In cooking with beef hearts and livers, you have to be careful not to overcook the meat. They should be simmered until they are almost tender. If you add butter when they are still slightly raw, they will take on a pungent, salty flavor. Add them when they are almost cooked and wait until they are slightly darker in color. In this way, you can avoid adding too much salt.
The first recipe in this series is devoted to beef hearts and liver, a dish called “Bread and Butternut soup.” It has been a favorite of southern cooking for a long time. This soup is very simple to make and can be done in about thirty minutes, even with a large pot. This dish was always part of southern family tradition, but modern cooks have made it just as tasty as the classic version.
To prepare the beef hearts and liver, get two tablespoons or so of vegetable fat and cook the meat and fat together in a frying pan over low heat. Once the fat is browned, it can be used to cook the vegetables, along with a little onion, garlic, pepper, and salt to taste. When the fat is browned, it is ready for cooking in its own rendered essence. This gives the dish a richer flavor and better texture than when using oil. Cook the vegetables along with the heart, but leave out the skin, which results in a dish that is more nutritious than the traditional fast food fare. The dish is served with a thick white wine, preferably red, and sometimes with crackers.
To prepare this dish, you should not use a lot of butter. You can use shortening or margarine if you want a healthier alternative. Keep in mind that this dish is best eaten while it is still hot, so be careful about overeating.
Although heart and liver are considered to be lean meats, this does not mean that you should not cook them to perfection. Cook them just like you would if you were eating it raw. Just season them right and leave out any uncooked meat or fat. In fact, it is better to use a little of both the meat and the vegetables when cooking.
You may want to use the extra fat from the beef heart to cook the vegetables. You may also choose to use the skin for that added texturizing touch on the dish. Be sure to keep serving sizes small to avoid overeating and the potential for gaining weight due to consuming too much of this tasty and healthy food. Cooking with beef hearts and liver can be an enjoyable way to enhance the flavors in your favorite recipes.