At this time of the year, nearing the end of a long, lingering winter, our Grassfed Beef reserves are beginning to run low. In the retail freezer we have—ground beef, and BEEF HEART! “Beef Heart?” you ask. “Ummm, I still have some of that in my freezer too. What do I do with it?” There are a multitude of recipes (traditionally roasted stuffed) and a multitude of reasons (health, nose to tail appreciation) to eat Beef Heart, but around here we eat it simply because it is DELICIOUS! Anticuchos are a simple intro to Heart. I’m told that these Beef Heart Kabobs are a traditional Peruvian street food. They are zesty, flavorful, and family friendly. And if you cook them in the dead of winter they bring the flavors of summer into your home. Our family loves Anticuchos. Quite literally, my 8 year old looked into the freezer and said in a panicked tone, “You need to keep some Heart, we need kabobs!!!!”
If you are intimidated by the thought of opening up that package of Heart, take a deep breath. All Trail’s End grassfed Beef Heart comes prepped by the butcher. It has been split and cleaned. All of the anatomically interesting bits have been taken care of for you. What is left is meat with the taste and texture of steak.
You’ll need to trim off some excess fat and sinew. Then simply slice the meat into thin chunks uniformly sized, about 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch thick. You will want them thin so that they cook quickly, NOT cut into big squares like traditional kabobs.
Now whip up a marinade- I NEVER MEASURE- just go by taste and what you have on hand. In the summer I often add extras like garlic scapes or onion tops to a marinade. The basic flavor of this marinade includes: Red Wine Vinegar (or lime), Olive Oil, Cilantro, Garlic, Cumin, Chile (or Cayenne), and Salt. Add the marinade to the meat in a bag or bowl and refrigerate overnight. Reserve some of the marinade for basting. You’ll notice that the recipe below calls for one Heart. Just adjust the marinade accordingly if you are cooking up more than one Heart. We usually do about 3 at once.
After the meat is marinated, thread the meat onto skewers that have been pre-soaked. Grill them on a VERY HOT BBQ, preferably poolside with a beer in your hand, but a snow covered back deck works just as well. Brush them with the reserved marinade while they grill. They will cook quickly, about 4-5 minutes, all the way through.
Now eat them hot! In Peru, Anticuchos are traditionally served with corn on the cob. We tend to eat them with a summer salad. Our kids can eat their weight in these kabobs. They were also very popular served at our Open Ranch Day 2015. I hope your household enjoys them, too!
Anticuchos (Peruvian Beef Heart Kabobs)
- 1 Beef Heart
- 1/4 Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- Bunch Cilantro chopped
- 8 Cloves Garlic diced
- Paprika or Cayenne
- Mix marinade ingredients together, reserve some for basting.
- Thaw Beef Heart and trim off excess sinew and gristle.
- Cut the meat into equal-sized chunks, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick.
- Toss in a Ziploc bag or bowl with the marinade overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
- Soak skewers in water for a few hours.
- Thread the meat onto the skewers.
- Cook over a very hot BBQ for about 4 minutes or until cooked through. Brush skewers with reserved marinade while they are grilling.
- Eat hot and enjoy!