Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Beef Heart
For months now, I’ve had beef heart on my list of recipes to try.
And for months now, every time I opened the freezer or looked at my beef inventory sheet, I’d be reminded that I still had not one, but 2 beef hearts that were patiently waiting to be used up. I mean it is one thing to tell your farmer to send you EVERY POSSIBLE EDIBLE part from your carcass when you purchase your animal, but one actually has to consume said parts for this “nose-to-tail” practice to be effective…
And sooooo, after all this time, I finally worked up the courage to give beef heart a try… I’m not sure that I would’ve done it, though, had it not been for a brilliantly illustrated Stuffed Beef Heart Recipe which I found in The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne, author of the super popular blog: The Paleo Mom. Sarah made it look so good that I actually WANTED to try it! I looked forward to it, even though I was still very much wary of what it might taste like. I really didn’t know what to expect, but for sure, I figured it would be tough and very strong in flavor, a bit like liver, you know.
Still, I figured there was only one way to find out, so out of the freezer came the scary beast.
And this, is what a beef heart looks like. It’s not that ugly, is it?
Or scary, for that matter…
Theoretically, the muscle should have been cut open, inspected and cleaned by your butcher before to be made available for purchase. So really, what you’ll be faced with is a relatively lean and clean piece of meat.
Still, you’ll want to give it a quick rinse under cold running water and then pat it really dry.
Even though it has been cleaned, there will probably be a few visible strings, arteries and/or blood vessels that have been left behind. Simply cut these out with a sharp blade. They come off very easily and aren’t even the tiniest bit slimy.
Nothing to be afraid of…
Next, trim off the excess fat, if any. You could also try and remove that silver lining if you wanted to, but honestly, I didn’t even bother and couldn’t even tell that it was there after the roast was cooked.
Alright, set that piece of meat aside for the time being… time to work on the stuffing!
In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon until nice and crispy then remove it to a plate but leave all that beautiful fat in pan.
Next, add the onion, mushrooms salt and pepper to the pan and cook until softened and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, then throw in the spinach, crispy bacon and chopped garlic.
Stir well until the spinach is completely wilted and then continue cooking until all the liquid at the bottom of the pan has evaporated (spinach has a tendency to render a fair amount of water, you know).
Let that cool for a couple of minutes.
Now preheat your oven to 275ºF
Lay the beef heart fatty side down on a work surface; spoon the stuffing over it and then spread it all the way to the edge.
I bet you can tell that my stuffing was still fairly hot, judging by all the steam that’s emanating from it. So really, if like me, you’re not the patient kind, there’s no need to let it cool for all that long… Just make sure that your fingers can handle the heat!
Now for the fun part!
Roll the beef heart onto itself and tie it up with a few strands of butcher’s twine.
You might want to run one piece across lengthwise and 2 to 3 strands crosswise.
And if like me you end up with a little too much stuffing, don’t worry about it. Just hang on to it and reheat it later in a small skillet to serve alongside the roast.
Melt a fair amount of cooking fat in a large oven-safe skillet set over scorching high heat. Sear the beef heart for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until a nice golden crust forms.
When the meat is nicely seared all around, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the beef heart uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes per pound, depending on desired doneness, as in rare to medium-rare.
I cooked mine for barely 15 minutes per pound and I found it to be absolutely PERFECT!
Remove the roast from the oven, tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Can you honestly say that this does not look good?
Well, you know what? It actually is just as good as it looks, if not more!
Beef heart is very lean, therefore it has a bit of a tougher texture, something similar to a well done steak, but it remains fairly tender, still… honestly, it has an extremely agreeable texture.
And the flavor? It’s NOTHING like I expected. It has an extremely mild and delicate flavor, somewhat close to that of roast beef.
As skeptical as I was, I can now honestly say that I am totally sold on beef heart. So far, as far as offal and organ meats are concerned, it is by far and without a doubt my ultimate favorite. I actually look forward to eating the other one, now. And I think I’ll be revisiting this exact same recipe. Because yes, it was that good!
I dare you to give it a try!
Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Beef Heart
- 1 - 3.85lb large beef heart
- 6 thick slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lb button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 lb fresh spinach leaves
- Rinse the heart well under cold running water and pat it really dry.
