Sunday, January 01, 2006

Beef Heart for New Years

Thought I would, but it turns out I don't like beef heart, even when prepared with some of my favorite cooking ingredients. If choosing something simple and cheap to serve next New Years, a killer black eyed pea recipe should work better, at least for me. All the music by the band Black Eyed Peas being played around our house by the younger generation throughout the Holidays should reminded me. The Captain was never played.

Beefheart is lot like kidney, both being organ meats. My family served kidney stew occasionally during my childhood, possibly for New Years. Although hardly one of my favorites, it didn't occur to me that the beefheart would taste like that kidney stew. Yet, despite all the ginger, scallions, soy sauce and sherry which enhance the recipe below, it did.

The beefheart came from our local Safeway. The reason, quite simply, was that it was the first new and different item I'd observed there in years. Could New Years have anything to do with that? It looked fresh and was inexpensive at 97 cents for an 11 ounce container. More significantly, I remembered reading a few months ago a recipe for beef heart that had interested me in Gloria Bley Miller's The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook, published by Grosset and Dunlap, New York. If beef heart is your thing, you might want to try it.

1 Beef Heart (2 pounds)
2 Scallion stalks
3 or 4 slices fresh ginger root
1 tablepoon corn starch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
1. Cut beef heart lengthwise in half, then in 1/8 inch slices. (Trim off and discard any fat and blood vessels.) Place meat in a bowl. Cut scallions in 1 inch sections; mince ginger root and add.
2. Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry, water, salt and sugar. Add to meat and toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain, discarding marinade.
3. Heat oil. Add meat and stir-fry over medium heat until done (3 to 4 minutes). Serve at once.