This was my first time cooking beef heart. My logic was this: “Heart, while offal, is a muscle, not a gland. A hard working muscle, at that. I guess I’ll braise it.”
In hindsight, probably not the best way to cook beef heart. The final dish was okay: it was tender, but a bit dry. This makes sense, as heart has no intramuscular fat, and I trimmed away what little fat there was on the outside.
The heart’s texture really surprised me. Raw heart has no visible grain, almost as if it were a very firm, nebulous liver. A few people had told me that heart is not a very “organy” meat. Michael Ruhlman goes so far as to say … Continue reading.
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
–Address to a Haggis, Robert Burns
Haggis: unquestionably the king of the Scots kitchen. Rarely eaten, much maligned, completely misunderstood.
Haggis is made of a sheep’s pluck, which is a tidy term for the lungs, heart, and liver. Traditionally these parts would be boiled, ground, mixed with oats and onions, then stuffed into a cleansed sheep’s stomach, making what is essentially a large, round sausage.
Sheep are rarely brought to maturity in North America, so all the offal I used was from a lamb. Lamb bits are smaller and milder in flavour than sheep bits.
Most of the ingredients are easier to obtain than you might … Continue reading.