Monday, August 3, 2009

It Tastes Nothing Like Chicken

I met Pete at the Logan Square Farmers Market this Sunday and he told me he loved our lamb hearts! He shared with me how he prepared them and it sounded so divine that I asked him to share with all of our blog readers. So here is Pete's recipe in all its glory:

Lamb Hearts with Summer Squash

This recipe is based on one I found in 'Variety Meats', a 1982 cookbook I bought at the Salvation Army because the pictures grossed me out (I ate but didn't cook meat at the time). Little did I know. ;-)

*2 lamb hearts
* a cast iron skillet with lid
* 2 or 3 average sized summer squash
* 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used marsala, a cooking wine, since we're beer drinkers).
* 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
* 1 average onion, chopped small

Seed and slice the squash in to sticks (1-2 inches long).

Trim the valves, tubes, membranes off the hearts and anything else that doesn't look like you should it eat. Remove most of the fat too. I used a boning knife and was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was (and how little waste). Cut in to one inch cubes.

Brown the heart pieces in a tablespoon of olive oil. They didn't really turn brown for me (more like grey), despite several minutes of sauteing. Add the onion and garlic, and cook/stir until the onions are soft and starting to brown. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and the 1/2 cup wine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so, occasionally lifting the lid to stir/smell/check for doneness - the heart was slightly chewy (in a good way) when done. If things get to dry, add a little water.

Meanwhile, steam the squash. This takes about 5 minutes.

I served the hearts (with juices) over Israeli couscous (aka 'pearl pasta'), sauteed in a little bacon fat for 3 minutes, then simmered like normal with a bay leaf thrown in. The cooked hearts tasted really meaty - they're quite dark colored and have a rich flavor, without being heavy. It's hard to describe, but they made us feel invigorated and energized after eating them.

The beer we paired with them was Great Lakes' Eliot Ness (an amber lager). I was planning to pair it with Bell's Pilsner, but we drank it all earlier in the week. Follow with a refreshing salad and a night of dancing (my salad had apples, but raw turnips would work too).


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