Sunday, October 21, 2007
A heart cut to pieces usually describes a rather negative personal event, which has been the foundation of innumerable movies and books. Those coming from the US usually have a happy ending, while those from Europe usually have a tragic ending. But I’ve yet to see a story of a heart ripped out of the chest and torn to small pieces before impaled on a wooden pole described in a solely positive way. This will be my attempt to do this.
A lot of Europeans and Americans have lost all contact with nature, believing that fish and meat is something magically appearing in the stores, not the muscles of a cow, lamb or cod which has been killed so that we can eat it. Fortunately there are still sensible people left, and my favourite butcher is one of them. He sells all the strange cuts of beef, which you will never find in a supermarket, and he is proud to offer different types of offal. One day, while contemplating whether to use chuck or brisket for a stew, my attention was drawn towards a large pile of hearts. My only experience with heart as food prior to that had been a dry-cured heart of reindeer, which was really good, but more of a snack than something to cook for dinner. Feeling adventurous I boldly asked the butcher to add a couple of hearts to my order, and suddenly I went from an ordinary customer to a special customer. “Ahh, very good choice! I eat heart of lamb at least once a week with my family. It keeps me strong”.
After this experience, and the experience of tasting the hearts, I always buy a couple of them when I’m at the butcher, to make this lovely little dish.
Grilled heart of lamb
The heart muscle is a special piece of muscle, not like the ones in our arms and legs and not like the ones in our intestines. Maybe it’s because of this that the heart is extremely tender, at least for young animals. This is a really simple method of preparation, which really gives you the taste of grilled meat.
1 heart of lamb a person
Ground black pepper
Slices of lemon
Clean the heart. This can be done by cutting it into peaces and just cutting of the parts which are fat and blood vessels, don’t mind if the pieces aren’t perfect cubes, imperfection is manly if you’re serving this dish to men, rustique if serving it to a woman. Marinate the pieces in olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan so it’s smoking hot. Combine the pieces on the skewers. Grill for a couple of minutes, turning the spears now and then. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve with a lemon slice.