The Paleo lifestyle allows for meat, fruit, and vegetables. No grains or legumes. It can get boring eating chicken all the time or steak or even fish. You want something different. You want to break up the routine. At least I do. I enjoy going to the butcher or my local Asian Market to see what other types of meat I can try. This is the same with fruit and vegetables. When I’m at the store I usually go for the same stuff. Carrots, onions, mushrooms, and it’s all safe safe safe. I want to venture out and try everything. I don’t know how Andrew Zimmern I want to get, but I would like to see! So sometimes you will see a recipe for gizzards, hearts, tongue, or anything else that might be out of the norm. This is me trying something new. I promise to try my best at taking pictures and describing everything so that hopefully it will inspire you to give it a try as well. If it wasn’t edible, then why would people eat it? It’s good to get out of your box sometimes. You never know what new and exciting thing you will discover.
With that being said, I had the pleasure of preparing a cow’s heart for dinner about two months ago. I didn’t go to the supermarket that day thinking, “You know what sounds good for dinner tonight? A cow’s heart.” I just so happened to walk by it in the meat department at the local Asian Market with PaleoJoe, and I asked him, “Have you ever had that?” The answer was no, and so we took a few minutes to google recipes. There are a lot of recipes for beef heart. We went with something simple since it was our first time. I believe we went with a simple BBQ where we seasoned the heart with various herbs and spices. What did it taste like? Steak. I was expecting it to taste kind of like liver because blood flows through it and blood has an iron taste to it. Not heart! It tasted like steak. It wasn’t tough or chewy at all. It was delicious.
I went the same route with this recipe. Simple and easy. I seasoned it with a few herbs and spices, and then pan seared it with coconut oil. Again, it’s a simple and easy recipe. Nothing fancy. I was lucky enough both times to find a heart that was already prepared. Apparently there’s fat and sinew and what not that you have to cut off so that all you are left with is the good stuff. There are videos and articles all over the internet about it. I’m sure one day I won’t be so lucky and will have to prepare the heart myself. I’ll have to snap pics and show you one of these days.
For my sides I went with roasted butternut squash which my girl helped me with. It took FOREVER because she picked up each piece one at a time and placed them on the baking sheet. That’s okay. She felt like she had made a contribution to my meal, and I got to bond with her over squash. I used coconut oil to grease the sheet and then popped it in the toasted oven when she was done. No seasoning. It cooked for about 30-45 minutes at 350 F.
And now the heart… I had bought this one a couple of weeks ago and had it waiting for me in the freezer. If I’m reading it correctly, it was less than a pound. Below is the before and after defrosting.
Check out the price. $1.30! This piece of meat including the vegetables is enough to feed two people. Total cost for this meal was $8.00. POW!! How’s about that for a cheap yet tasty meal? All I did was slice up the heart into strips and then seasoned it with Montreal Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin and dried Parsley. Then I set it aside because I wanted to cook up my veggies first. I was also letting it defrost a bit more.
1 small yellow onion and 1 yellow bell pepper. Sliced, seeded ready for the pan!
I heated up my pan on medium high heat with coconut oil and when it was ready I put the veggies in. It cooked for about 10 minutes. No seasoning again.
When the vegetables were done I used the same pan and added more coconut oil. When the oil melted (which didn’t take long because coconut oil goes from solid to liquid at 75-78 F) I put in the heart slices. I let them cook for 2 minutes, flipped and then another 2 minutes. The smaller pieces you might want to cook for a minute on each side just so you don’t overcook it.
All done!! Serve it up on a plate and ENJOY!
After typing all that up I just realized that I didn’t really do a recipe format like I normally do. I guess since it’s a rather simple preparation it doesn’t really need one. The reason I didn’t season the vegetables is because I usually just eat a piece of meat with a piece of vegetable and the flavors combine together in my mouth. I also figure that if I really wanted more flavor such as salt or pepper, I can always add it later. So yeah, if you want to season your vegetables go right ahead. Might I suggest adding some minced garlic and red pepper flakes (give it a kick!) to the pan with the onions and bell peppers towards the end and let them cook together. Perhaps tossing the roasted butternut squash in some freshly chopped basil before serving with some salt and pepper. Little things to give the dish more flavor.
I just thought of another idea for the butternut squash but I think I’ll save that for another day. 😉 ENJOY!