) and if I was actually serious… Or at least judging by my instagram feed it was! I hadn’t told B what I was making for dinner and when he came home from work, and lifted the pan lid he said it smelt very tasty… I almost served it under the guise of some sort of fancy game ragu but I chickened out upon serving and sweetly asked if he had eaten offal before…. Sadly B’s opinion wasn’t very high of offal and once I admitted the ragu was actually made of ox heart it was plainly obvious I was swiftly realising I was not onto a winning dish!
The idea to actually cook heart came about when me and my friend C went to a particular supermarket a bit further away and we both spotted it, then the price – £1.04 for 354g – a bit of a bargain and curiosity got the better of the cat, so to speak and it promptly took a ride in the trolley! I do try and keep our food budget down, what with everything else going up apart from our salaries and thought it was certainly worth a try at the price..
Now I must admit, whilst it was definitely edible and the sauce was actually gorgeously deep and delicious, the heart texture is an acquired taste. Very slightly chewy but I didn’t think it was anything worse than a slightly well done steak (which should be a criminal offence anyway!) and I managed to eat all of mine. B however picked all the bits of heart meat out and pushed them onto my plate. However there was a portion leftover going spare and I tubbed it for my dad, who apart from commenting it was a tiny bit salty for him was otherwise very tasty. You win some..you lose some..
Unfortunately I seem to have mislaid the most likely used envelope I had scribbled the recipe on – but it was approximately this –
354g Diced ox heart
400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 medium carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 large red Onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 rich beef stock pot, made up with a pint of hot water
Season the flour with salt and pepper, toss the ox heart pieces until lightly coated. Meanwhile heat a large deep sauté pan with the oil.
When hot, fry the ox heart until lightly browned, remove from the pan and add the onion, carrot and celery adding a little more oil if needed. Fry until lightly coloured, stir in the vinegar and allow it to evaporate a little, stir back through the ox heart pieces, the prepared stock and tomatoes, bring to the boil and then cover, allow to simmer away on a low heat for 2 hours with the occasional stir.
The sauce should thicken during cooking – season with salt and pepper if desired.
Serve with freshly cooked Tagliatelle – allow about 75g per adult. Grate a little parmesan over to garnish if you have some in too!