Heart Roast

May 21, 2012 in Categories: , by

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This method of cooking heart meat was inspired by a quick internet search looking for cooking temperatures for rump roast.  It suddenly occurred to me that this might be a good way to cook heart, since it also can be fairly tough.  Well, it was an epiphany.  The roast was tender with an amazing flavorful (that rich steaky flavor that heart meat should have and not that almost liver-like flavor that it can have at times).  My 2.5 year old even snuck around the table and ate all of my 5-year old’s meat when she wasn’t looking!  Good thing there was more!  This will likely become a weekly staple in our house from now on.  Heart is definitely my favorite organ meat.  I buy mine from a local farmer, but both US Wellness Meats and GrassFed Traditions sells them. The heart I used was on the small side for a beef heart, but I am confident that this would work up to about a 3-4 pound heart size.  If the heart you want to roast is on the 4-6 pound side, I think you can make this even more simply by putting the roast in a pan (make sure it’s one that can handle high temperature cooking) and putting it into a 500F oven for 20 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 275F (open the door so the oven cools down to 275 quickly), add the onion, cabbage and broth to the pan and cook for 20 minutes per pound for rare (I have done this successfully with a 4 1/2 pound roast).    This would work beautifully with lamb heart as well.



1.    Trim any vessels or tough sliverskin off the heart meat.  This is easiest with a very sharp boning knife.  Hearts are typically cut open already (part of the USDA inspection before you can buy it).  If not completely open, finish the cut so the meat can lie flat.
2.    Prepare some lengths of butcher twine.  You’ll want 1 to go the length of the heart and then 1 per inch around the width of the heart.
3.    Coast the inside of the heart with crushed garlic, salt and pepper.  Roll the heart up into a roast shape with the seasonings on the inside (I found it easier to cut the heart in half lengthwise, and rotate one half around so that my roast didn’t have a fat side and a skinny side).  Tie the lengthwise truss first.  Then start tying the widthwise trusses every inch or so down the length of the heart, tucking in any bits as you go.  This does take some practice, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect your first time (plus you can always cut a truss and redo it if you need to). When your heart is trussed, sprinkle more salt and pepper around the outside.
4.    Slice onion into ¼” thick semicircles.  Preheat oven to 275F.
5.    Heat an oven-safe skillet, roasting pan or shallow pot over medium-high heat (I used a cast iron frying pan).  Add tallow to the pan.
6.    Place heart in pan and sear on each side, rotating every minute or slightly less with tongs until all sides browned.  Once browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
7.    Add onion to the frying pan and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add cabbage to pan and stir, until wilted, about 1 minute.
8.    Pour broth into the pan.  Lay the roast on top of the cabbage and onion.  Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes per pound for rare (25 minutes per pound for medium-rare).
9.    Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.  Remove the trusses, slice and enjoy!  Serve with cabbage and onions.  Also, the broth from the pan can be thickened to make gravy or poured au jus style over mashed cauliflower or turnips.



How about chicken heart? Can you make this using chicken heart? I’m sure the cooking time would be quicker…

Google recipes for chicken heart stew, Im sure there’s one you can adapt easily. I also like turkey hearts, fried medium like a steak, sliced and added to a salad. Looks so pretty and is delicious.

Hi, I have 4+ pound heart. I think your recommendation is to skip the searing for the large heart and use the 500 degree oven to brown. Is that correct?

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for your contributions!

I would love to hear how this tasted and its texture from people that have made it. I paleo like the best of them, but some organ meats are just not great to me. I tried beef liver the other night and although I ate it and the flavor was pretty good, the texture was not something I enjoyed. I do like sweetbreads though so I don’t know, I’m weird I guess. BTW, Sarah thanks for all your recipes and post; I really enjoy them

Hi Erik,
I also just decided to take the chance and start eating organ meats. I think we both made rookie mistakes. From my reading and my recent experience, beef liver is the most “livery” and therefore least tasty of all livers. Younger beef livers, calf, chicken are supposed to be better not sure about pork. Anyone else, pls comment. Onto the heart, technically it is a muscle. I just made this and it is delicious. It does not have a smell and tastes like a steak. It is meaty and I made the cabbage with it as Sarah mentioned above and it is awesome. I am going to try chicken livers next.
So I recommend you go for it.

Hi Sarah, Thanks for your comments.
Unfortunately I have 3 lbs of beef liver in my freezer. Does soaking in milk help? How about kidney’s? What is their taste/texture? Thanks again

Soaking in milk does neutralize the flavor, but I have always been concerned about the calcium in the milk canceling out the iron. I now soak in

I’m slowly implementing the Paleo life style. I’m just put off on using the intestines of the animals. I myself like liver, but I only know how to grill or pan fry it. Can anyone give me some other tips. Thank you p.s I love your blog!

I just made this with a 3 lb. beef heart, searing it first then slowly cooking it for an hour on the barbecue. It tasted good, but there was a slight rubberiness to the texture. Perhaps I overcooked it. Is it also slightly rubbery if you make it rare or medium-rare? I loved the taste of the cabbage (I used purple cabbage and shredded carrot)- it’s a great complement to the gamey flavour of the meat. In addition to the garlic I stuffed the heart with fresh herbs- tarragon, thyme, and parsley, which gave off a nice aroma and made it more palatable.

Do you have any tips for making the roast more tender in texture? Thank you for your very informative blog!

I am doing Paleo AIP successfully. My nemesis is I am allergic to alliums. Any recommendations? I have loved beef heart in the past. Not sure what to do in place of or how to adapt recipes for organ meats. Chicken hearts are no problem, I like them plain. Beef heart eludes me so far. Suggestions appreciated.

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