October 2nd, 2010
Stuffed lamb’s hearts are an extremely cheap and satisfying meal, though you’ll need to buy them from a good butcher because they don’t appear on supermarket shelves.
I’ve tried a few recipes which call for a stuffing of bread cubes, onions, garlic and herbs, but found them quite bland and soggy – it’s been perfect since I added sausage meat.
Stuffed Lamb’s Heart recipe (1 heart per person):
4 lamb’s hearts
8 rashers of streaky bacon
2 pints of home made chicken stock
a little goose or duck fat
1 oz butter
1 oz butter
1 large onion
4 pieces of garlic
1 stick of celery
8 button mushrooms
half a pound of good sausage meat or some Cumberland sausages (minus the skins)
breadcrumbs – 2 pieces of stale bread (chopped up in a food processor)
mixed herbs – ground in a mortar and pestle (rosemary, sage, thyme, sea salt and black peppercorns)
Make you stuffing by chopping all the vegetables finely and frying for a few minutes in butter until soft. Leave the vegetables to cool and then add all the stuffing ingredients to a food processor and blitz. Do make sure you have decent sausage meat – bland supermarket junk won’t do! Don’t add too much salt to the mixture of herbs – sausage meat is salted and there will be salt in the chicken stock. Use some common sense (the Labour Party are out of power now, it’s fashionable to use your brains again), you can always add more salt later.
You need 4 hearts which have no holes in them – if you go to a butcher regularly, he will clean out the insides of the hearts, though it’s not that hard to do yourself, chop off the top and remove any sinews, blood clots etc., so that you have a nice pocket to fill. When that’s done, spoon in your stuffing, place 2 pieces of streaky bacon over the top, crosswise and tie with butchers string to seal the stuffing inside (cocktail sticks or skewers might also do).
Preheat your oven to 150º C.
Heat a large frying pan and add a little bit of goose fat when it’s hot. Lightly brown your stuffed hearts on both sides. Stand your hearts up in a cast iron casserole and pour on the chicken stock (do make your own by simmering a couple of chicken carcasses with some herbs, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, salt and pepper for an hour or two), don’t cover the hearts completely, leave half an inch of space or the stuffing will come out into the stock.
Warm up your casserole to simmering, and then put it in the oven, to cook, for about 2 hours. Check the hearts halfway through, to see that there’s enough stock and that it’s cooking as expected. You can always add a little wine and balsamic vinegar for extra flavour (and liquid). When done, remove the hearts and reduce the stock, add the remaining butter to thicken the sauce. Do taste the sauce and add seasoning if necessary.
Serve with mashed potato and seasonal vegetables.
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