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Grilled Beef Heart with Roasted Golden Beets and Horseradish Recipe

Difficulty: Medium | Makes: 4 servings as an entrée, 8 as an appetizer

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.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 beef heart (approximately 2–3 lbs), trimmed of sinew and gristle, and cut into 2-inch-wide chunks

For the marinade:

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, skin on
  • 12 sprigs of fresh thyme, crushed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • Splash of extra-virgin olive oil

For the horseradish vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the beet salad:

  • 3 bunches baby golden beets, washed and tops removed
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch young and tender Italian parsley, leaves picked and washed, stems reserved
  • 2 heads garlic, split in half
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground fennel seed
  • 1 bunch chives, cut into 2-inch batons
  • Fresh horseradish root for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
For the marinade:

  1. Crush the garlic and thyme together. (Use a mortar and pestle if you have them.)
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let the flavors blend for 1 hour.
  3. Pour the mixture over pieces of beef heart.
  4. Marinate for 2 hours, and then remove heart from marinade.

For the horseradish vinaigrette:

  1. Combine vinegar, horseradish, and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Whisk in olive oil (whisking while pouring, to emulsify).
  3. Finish with a little extra-virgin olive oil, for flavor.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

For the beet salad:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Place 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.
  3. Cover 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.)
  4. Uncover 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.
  5. Cut 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:

  1. Preheat 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.
  2. To 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.