beef heart

Grilled Beef Heart

Beef heart sliced thinly and grilled perfectly.


Grilled Beef Heart

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As I cook more and more, I’ve found myself venturing into cuts of meat that are less popular – like offal.

There’s a few reasons for this really:

1) It’s boring to cook the same cut over and over again. It can be a fun challenge to figure out a new cut of beef.

2) It way more economical and efficient (and I believe important) to know how to eat the whole animal.

3) Assuming you cook it correctly, it can be really delicious.

I’m lucky enough to be married to someone who is pretty adventurous and will try almost anything once especially after I made her lengua tacos that she still talks about today.

Cooking beef heart was a new one for me though and there’s no doubt about it. It takes a little HEART to cook a big one.

beef heart

Grilled Beef Heart

Beef heart sliced thinly and grilled perfectly.
4.17 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings


  • 1 whole beef heart about 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Polenta or other starch

Gremolata: (From my short rib ragu recipe)

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 lemon zest and 1/2 of the juice
  • ¼ Cup fresh parsley minced
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • Take your whole heart and, with a sharp knife, go over both sides of it removing any sinewy parts including skin and tendons.  You should be left with a uniform piece of meat that resembles a very lean steak.
  • Cut the heart steak into 1/2 inch slices.  Drizzle on some olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Grill heart strips on high heat for about 3 minutes per side for medium rare.  Once the steaks come off the grill, let them rest for a few minutes before serving.  Cover them with foil to keep them warm.
  • Mix gremolata ingredients together ahead of time and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes (30 would be good).
  • Serve a few heart strips over a starch (like polenta).  Top with gremolata.


Serving: 1plateCalories: 675kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 84gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 562mgSodium: 738mgPotassium: 1417mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 407IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 20mg
Keyword Beef Heart, Beef Recipes

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Preparing the Heart

When it comes to finding a whole beef heart, you might have to do some searching. It probably won’t be in your local Kroger. Ask around at butchers and check out farmer’s markets (where I got mine).

The good news is that if you find one, it’ll probably be dirt cheap. I was able to snag a grass-fed free-range heart for about $2/pound.

When I brought it home, Betsy was a bit squeamish about it I think. Mainly just because it looks like, well, a heart.

Yep. That’s a heart.

The thing to remember about a heart is that it’s basically one big muscle with lots of compartments and valves made of tough tendons.

Grab a sharp knife and spend some time going over both sides of the heart, slicing off anything that looks chewy.

You should be left with a steak that is basically the leanest cut of meat you’ll ever see from a cow.

All cleaned up.

Cut this into 1/2 inch strips and drizzle on some olive oil. Then season them liberally with salt and pepper.

salt and pepper
Season liberally…

Cooking the Heart

Unlike some cuts of offal which take a long time to prepare, heart is about as easy as it gets. You want to cook it like a steak basically: Hot and Fast.

So fire up that grill (or cast iron skillet) and crank the heat up to high. The heart steaks will take only about 3 minutes per side to be a nice medium rare.

Really easy to grill.

Be sure to let your heart rest for a few minutes when it comes off the grill before serving it. Just be sure to cover them with foil to keep them warm.

The Gremolata

I decided to serve my heart with a popular Italian topping called gremolata. It’s basically an acidic, herby, salty creation that goes really well with beef.

See where I’m going here?

Just mix everything together and let it marinate for a few minutes at room temperature. You’ll be left with this sauce that goes great on pretty much any cut of beef.

Put this on anything really.

Serving Options

I recommend serving these guys with some sort of starch. I chose polenta just to keep with the Italian theme but you could use egg noodles or a ton of other starches.

Assuming you do use polenta, just cook it according to the package and, if you want, you could mix in some grated cheese.

A side of veggies doesn’t hurt for this dish also because the heart and starch combo can be a bit heavy.

Price at a restaurant?

I cut into one of my heart strips just so you could see the finished product.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to not overcook these guys.


At the end of the day, I thought this was a really tasty cut of meat. Betsy didn’t love it, but she readily admitted that that was mainly because she couldn’t get over the fact that she was eating heart.

I found the flavor to be a lot more mild than some other offal cuts if you can get past the whole heart thing…

What do you think? Anybody else tried beef heart before?

29 Responses to “Grilled Beef Heart” Leave a comment

  1. Yes! I used to eat beef heart when I was a kid. My Great-Grandmother used to braise it. It was so delicious – I still remember it today. I commend your wife for being brave enough to try it out. Mine is not so brave. In fact, IF I was to prepare something like this, it would have to be hidden from her. LOL
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  2. My mother used to make beef heart during the war (that would be WWII for most of your readers who are too young to remember it) when meat was rationed. Even then, the butcher would ask her if it was for the dog. If only it had been; I hated it almost as much as I hated liver. But then, my Pennsylvania Dutch mother was not much of a cook. I commend you for trying it and Betsy for going along with it!

  3. Yep, I eat beef heart. Then again, I'm Japanese, and both beef heart and chicken heart are common in Yakitori places. It's delicious! And so is every other kind of offal!!

    Actually, for most yakitori enthusiasts in Japan, offal is more popular then regular meat!

  4. I love beef heart. I usually brine mine in apple cider vinegar overnight to help cut down on some of the mineral/metallic taste. I then slice it thin, dust it with seasoned flour, pan fry it, saute onions & carrots, deglaze with red wine, add a little beef stock and throw the meat back in to braise for about 90 minutes. Finish it off with some sauteed mushrooms and a little sweet cream butter, and serve it over egg noodles.

