The Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong: Beef Heart Stewed

Come Into the Kitchen Cook BookWelcome to Dinner is Served 1972 and the Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong!

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! 

This is what I get for making beef tongue and jellied veal. I am the Queen of Variety Meats. Someone get me a kidney!

Yinzerella - Beef Heart Stewed

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.

heart close up

Beef hearts are big

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?

beef heart

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.

WRONG.

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.

Stuffed-Beef-Heart001_thumb1

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?).

beef heart

beef heart

That done, and with skewer and string set in hand, I was able to actually do it right.

stuffing the heart

Well, kinda right.

It was kind of a hot mess.stuffing the heart

stuffed beef heartOK, so that looks absolutely nothing like what was photographed in the BH&G Meat Cook Book. Nor, do I imagine, it is what Vincent’s would look like, but it was stuffed. Mission accomplished!

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:

cooked stuffed beef heartIt kept its shape!

And then I added the butter and flour to make a roux, which turned into a nice gravy.

beef heart stewed gravy

Per Vincent’s instructions I braised the heart in the sauce.

beef heart stewed

I removed the skewers, and this is the final product:

beef heart stewed

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. Vincent Price Beef Heart StewedShow 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!

These are the Vincent Price gourmet delights that await you across the interwebs!
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About Yinzerella

Just a Steel Town Girl on a Saturday night, cookin' for my life. www.dinnerisserved1972.com
This entry was posted in Beef cuts, Food, Knuckle Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong: Beef Heart Stewed

  1. Sally says:

    Your dedication to the cause is exemplary! No way would I have cooked heart. It does look like liver. Bravo.

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  2. Mimi says:

    Damn girl. You are the Queen of Offal. Once again I am blown away.

    Like

  3. Buzz says:

    I have always wanted us to try cooking heart, but the thought of preparing it is pretty darn unappealing. Nice job.

    Like

  4. I am laughing my ass off here in London. I knew you would make this fabulously, make us all laugh with your antics making it and thoroughly enjoy eating it. There was no doubt in my mind that the heart recipe would be YOURS. What the hell I give you next year to do if we have another Halloween Cookalong I do not know. You are a genius, me and (I am sure) Mr Price thank you.

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    • Yinzerella says:

      I am sure that Mr. Price has some other variety meat treasures in one of those books. There just has to be a steak and kidney pie, right?
      I really enjoyed the cookalong. We need to do another one soon. I will put my thinking cap on…
      Cheers!

      Like

  5. I would soooo eat this! Stuffing is one of my all time faves too! But I don’t know if I could get my hands on a beef heart that easily. I may have to look into that.

    But what I’m dying to know is….what did you do with the other hearts?????

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  6. glamorous glutton says:

    I’m so very impressed you attempted this!! I’m sure it was delicious as I’m finding most of these recipes seem to be. But the shenanigans to get it just to the pot are fairly daunting. Well done you!! GG

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  7. SaucyCherie says:

    Braveheart. You are fearless! :-)

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  8. I almost fainted at the prep pictures – BEEF HEART. I am clearly not adventurous. My father would LOVE THIS DISH but I would have to cook it with my eyes closed. I loved this post so much! Any chance I can BEG for that spinach recipe??

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  9. It actually does sound good. I’d have the same problem with sourcing, though. I haven’t tried to get my hands on a beef heart (yet) but I needed some pigs’ trotters and the supplier told me it was 20 lbs or nothing. Why is that?

    Anyway, I love your posts because you always make me laugh!

    Like

  10. Mum says:

    gramsy and your great grandmother would be so very, very proud….heart and an attempt at pickled pigs feet? your great grandma used to make beef kidney stew….just a suggestion.

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  11. The Mouse says:

    As always, reading your comments is as enjoyable as following your culinary adventures. Funny as always.

    Like

  12. Conor Bofin says:

    You just have to see Theatre of Blood.

    Like

  13. Sally Stacey says:

    This reminds me of when I lived for a year in Europe, in the late 1960s. Our landlady once said she was going to serve tongue. When I got to the table, there it was – a HUGE, biege-y/pink, tastebud-covered tongue, gently curled up at the tip (as tongues tend to do), with big tonsils hanging off the back. After I got over my teenage sqeamishness, it actually tasted wonderful. I have, however, never had tongue again and never plan to.

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  14. Amorette says:

    I live in Montana. We eat lots of stuff related to livestock that other people shun. I love tongue and heart and have you ever had Rocky Mountain Oysters?

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  15. Uh…Let’s just say I got off lucky with my fish dish. There’s NO way I would’ve cooked a heart. But you did a swell job.

    Like

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  20. Eq8 says:

    Ethnic meat markets are your source for offbeat cuts of meat and organs. Latinos and African-Americans tend to be the best sources.

    Living in a predominately ethnic area will do the trick, too. I live in South Texas, so our regular grocery stores carry lengua (tongue), tripas (tripe), mollejas (sweetbreads), trotters, pig heads and beef cheek meat. It’s standard to be able to get pig hearts, cow heads, cow brains, cow eyes, chicken heads and chicken feet at the Mexican butchers.

    They don’t waste anything down here.

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