Long ago, primitive tribes believed that eating heart gave them strength and courage. Today, few of us bother to test that theory. It's our loss, because heart is tender and has a very delicate flavor. It's also quite inexpensive, thanks to its lack of popularity. To prepare it, you should rinse it in cold water, then cut out any blood vessels and connective tissue. Veal or lamb heart is delicious if you sauté or grill it until it's medium rare. If you cook it until it's well done, it becomes very tough. Alternatively, you can cook heart slowly using moist heat.
beef heart Equivalents: One heart = 3 - 4 pounds. Notes: Beef heart is too tough to be sautéed or grilled, but it becomes very tender and delicious if cooked slowly using moist heat. You can buy it sliced or whole. Substitutes: veal heart (half the size) OR lamb heart (one-fourth the size) OR pork heart (one-third the size)
lamb heart Notes: Like veal heart, lamb heart is tender and delicate. You can grill or sauté it as long as you don't overcook it, or cook it slowly using moist heat. Substitutes: veal heart (three times as large) OR pork heart
pork heart Notes: Pork hearts are a bit smaller than veal hearts. They're best cooked using moist heat, say by braising them or cooking them in a stew. Substitutes: lamb heart OR veal heart
veal heart = calf heart Notes: Veal heart is tender and delicate enough to be grilled or sautéed, though it becomes tough if overcooked. You can also cook it slowly using moist heat. Substitutes: lamb hearts (one-half the size) OR pork heart OR beef heart (twice as large and too tough to be cooked using dry heat)
Copyright © 1996-2005 Lori Alden