- Cut the heart open (if your butcher hasn’t done that already) and remove any visible strings, arteries and blood vessels that may have been left behind; trim off excess fat, if any. Set aside.
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon until nice and crispy then remove it to a plate but leave the fat in pan.
- Add the onion, mushrooms salt and pepper to the pan and cook until softened and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, then throw in the spinach, crispy bacon and chopped garlic. Stir well until the spinach is completely wilted and continue cooking until all the liquid at the bottom of the pan has evaporated. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 275°F
- Lay the beef heart fatty side down on a work surface; spoon the stuffing over it and spread it all the way to the edge. Roll the beef heart and tie it up with a few strands of butcher's twine. You might want to run one piece across lengthwise and 2 to 3 pieces crosswise. (if you end up with a little too much stuffing, hang on to it: you can reheat it later in a small skillet and serve it alongside the roast)
- Melt a fair amount of cooking fat in a large oven-safe skillet set over scorching high heat. Sear the beef heart for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until a nice golden crust forms. When the meat is nicely seared all around, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the beef heart uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes per pound, depending on desired doneness (rare to medium-rare)
- Remove the roast from the oven, tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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44 Comments on “Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Beef Heart”
oh yay!!! I have been searching for a beef heart recipe! My friend’s dad raises cattle and when I mentioned that I loved liver I was gifted 10 pounds of it, plus a heart, tongue, and tail. I don’t want to grill the heart – seemingly the only recipes out there. This looks great!! Maybe next year I will ask for more than on heart. It’s grass fed cattle too, raised in a small herd.
You were gifted 10 pounds of liver? Grass-fed, from a small herd? LUCKY!!!! I’m almost certain that you’ll be asking for all the hearts you can get once you’ve had a taste of this. And if you’re looking for a good tongue recipe, check this one out. It wasn’t bad at all! 😉
yes, isn’t that incredible? Makes me sad that for the most part organ meats are discarded. At the farmers market when I buy free range chickens, and liver, the guy throws in the liver for free. Will try the tongue recipe. and noticed a later comment about grilling heart – that’s the only other method I could find. Michael Ruhlman has a video about grilling, but I really wanted to bake it. mmmm. oh, and you are definitely bad ass for posting this!!
HAHAHAHA! Well, I definitely like being badass, so I should post similar recipes more often! Maybe I should try the grilled version now… Ah, if only my grill wasn’t store for winter. Grilling without an actual grill just isn’t the same. 😉
You my friend are a real badass. I mean posting a recipe for beef heart is definitely not easy.
Certainly not as easy as a chocolate chip cookie, a brownie or a cupcake.
So kudos to you for being both brave and innovative!
Badass, really? Oooooh, thank you for the compliment, my friend. You are a real sweetheart!
And you know what? Posting this recipe wasn’t even hard at all. In fact, it was probably easier and felt more natural than posting a cupcake recipe… Does that make me even more badass? 😉
I have to admit that i have never cooked (or eaten) beef heart before, the cut and name just always sounded too intimidated. But Sonia, you make it look incredibly easy and delicious! Definitely a recipe I need to try.
That is one huge compliment, Thalia. Thank you so very much! If you ever do decide to give it a try, make sure to let me know how you liked it!
My absolute favourite way to eat deer heart (we have alot of them) is anticuchos. Look it up. Thin slices on a kebab stick quickly seared on the bbq. UNREAL!!!
They look absolutely delightful! I might very well save my second beef heart for when grilling season is back on again! Hey, it’s only 6 months to wait! 😉
This is amazing! I’ve never cooked or eaten beef heart, but this looks wonderful and I’d love to give it a try!
Fantastic! I hope you like it as much as I did, Jill!
i made this recipe a few months ago and it is great. i had no idea beef heart was just like a big steak. i saved a few pieces for the cast iron skillet and i actually preferred eating it like a steak.
Well, I did end up slicing and reheating the leftover roast in a cast iron skillet and I must admit that I really liked that little crust that [very quickly] formed on the meat. Made me curious to try it as a steak, too. Guess I’ll have to give that option a try eventually…
This looks totally awesome; I love heart — my folks used to simmer it for several hours, and I’ve done pan-fried slices to medium rare. I’ve never had it grilled or stuffed — this stuffed recipe looks luscious!
