Recipe: Cow Heart with Oyster-Stout Dressing

Updated on March 15, 2016
James Slaven profile image

James has written for various magazines, including Celtic Guide, Mythology Magazine, and Pagan Forest.

Dressing ingredients
Dressing ingredients

I can hear what you’re saying. “Cow heart? Really?” Yeah! Really! It’s quite tasty indeed! Although it’s not as though I woke up one day thinking to myself “mmmmm, cow heart, that has to be good.” Rather it came about in my historical searches of ancestral foods. Trying old-fashioned (meaning anywhere from fifty years to a few millennia years ago) things gives me a connection to my ancestors. Knowing the Irish were big into cattle (anyone up for a doomed raid on Cooley?) and not starving, I looked up a few cow heart recipes.

I didn’t think any of them were perfect for me, so I mucked about a bit and made up my own. I was happy with the outcome, as it ended up having a consistency close to liver, which I also like. Of course, I also have tried Stargazy pie, seafood stew with all the bottom feeders, and (best of all!) haggis (to name a few), so cow heart wasn’t a big stretch for me.

Cow heart!
Cow heart!

What you’ll need is:

  • Cow heart (about four pounds before cutting the fat off)
  • Tin of smoked oysters
  • 2 Bottles of Guinness or any other not overly strong stout
  • Dried onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Butter (Kerrygold from Ireland is reeeeeally good)
  • Marinating liquids and spices (see below for mine)
  • Four pieces bread

The important thing to know about cow heart, is that it starts off extremely tough. It’s full of muscle and gristle and all kinds of things that does make those of less fortitude (not you, fine reader! I know you have this!) to turn their noses up. They don’t know what they’re missing, though. The secret, I have found, is…

Marinade items -- notice the nice zippered bag the heart is in!
Marinade items -- notice the nice zippered bag the heart is in!

Step 1: let it marinate for a couple of days. In this case, use whatever your favorite marinade is that helps break down proteins. Vinegar, citrus, or what have you. I use beer. Sam Adams makes some very good seasonal beers and they insist on putting their flagship lager in each special twelve pack. While it’s a decent beer, I’m way more of an ale guy than a lager guy, so I use it for cooking. It does great with mussels and brats, and it makes a great marinade. I use it and a few spices, of which my favorite is Belgian style white ale by McCormick’s.

Step 2: let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few days. Seriously, at least a couple. I cannot stress how much better this will be if you let it break down for two or three days. If you try to cook it right away, it will be tough and chewy. The longer the better, as long as it doesn’t go bad.

Scraps for the husky dogs!
Scraps for the husky dogs!

Step 3: after letting it marinate for a few days, cut off the fat and tendon-y bits. There is a lot! The heart is a tough muscle with a lot of bits that keep it together. Of course if you like fat and gristle, then there is no point to worry about this step. Personally, I like lean meat, so I cut it off, cook it up, and feed it to the olfa girls. Cutting the fat from around the outside is fairly easy, if time consuming. The gristle on the inside is a bit harder. I generally dig in with my (clean) hands and pull out as much as possible, and then try to cut out the rest with a sharp steak knife. I never get it all, but do manage to get most of it.

Step 4: make the stout-oyster stuffing! I make this for other items besides cow heart, too, but what else would go better for my Irish ancestral cooking than oysters and stouts!

Dressing in a small boil.
Dressing in a small boil.
Dressing finished.
Dressing finished.

4a: I never remember to let bread get stale overnight, so I just toast it. Four pieces usually does it, on a nice medium level.

4b: over medium heat, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan and sprinkle in some dried onion (or real onion) and a teaspoon of minced garlic (or the equivalent real garlic) for flavor. You may have to add another couple tablespoons of butter to keep it from being too dry. I always do. Add the tine of smoked oysters and let everything mesh together.

4c: Add the stout. I add about three-quarters of the stout, because it’s just a shame to not have a big swig of it. Once the stout has boiled down a bit, take it off the heat. It’s ready to go.

Step 5: put some foil down in a cooking dish (this is optional, but makes clean up much easier), place the de-fatted cow heart in, add three-quarters or so of the second bottle of Guinness (and then finish it!), and then cover with the oyster-stout dressing. Wrap the foil on top so it keeps it moist while cooking. Put in the oven at 425 degrees (ovens vary) for around two hours and you’re all set! Naturally, temperatures and times vary, so just make sure the meat is easy to cut when it’s out!

Almost ready...
Almost ready...
Ready to go in the oven!
Ready to go in the oven!

It goes down a treat with another stout, but I love an old ale to go with it or an IPA to give it a hoppy, sweet, citrus to complement the smoked oysters and stout of the dressing and the meatiness of the heart.

Enjoy! Slainte and wassail!

All done!
All done!

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 James Slaven

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)