Incanto in San Francisco almost always includes an offal dish in order to, in the words of owner Mark Pastore, “honor the whole animal.” Here is the first of two recipes from Incanto chef Chris Cosentino using the heart. It’s a nicely balanced salad, with the sweet of the beets, the tang of the horseradish, and the richness of the meat.
- 1Crush the garlic and thyme together. (Use a mortar and pestle if you have them.)
- 2Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let the flavors blend for 1 hour.
- 3Pour the mixture over pieces of beef heart.
- 4Marinate for 2 hours, and then remove heart from marinade.
For the horseradish vinaigrette:
- 1Combine vinegar, horseradish, and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2Whisk in olive oil (whisking while pouring, to emulsify).
- 3Finish with a little extra-virgin olive oil, for flavor.
- 4Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
For the beet salad:
- 1Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- 2Place baby beets, thyme, parsley stems, and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan. Add orange juice, water, and extra-virgin olive oil, making sure to coat evenly. Season with ground fennel seed, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- 3Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven until the beets are completely tender, about 45 minutes. (Insert a knife into a beet, and if it slides in and out easily, they’re finished.)
- 4Uncover and let cool. To remove the skins, take an old dish towel and rub the skins off gently, to keep the shape of the beets.
- 5Cut the beets into different shapes, rounds and quarters; place in a mixing bowl, then dress with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and horseradish vinaigrette. At the last minute, add chive batons and parsley leaves.
For the beef heart:
- 1Preheat grill or grill pan until very hot. Season the hearts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the hearts about 3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) to medium-rare.
- 2To serve, thinly slice the beef heart, and serve warm over the golden beet salad. To garnish, grate fresh horseradish and drizzle a bit of extra-virgin olive oil over the heart.