As I mentioned last time, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to more consistently eat paleo “superfoods.” I’m aiming for at least once a week. Organ meats are an easy place to start keeping that resolution. With all of the health benefits they offer (the B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin D, iodine, zinc, CoQ10, etc., etc. — check out this great post from The Paleo Mom for more details), these are truly the unsung heroes of the freezer case.
Heart, in particular, is a nice introduction to learning how to eat the odd bits. It’s muscle meat, just like steaks or ribs which are so familiar to us: the flavor of heart is really just an especially ‘beefy’ roast beef. The long, low and slow cooking that the sous vide provides makes the meat deliciously tender. (This dish can also be made in the slow cooker, but I find using the sous vide provides a very tender texture.)
My favorite way to serve beef heart is in romesco sauce. One of the loveliest, most versatile sauces I know, it comes from the Catalan region of Spain. Like any good traditional recipe, romesco has many variations. Some versions use tomatoes, some use bread, but just about all feature sweet peppers, garlic and almond flour.
Prepared in the sous vide, the flavors of the vegetables and meat infuse one another so that each bite holds the essence of all the ingredients. Here, I’ve blended the vegetables with the juices from the meat, which gives the sauce a deep velvety brown color. For a thicker, more colorful sauce, when you open the packet, pour off the meat juices and puree the veggies. Depending on which pepper you have used, the sauce will take on that color.
(Don’t discard the juices: pour them into a saucepan, and cook over medium high heat until the volume is reduced by half. Drizzle a bit of this over the beef. It is delicious.)
- Beef heart, approximately 3 lbs
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
- 4 sweet bell peppers, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- Preheat sous vide to 185 degrees.
- Rinse the heart and pat dry. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the paprika, parsley, salt and pepper over the meat, making sure all sides of the heart are coated.
- In a sous vide pouch, combine the heart, onions, bell peppers, garlic and oil. With the vacuum sealer, seal the bag shut.
- Place pouch in the sous vide. Allow to cook for 24-36 hours. Remove pouch from sous vide and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- When cooled, open pouch and remove heart; set aside. Pour vegetables, cooking juices and almond flour into a high-speed blender and puree for 15-20 seconds, or until a smooth sauce has formed.
- Slice the heart into portions approximately 3/4" thick. When ready to serve, top slices of heart with a spoonful of sauce.