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Roasted Beef Heart, Kolhrabi and Carrots with Plum Sauce
My entry for the February Foodie Joust over at theleftoverqueen.com turned out to be absolutely delicious and a delightful surprise to folks around these parts who have been squeamish about eating offal!
Using three ingredients (beef heart, kohlrabi, plums), entrants could simply make an entree or incorporate all three ingredients into a full meal. These were my ingredients -- meaning, as the winner for January, I got to choose the next month's ingredients for participants. The beef heart, kohlrabi and plums just popped in my head and, now, I had to come up with something, myself! With no real grain in the beef heart to worry about, making a final presentation choice was going to be difficult but, I knew, very tasty. And, as always, my recipes can be done in either a conventional or solar oven. So, let's get to it.
First, you must marinade a beef heart to make it pop and to tenderize what is, essentially, 100% hard-working muscle. But, it's a working muscle in a rhythmic, gentle (I use the term loosely, here), manner, not the same kind of springy workout other muscles go through. The meat is consistent throughout and very, very, lean. You can buy a whole heart and do the preparation, yourself, or get your butcher to clean, slice, and present the beef heart to you in a nice little package. (My preferred way, now that I'm older and like my comforts!)
The Beef Heart Marinade
Fill a gallon-size ziploc plastic bag with following ingredients:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots, 1 stalk chopped celery, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder, 1/8 teaspoon ground anise, 1/2 teaspoon summer savory, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add beef heart pieces and, removing as much air as possible, close bag. Gently move contents around to make sure surfaces are coated with marinade. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight, turning bag over at least once while marinating.
Remove beef heart pieces from marinade; strain marinade juice for final plum sauce and set aside. Pat beef heart pieces dry with paper towels. Dredge in blended flour mixture of 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon mild ground curry, and 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed. In large skillet over high heat, sear all sides of beef heart pieces in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on broiler pan top or grill rack in roaster. Roast in 275 F oven approximately 40-50 minutes, or until thermometer reads 145F, remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest before slicing.
Roasted Kohlrabi and Carrots Cooked Along With Beef Heart
If you prepared your kohlrabi and carrots while the beef heart was marinating, you can roast both dishes at the same time in the oven. I had trimmed the kohlrabi and cut it into one-inch pieces when I got the bright idea to add some carrots for color. (This dinner was taking on a much too beigy look) Ingredients:: 1 cup mini-carrots (or rounds), 2 large kohlrabi, peeled and cut in cubes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed, 1/2 teaspoon stevia (optional), 1/8 teaspoon ground mild curry powder, 1/8 teaspon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground beef stock powder, 1/2 cup water.
Place all ingredients in a roasting pan, stir to coat thoroughly, cover and roast in 275F oven until all liquid is absorbed and vegetables just start to get browned edges.
Plum Sauce Completes the Meal
You don't need alot of this sauce, so three or four medium-sized plums will be fine for four diners. Clean skins and remove pits; chop plums and place in skillet over med-heat with 1/2 cup brown sugar. When plums have softened and sugar dissolved, add 1/2 cup white wine and strained marinade juice. Reduce to half, add 1 tablespoon butter, blend, and cook for an additional minute, or so. Pour plum mixture into blender and puree. Return to skillet to keep warm. Just before serving, lightly spoon over beef heart slices. As with all lean, high protein, meats, a little goes a long way. Leftover beef heart makes great sandwiches and chilis.
The offset to the rich Roasted Beef Heart and Kohlrabi-Carrots was a slaw made from cabbage, apples, raisins, and the last plum. The binder was 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cream, added and stirred thoroughly, just before serving. The end result was a marriage of three complementary dishes that brought their own textures and taste to the meal. I hope you like it, too, and will make beef heart a part of your repertoire.