For those of you who have happened upon my blog via other sites, you are already familiar with the cookalong guidelines. But if this is your first stop on the tour, here are the rules–Readers’ Digest version:
On Halloween, prepare the Vincent Price dish as assigned by the lovely Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers. Perhaps watch The House on Haunted Hill or some other VP movie. And then blog about it.
Hm. That didn’t really need a Readers’ Digest version.
However, on Halloween I did not make my assigned dish. Nor did I watch House on Haunted Hill (I saw about 10 minutes of Pit and the Pendulum but lost interest quickly). Nor did I go out and dress up as Sexy (fill in the blank). Hell, I didn’t even eat candy corn.
I did laundry.
Because I am the most interesting woman in the world.
Long story short, I made the beef heart a few weeks ago.
When I received my assignment, my first thought was: OF COURSE. Of course Jenny would give me the beef heart!
My first issue was “where the hell am I going to find a beef heart?” which is similar to the question I had to pose to myself last autumn when I tackled 74. Tongue (Italian Style): “where the hell am I going to find a beef tongue?” The answer was the same in both instances: Relay Foods. The issue this time was that I wasn’t guaranteed to get a beef heart (apparently they run out of stock regularly. For the love of all that is holy, who are these other people hankering for heart?) and that the hearts were tiny–like half a pound tiny. So I ordered two. AND I had a back-up plan. I got one from the Giant in Hampden.
So wouldn’t you know that I got not one but both Relay hearts that I ordered? In one fell swoop I went from a beef heart-free home to one with about 4 pounds of it.
Well, I wasn’t going to make a frickin’ 3-pound, stuffed beef heart just for me, so I invited the intrepid Ohioans (Mr. Buckeye and DiS! favorites Leah & Todd) to try this offal delight. Or do I mean awful? Let’s find out, shall we?
OK, issue one was securing a heart. The second issue was actually securing the heart. I had no fucking idea how to stuff the damn thing. Vincent’s recipe just says “stuff the heart with the seasoned bread mixture and secure the opening with skewers.” I thought that there would already be a pocket in the heart and that I could just close it up with wooden skewers.
I really need to start researching my ingredients before I get to this point.
So I took to the internet. How the hell was I going to stuff this thing? Well, I found this picture at the Mid-Century Menu. Which is from a cookbook I own, The Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book.
Ah! I had to truss the damn thing. So I sent Buckeye (who was watching me flounder about the kitchen) up to the Safeway to get one of those turkey stuffing kits while I cut all the fibrous parts off the heart off and made the bread stuffing (I admit, I added some garlic powder to Vincent’s recipe. And I used both onion AND thyme. Why choose just one, Mr. Price? Why?).
That done, and with skewer and string set in hand, I was able to actually do it right.
Well, kinda right.
So I put it in the big pot and covered it with water. There it cooked for the next 2 hours.
And this is what it ended up looking like:
And then I added the butter and flour to make a roux, which turned into a nice gravy.
Per Vincent’s instructions I braised the heart in the sauce.
I removed the skewers, and this is the final product:
Mr. Buckeye carved it–or at least as best he could. My preparation didn’t really lend itself to pretty slices. Or maybe he really isn’t good with cutlery. Remind me to keep him away from any future roasts or poultry. Show of hands–who is surprised when I say that I really liked this?
Those of you who know me, you are not shocked by this at all.
I really enjoyed this dish. If you look at the sliced heart, it looks a lot like liver, no? And I really like liver. This was just like a heavier version. Less metallic. Isn’t that what people always complain about when they eat liver? This was beefier. Kind of like a really, really smooth steak. The stewing made this quite tender. And although there wasn’t a lot of seasoning going on, the gravy was quite flavorful. And there ain’t a damn thing wrong with bread stuffing. Sweet Christ on a cracker, I am so looking forward to my two Thanksgivings this year!
I served the heart with Boursin Twice-Baked Potatoes (my own recipe) and something called Spinach Delicious from the Better Homes & Gardens Vegetable Cook Book. The sides were good. Quite good. Too bad I neglected to take a picture of them. If I had, I would share with you the wonders of Spinach Delicious. But what can I say? I was distracted by the culinary dramatics of the heart.
Culinary Dramatics of the Heart! I think that’s the new title of my never-to-be-written autobiography, replacing I Hate the Civil War, But I Love the Great Potato Famine.
I capped off this dinner with Cherry Chocolate Pie, which you can find HERE.
I think the Ohioans liked it. They ate it. But you know, those Midwesterners are so nice, I don’t know if they’d even tell me if they hated it. I had the leftovers for lunch that Monday. And it was still good.
Anyway, to those of you who popped over from other blogs, thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll visit again. Are you ready to visit my other ghoulfriends who took on the Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong? Check out all of the links below!