Back in September, @noisecolourlife and I held the very first (very successful) Australia vs. US Paleo Challenge. We quickly made plans to stage another round, and the “mystery ingredient” we decided on was “offal”. And so, the “Offal-Off” was born. With no idea what the other had chosen, we set out to cook up something tasty (and Paleo) using some kind of organs or offal. Wait…
I’ve got a confession to make:
Until recently (with my purchase of veal livers and chicken livers…still waiting in the deep chill of my freezer for the right time to defrost), the idea of buying, let alone eating animals organs just weirded me out. But thanks to smart posts like this one from Balanced Bites and this one from Chris Kresser, I’ve started to warm to the idea of eating organs. For this challenge, I decided to start with something “safe” and so I ordered up a lamb heart from US Wellness Meats (didn’t hurt that it was on sale), a trusted source of grass-fed and ethically-raised meats. So, my little ticker arrived frozen with the rest of my bulk-meat purchase a couple weeks ago, and I set out to decide on a recipe.
From my research (and my biology background), I knew heart could be tough if cooked wrong (after all, its job–like all muscles of the body–is to contract away, day in and out, for a lifetime), so I settled on cubing, marinating and grilling it. Properly trimming the heart was part anatomy lesson, and I was happy to find and cut away the tough connective tissue (valves, blood vessels, etc–take that bicupsid valve!). The flavor was well, like lamb and the meat came out pretty tender. I served the skewers with a side of braised red/green cabbage.
Grilled Lamb Heart Skewers with Ginger-Shallot Vinaigrette
1 lamb heart
1 yellow onion
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Trim heart of connective tissue/fat and cut into small cubes.
2. Mince shallots.
3. Place cubed heart, half of the shallots, and ~1 tbsp olive oil into plastic ziploc bag. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator, flipping the bag often.
4. Prepare bamboo skewers by soaking in water (or find your metal skewers).
5. Chop the onion into large chunks and separate layers for the skewers.
6. Remove heart from refrigerator. Alternate pieces of meat with onion on the skewers. Grill on medium until the meat is cooked through but not overdone (medium-well is how we grilled it).
7. While the meat is grilling, prepare the dressing: Combine the other half of the minced shallots, minced ginger, red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a small container. Mix well.
8. Remove skewers from the grill and drizzle with dressing. Serve extra in a small container for dipping.
*If you do not have shallots, you could use a mixture of minced onion and garlic.