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Unique Cuts: Eat Your Heart Out

“We grew it all,” says Providence Organic Farm owner Ryan Romeyn. That means that the cost of production isn’t just wrapped up in the muscle — it also includes every part of the animal, from skin to bones to organ meats. It also includes the heart, the most used muscle of any animal. However, according to Romeyn, this cut is often passed up, even though it’s less expensive. 

Heart is a delicious and cost-effective way to enjoy animal protein! As an actual muscle, the heart is a great introduction to nose-to-tail cooking in the home. Not only that, but heart is rich in B-complex vitamins, as well as coenzyme Q10, which is an antioxidant that can help with energy levels. 

Heart can be intimidating when butchering, but will end up looking like small lean steaks once you cut them into pieces and clean them of any ‘heartstrings’ or hard fat. Often, when purchasing heart, most of this hard work has been done for you, but you can always see if your local butcher has additional tips! 

So how can you add heart into your diet? Try our easy recipe! 

Lamb Anticuchos de Corazón with Ramp Chimichurri 

Anticuchos is a Peruvian dish of heart on skewers, and we’re echoing the South American theme with a chimichurri sauce, which hails from the king of open fire cooking, Argentina. Ramps are in season, but if you are preparing this outside of the Spring season, you can sub in garlic and up your parsley amount, which is more traditional. You’ll use half of your sauce for a marinade, and half for serving, which makes your prep time minimal. This is a meal to make the day beforehand, perfect for camping trips or grilling at the beach. 

• 2-4 lamb hearts (1 per skewer) 
• 1 bunch ramps, or wild leeks, chopped (both leaves, and if they came with, bulbs) 
• ½ cup chopped parsley 
• 1 cup olive oil
• ½ cup red wine vinegar 
• 2 teaspoons red pepper flake
• Salt and black pepper, to taste 

Cut your heart into skewer-sized, or ~1.5” pieces. Beware of going too small — heart is a lean cut, and can be easily overcooked. Slide them onto metal or pre-soaked wooden skewers.

Add all other ingredients to a food processor and pulse until your ingredients are finely minced — you don’t want to puree them completely, but finely chop them. 

Place half of your chimichurri sauce into a large reusable container or bag, and add your lamb skewers. Place in the fridge overnight, turning occasionally. Place the other half of your chimichurri in its own container for serving.

The next day, take your skewers to the campfire or grill, and grill at a hot part of the grill for ~2 minutes on each side. Enjoy with your reserved chimichurri sauce and a good view of the outdoors!

Claire Butler is the Communications Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at claire@localdifference.org

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