Coles had hearts on reduced (because obviously no one buys them). Felt adventurous, looked up recipes, bought them, and have them in the oven as we speak! This looks delicious!
Delicious! Turned out very dark because I overcooked it, but still delicious! Easy to make and cheap when hearts are on sale! Thanks for this great recipe
Happy to hear you liked it, Sam! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I greatly appreciate that!
I made your heart recipe tonight for family with Ox Heart. It was delicious! all of my family loved it. It was really easy and the stuffing tasted brilliant too. I will def be making this again
Awesome! Glad to hear you liked it, Amanda, and thanks a bunch for letting me know, too. I greatly appreciate that! 🙂
Funny! I could have sworn that your opening comments were coming out of my mouth. I too am nearing the end of my freezer beef and I keep looking at the heart with confusion & fear. Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to give it a try!! I assume 15 -20 min per pound of unstuffed roast?
That is correct, Marcilynn! I hope you like the beef heart as much as I did. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! 🙂
i have just one question do you think this could alsow work with a pigs heart??
Pigs heart are way smaller, so the recipe (and especially cooking time) would definitely have to be adapted, but I really don’t see why not!
I have an elk’s heart in the freezer just begging to be cooked. As I just love spinach and mushrooms, and bacon makes everything taste fantastic I can’t wait to try this!
Hi there, happy new year! I really pushing to expand my palate this year, and this recipe is at the top of my list. I was just curious if cooking fat was necessary or if olive oil could be substituted instead? Thanks for any advice you can give!
Olive oil is very acceptable to use as cooking fat, Erica. You can definitely use that!
Hello! Could you recommend something as a garnish for beef heart?
What exactly do you mean by garnish, Anastasiia?
I have done this dish once and I had asparagus as a sidedish. What else could you recommend to accompany beef heart? Really hope I chose wright word???? By garnish I meant some dish, like vegetables, potatoes, rice, anything that will go well with your dish! And yes, this is delicious! ????
Oh, now I see! Anything you would normally have with grilled meat would work perfectly well with this – a light salad, roasted or steamed veggies, white or sweet potatoes, a little bit of rice, maybe even some cooked pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, some garlic, salt and pepper. Really, this would go good with just about anything!
I have used this recipe for about 2 years now. We usually only use a 1/2 heart for our small but growing family. I have even put sauteed asparagus in the stuffing, I too use olive oil for braising the heart, there is really no limit to what you can do with a recipe like this. It is amazing, definitely a staple in our home. Even my three year old will clean up his plate, which usually proves to be a daunting task. Thanks for the post.
Really? Even the 3 year old? Wow! Thank YOU so much for this amazing feedback Jason, that’s pure music to my ears! And now you got me craving beef heart. I think this is going on the menu for this week! 🙂
I made this tonight and it was a hit! Our 5 year old grandson couldn’t get enough.
I’m very happy to hear, Sandy! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, too. I greatly appreciate that! 🙂
Thank you! Your post was honest and well-written. My feelings exactly! But, you’ve given me the courage and a good reason to try it!
Thank you, Helena. And I hope you’re just as pleasantly surprised as I was! 🙂
This was wonderful! Even my 8 year old went back for seconds. One question, do you have any suggestions as to if it is good leftover and what to do with leftovers?
Thanks Stephanie, real happy to hear! I used to just slice it up and reheat it quickly in a hot pan, searing the slices for about a minute per side…
Where’s the shopping list?Where’s the ingredient list? Where do you keep your time? You seem to have lots.
This sounds positively AMAZING! My family loves beef heart and this will be such a delicious way to try making it next time! Thank you so much!
Loved this recipe! I usually make Beef Bulgogi with my beef hearts!
Made this for thanksgiving, turned out pretty good. I question the oven temp and 15 Min per pound at 275 .. definitely needs more time and temp unless you like raw and blood all over the plate
I raise grassfed organic beef and I myself was afraid of heart! Lol.
I found your recipe, because beyond grinding it up and adding to ground, I had no idea how to make it.
This looks absolutely delish and I’m going to use some of our pastured bacon in it.
After this….I’ll try the tongue! 🙂