We know what you're thinking: heart isn't the first thing that springs to mind when thinking up a tasty addition to a salad. Trust us, it works.
Organ meat used to be incredibly popular back in the day, but it has since declined in popularity.
Last month, you may have picked up on the latest rival to 'veganuary'; 'organuary'. Simply put, it encourages consumers to go for the cuts of meat, least associated with the dinner table. According to the campaign, organ meats are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and are incredibly cheap to buy. With that in mind, there's a mission on to bring organ meats back, which will minimise waste and maximise nutrition.
Lamb/ sheep hearts can be picked up at some supermarkets (Waitrose and Morrisons spring to mind) but can almost certainly be picked up from your local butcher.
The good thing about this recipe, is that visually it looks like a steak salad. It's highly likely your guests won't be able to spot the difference. It's up to you, of course, whether you let them know first. When we asked twitter to identify the cut, only 1 out of 35 identified it correctly.
So, how do you do it and what are the ingredients? (based on a salad for 4 people)
2-3 lamb's hearts (you could also use venison)
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Lambs lettuce or watercress
Half a lemon (for juice)
Vinegar (ideally balsamic, wine or cider)
• The first step is to clean the hearts. This is probably the bit that may be the most problematic. Sam says most butchers can do this for you on request. However, if you fancy doing it yourself, here's how: The heart is made up of 3 cavities, and each has fibrous tendons that need to be removed. Cut off the top with the artery inlets, and then cut down the muscle line, opening the cavities up. Then cut out the little fibrous tendons. You will end up with 2-3 large pieces, of different thickness, per heart. Turn them over and cut off the thick layer of fat at the top too.
• Season with salt and pepper, and a little Worcestershire sauce if you have it – but not too much!
• Fry on a high heat in a little oil. Treat them as a steak that you are cooking rare or medium rare. If you don’t serve them quite rare, they take on a chewy consistency and a less good taste.
• Leave them off the heat to rest while prepping the rest of the salad: a large bowl with either lambs lettuce or watercress and frozen peas (cooked al dente to preserve sweetness, then cooled)
• You want a punchy balsamic dressing with sweetness and acidity – so oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and small twist of lemon, but more vinegar (balsamic, wine or cider ideally) than you would put in a normal dressing.
• Slice the heart thinly on an angle to ensure slices as large as possible (see below). Put on top of the salad in a large bowl, dress and toss.
This is what you are aiming for.. Enjoy !