Ox Heart with Island Watercress and Mermaid Feta
(Author’s note: This recipe is a riff on Fergus Henderson’s dish served in his restaurant in London.)
1 ox heart
salt, pepper and olive oil to marinate
2 large handfuls of watercress
1 cup Mermaid Farm feta cheese, crumbled
juice from half a lemon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Trim the ox heart of any excess fat off the top or larger end. Find the lobes or separations in the heart’s muscles, just as some of you may have done with a leg of lamb or venison. Slice the heart into pieces, following each lobe. Lay each piece flat and slice as thinly as possible into pieces about two inches long and one inch in width. Toss them in a bowl with salt, pepper and olive oil to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad. In a salad bowl, combine the watercress, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until well coated.
On a hot grill or in a saute pan over high heat, saute the strips of heart very quickly. Should be about 20 seconds on each side. When the pieces are just cooked, possibly medium rare in the center, toss them among the watercress and place in the center of a large plate. Sprinkle feta over the top equally to your liking and serve with a generous crackle of fresh pepper. Enjoy.
Chicken Heart Stew
15-20 chicken hearts
8 garlic cloves
2 cups canned tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 cups red wine of your choice
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem
In a large pot, saute chicken hearts over medium heat, season gently with salt once they are in the pot. Turn them frequently to ensure even browning on all sides; a bit of caramelized residue is desired on the bottom of the pot, should take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves for the last two minutes, then pour in tomato sauce, add chili flakes and red wine. Stir to incorporate. Allow to come to a simmer, then turn to low heat for at least two hours or until sauce is very thick and hearts are tender. Add water as needed throughout cooking process to ensure it does not stick. When you are happy with the consistency of sauce and tenderness of hearts, remove from heat, stir in rosemary, check seasoning and add salt if needed. Serve with boiled potatoes or with pasta as a ragu.