This is actually something that I’ve had in the works for quite some time. I had this idea way back in October of last year but never was able to find the time to get it going. It was also difficult for me to get my hands on a quality grass fed beef heart as well. It seemed like everywhere I turned, my usual suppliers were always out of stock.
It wasn’t until earlier last month that I asked my friend Travis at TX Bar Organics to set one aside for me which he happily did. By that time, I figured this would be a perfect dish (albeit not very common) to make for Valentine’s Day.
Traditionally, confit is the cooking of meat, usually duck legs salted and submerged in their own fat, over low temperatures for a long period of time. It is actually one of the original methods for preserving meat over longer periods of time. Now usually, when cooking confit, it takes quite a large amount of fat to completely submerge the meat in. With the Sous Vide, you only need about 1/4 the amount of fat as the traditional method. Which is great just for a quantity stand point. If you don’t have a Sous Vide, fear not, I’ve included instructions for a regular oven as well.
The best part about the confit method is, the slow long cooking time at a precise temperature slowly tenderizes the meat so it just melts in your mouth and since heart is one of the most used muscles and therefore one of the toughest cuts, it really is amazing how tender it gets. Plus, I can make this well ahead of time and just reheat it when the big day comes. If you want to mellow out the beefiness of the heart, feel free to use a different animal fat instead of tallow. Duck fat and lard would work quite well.
I would also be remiss to mention that I learned how to make the beets this way from my good friend Pete, from Pete’s Paleo. Last year I stayed at his house and he made these for dinner one night. He didn’t have his sous vide with him so he made it on the stove using a pot of simmering water. Check out Pete’s site. He specializes in high quality paleo meals delivered to your door, and they taste phenomenal. He also has a book, Paleo By Season coming out in tin May as well. It’s sure to be loaded with amazing recipes as only Pete can deliver.
- 2 lb beef heart, trimmed of all ventricles
- 2 tbs sea salt
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup tallow, melted
- 3 whole large beets, stems and leaves removed
- 1 tbs butter
- Season trimmed beef heart with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.
- Remove heart from refrigerator and rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Add heart, rosemary, thyme and tallow to vacuum bag and seal.
- Place heart in a Sous Vide preheated to 185° F (85° C) and cook for 18 hours.
- Remove heart from Sous Vide and sear with a tbs of tallow in a skillet preheated to medium high heat. About 2 minutes per side.
- Slice across the grain and serve with beets and reserved beet greens and stems braised southern style.
- Pour remaining fat from vacuum bag into a glass container and submerge any remaining beef heart for long term storage.
- With 90 minutes to go for the beef heart, seal beets (skin on) and butter in a vacuum bag and place in Sous Vide. Cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove beets from Sous Vide and place in a large bowl under running water. This will make peeling the beets super simple.
- Chop peeled beets into 1 inch cubes and season with sea salt and dried thyme.
2. If you do not have a Sous Vide, simply place vacuum bag in a french oven filled with water and place covered in a 185° F preheated oven and follow the remaining directions as written
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