Well, this was a first. A couple of weeks ago when my friend Stephen Wong was visiting my place on Vancouver Island, I took him to my local butcher shop, Cowichan Valley Meats in Duncan. But he was the one who showed me a part of the shop I hadn’t explored in the past. It turns out it was offally nice for him to do that. The section was the offal, or organ meat section. Stephen said, "this stuff is often dirt cheap, because no one knows what to do with it, but it can be really delicious."
So he grabbed me a package of lamb hearts. Three of them, about a pound all together, for two bucks. I threw them in the freezer, saving them for when I was going to be home alone, because my wife said, ‘you go right ahead and cook those, honey, but I don’t want anything to do with it.’
Tonight was the night. I surfed the net for recipes, but one way I knew Stephen recommended was marinating the hearts in lemon juice and herbs and then grilling it. So I cut two of them into chunks, marinated with lime juice, since I had lots of limes in the fridge, garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper, then skewered the chunks with yellow bell pepper, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Grilled on high heat for just a few minutes, brushing with the remaining marinade. The lamb was tender, did not taste too livery at all.
A recipe I found on the web was a runner-up in a contest sponsored by The Independent, a British newspaper. You can find this lamb heart recipe here, along with the winner and the other runners-up. This one was a stir-fry of sliced lamb heart with bell peppers and mushrooms, rosemary and lemon juice. Yes, this is exactly what I had in the fridge, so it was handy both the recipes worked with what was on hand. This one I liked even better than the kabab, as the texture and flavour of the lamb heart resembled lamb loin….really!
Thanks to Stephen for recommending the hearts, and I’ll be back in the offal department soon. Although I probably will have to surprise Ramona with a dish one night, she won’t want to try it voluntarily!