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Best recipes/ways to cook Beef Heart, Livers, and Tongue???

Hi everyone, I am the proud owner of half a cow (organic), cut up into lots of juicy pieces.  I love meat, beef specifically, but I have never made beef heart, livers, or tongue in all my culinary forays...  Could you give me some help on how to prepare them tastefully???  I heard from the Whole Foods meat guy (didn't buy from there, but they often know good meat prep. tips) that beef heart is very tender and tasty when prepared properly, but he didn't do the cooking so not too much help there...  I've gotten over the mental factor on eating heart and liver, after I eat those, I might go for the tongue (which is also a 'delicacy' in some cultures, but I'm not quite there yet!)

Thanks for any suggestions, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Craig Swinteck

C Squared Networks


Edited Mon, Feb 9, 2009 3:59 PM

Replies to this Topic

I am not sure if you have already eaten your cow, but if you haven't....

1. Brine the tongue for three days, then place in a baking dish, cover with rich stock, and cook in the oven at 200 degrees over night. Let cool, peel the skin, and enjoy..

2. Cure the heart with some salt, sugar, and garlic over night and then confit the heart in duck fat


Let's go from simple to the sublime:

This is a nice, simple recipe I found on an olive oil website. Mama made a version of this when we were kids, with beef liver (large dice and saute first. add it at the end) and beef lungs (which you can't buy anymore I believe.. and why would you WANT to?).

Beef Heart alla Soffritto

Beef heart has a very strong flavor but is low in both fat and calories. Serve with plenty of bread, or over pasta.
Origin: Italian

1 beef heart
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (6 - ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Wash heart in salted water. Place in a large pot, cover with water and simmer until fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain and let cool. Cut in half; remove any membranes and fat. Cut heart into small cubes. In a saucepan, heat olive oil, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add heart, tomato paste, water and spices. Stir well, simmer covered for 1/2 hour, adding water as needed.

Now the sublime for the tongue. Google "Bolito Misto" which is "Mixed Boil" in Italian.. I think you'll find a nice write up on About.com. If you have the time and appetite you can basically boil the tounge in a rich broth along with other meats and serve with several sauces.  It's not quick but it is an experience well worth your time if you're a foodie and winter is the season for it. I make it once a year when the whole family is together.

Enjoy and best of luck!

Thanks for the tips!

After removing the excess fat, exterior veins, and the main vascular structure at the top, I ended up cutting the heart up into 1/2"-3/4" strips.  At first it seemed tough to do, but I basically ended up lobbing a good portion of the top of the heart off and then once you cut into the exterior fat, it starts looking like a really good piece of tenderloin or wellington.  My wife and son really liked it because there is no bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilidge, etc.  It basically becomes one big piece of tender meat.

Then I breaded the strips in whole wheat flour, heated up a pan that convienantly had the drippings from some hamburgers we had just fried up (heart has like no fat, so you need a good amount added in), and fried for a short time to brown each side and then covered and simmered for I think around 45 minutes total.

I believe what I did is very similar to Brian's Beef Heart alla Soffritto recipe above, I think I will try that next time.

I had a bit of a yuck factor when I started with the heart, but once I cut away the major heart items that were not meat, I felt like I was cutting up a steak.  Since I didn't let my son know about the yuck factor (he's 9), and sounded excited about eating it, he really enjoyed it and actually begged for more.  Even my wife, who when I met her had difficultly with eating any fat on meat and couldn't eat any meat unless it was WELL DONE (yuck!), said that she really had to mentally get into it, but that the heart was definitely tasty and she would eat it again! A ringing endorsement I say.

It was definitely very good and I hope to aquire some more soon!  Now on to the tongue and liver!

Craig Swinteck

C Squared Networks


PS: If anyone has more recipes, please share them.  I still haven't seen many "different" recipes with these meats, they seem to be the same ones or just slight variations on the same ones.


I cook beef, calf and lamb liver in rice milk and cook it on the stove.  I've also used a water and vinegar mixture as well as a water and vegetable broth mixture.


Profile Image for Sandy H. Sandy
  • Tue, Feb 1, 2011 9:29 AM

Wow, these are amazing! My stepdad cooks this stuff all of the time...I can't wait to share these ideas with him!

When the children were little and I was a 9 to 5 working mom this was an Easy Beef Heart Recipe: rinse and clean the heart, cut open one side remove the large arteries and stuff heart with your favorite chicken dressing.  Sew the opening closed as you would a stuffed chicken, put it in a slow cooker.  Pour over stuffed heart your favorite spaghetti sauce slightly diluted, cover pot and forget about it.  5 to 8 hours later remove heart, remove pins and thread, cut into round slices, pour sauce over and serve.

Here is a great blog on Heart, Liver, Tongue and all other offal. It's very informative and contains a few recipes.

Clink the link to find out more... Not So Offal After All.


Matt Clark Culinary Consulting, Native Australian Cuisine and Creative Cooking
Matt Clark Culinary Consulting Services
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Edited Mon, Jul 30, 2012 4:08 AM

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