  5. As a vegetarian, this falls into the category of "I'd cook it but never eat it." I don't doubt that my better half would be game though. I applaud your endeavor to try to get to know the whole animal. I think a return to this way of eating is postive change from the mindset of eaters who eat a hamburger or a fish stick without knowing and understanding its source beyond the grocery store or restaurant. Plus, I bet it rocked the charts on B vitmins. Interesting post.

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  6. Come to Peru. You can buy tender beef heart on a stick any night. I have never tried it, but it always looks and smells so good.

  7. My daughter went to Peru when she was in college and she had beef heart at a restaurant there and has raved about it ever since. If anybody knows how to cook it Peruvian style please let me know!

  8. I read your blog daily and came across this older recipe while looking for a polenta recipe. I was reluctant the first time I tried beef heart, also. My husband is Peruvian, so the first time I tried it was in Peru. One of their most famous dishes (served either as an appetizer or meal depending on portions) is anticuchos. Have you heard of it? It’s basically beef heart on skewers. It is amazing!!! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s something you should definitely look into. I’m sure you could come up with your own amazing version!

  9. what a great recipe; I never ate beef heart but love liver, tripe, sweetbread so I thought why not? the heart turned out great; thank you so much.


  10. Yes, we eat heart (chicken, turkey and beef, at least) I’ve stuffed it and baked it and done it similarly to what you suggest. You’re right, most people find heart a lot easier to consume than other organ meats.

  11. Trying this 2 day marinate and then doing a slow broil, also could grill

    1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    good sprinkle of basil
    good sprinkle of thyme
    1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon of smoked salt crystals – flake size not grains.
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Mix all the thin slices of beef heart in with the oil, sauce, vinegar , mix in dry ingredients and hand mix and rub all the piece with sauce dry mix in the bowl.

    Rub it in like a jerky rub, don’t just pour it on.

    Cover and place in fridge for 48 hours

    Coat with smears of butter

    Broil or grill

    Don’t know if this will work or not, but though I would try it.

    1. Hey Chris, that sounds good to me except smoked salt is typically a finishing salt. It’s pretty expensive to use in a marinade although I guess you aren’t using much of it. I would use liquid smoke for a similar effect and save the smoked salt (especially the flakes) for a finishing touch.

      Good luck!

  12. Absolutely spot on. I cooked the heart on a hot griddle and served with gnocchi and green beans. The gremolata absolutely makes this simple dish offsetting the Ox heart (like lean steak) with a beautifully zesty light touch. If I had to score it out of 10 it would be right up there. Terrific

  13. I thinly slice (as wafer thin as i can get it),coat in seasoned salt or steak seasoning and pepper and dry it out on a rack for 4 or 5 hours to make the BEST beef jerky

  14. We usually eat venison heart right out in the field. Especially good with wild mushrooms! This will be my first beef heart. I was racking my brain for a good starch. Polenta is perfect! I have some preserved lemon for the gremolata. Omg! Can’t wait to cook this tonight! My husband will be very pleased. Thanks!

  15. Hi, I know this is an old thread, but I just made some beef heart that turned out well, so I thought I’d share. I cleaned mine, the marinated it in a combination of various herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and about a cup of good balsamic vinegar for 24 hours. I removed from the marinade, patted dry and cut into 3/4 thick slices. I quickly dusted the pieces in some whole wheat flour, with salt and pepper. I popped them in the fryer for about 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy. They were great, and my kids (5 and 9) couldn’t stop eating them!

  16. Ok, as usual when I have ingredients I’ve never prepared I google as many as i have time to read. I had already put steak seasoning on my clean steaks then soaked it in milk for an hour while I chopped fresh portabella, 1 small yellow onion, 1/2 can drained spinach, sour cream and what i call Spanish cheese(the kind you can fry). I started the steaks in a hot pan w/coconut oil, went back to my drink and a card game-gone too long. LoL. Deglazed w/ white wine. Set aside under foil. Put veg mock bechamel in same pan w/meat sips, added more white wine, simmered to tender, returned meat to reheat…OMG scattered a bit of gorgonzola to serve…
    Oh yeah, seasoned with rosemary,garlic powder,basil and my beloved horseradish! HeeHaw its delicious! Never had a heart that big before! And I agree about eating smarter-cant figure out why we’re such holdouts on goat?

    1. We absolutely love goat! Of course we raise market goats. Not a big fan of lamb unless it’s really lamb not mutton and it’s grass fed. Goat doesn’t have the “lamby” taste, is lean and has a nice flavor. It works well in any recipe that calls for beef.

  17. I’m going to smoke it for about 30m then hit on high for about 10-12 on a Traeger….. We
    Really like the woodsmoked flavor more to follow…the heart is from a locally procured steer…. grass fed and our meat has been lean and flavorful. This will be first for family although normal when I was growing up.

  18. My Mom made a great stew with it. We loved it. But I’m going to try your recipe.

  19. Yes my husband & I get a cow each year & split it with my daughter. We fix the heart & it’s very good. We gril it. Taste just like a roast or stake. We put a little home made bbq on it, really good flavor.

  20. I grew up eating stuffed venison hearts. They were stuffed, sewn up and braised. Just sliced to serve. Super tender and flavorful.

  21. Probably one of the best beef cuts for stew or braising. It is without question the most “beef” tasting offal of them all.

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