Call St. Valentine’s Day a Hallmark Holiday if you must, but as a public service to lovers and lovers of offal I offer up a simple, seductive Mediterranean recipe. Make your loved one some beef heart tartare a la puttanesca. Pair it with a nice Chianti and perhaps some Captain Beefheart, or, if you absolutely must Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
The recipe comes from my very good friend Chef Dave Noeth. Dave used the heart from a grass-fed Highlander Whiteface crossbreed that had been slaughtered just days before by his pal John Zamatope of Carman Valley Farms in Hamden Village, N.Y., 607-746-8287. The mound of meat was topped off, with another farm fresh product, the yolk from a pastured blue foot chicken.
Beef heart tartare a la puttanesca
One 5-pound beef heart (or substitute lean, grass-fed beef)
20 quartered cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. capers
½ medium red onion chopped
3 Tbsp. chiffonade fresh basil
3 Tbsp. chiffonade fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped green olives
Zest of one lemon
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ Jalapeno pepper chopped
½ hot long hot chili pepper chopped
1 egg yolk
Maldon sea salt, Coarsely ground black pepper
Clean heart of all sinew and fat and then coarsely grind or hand chop. Combine the meat with all other ingredients except yolk, anchovies, salt and pepper, reserving these for garnish. Serve with baguette slices and attitude of gratitude that your sweetie is a like-minded eater.
And if you’re looking for a decidedly non-Hallmark Valentine’s Day card be sure to check out the line of zombie-themed cards from Broken Candy Greetings.