When Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto needs a go-to recipe, he looks to beef heart. “I really like the flavor and texture of heart. I find it to have a really deep and complex flavor that lends itself to many different cooking techniques.” Here he combines it with San Remo olives in a twist on the classic Italian pasta dish. (Your local butcher shop should be able to provide you with beef heart upon request.) — Arthur Bovino
- 1 beef heart (approximately 4-5 pounds), trimmed of sinew and gristle
- 2 teaspoons salted capers (preferably small ones), rinsed
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
- 2 Serrano peppers sliced into very thin rings
- 2 tablespoons pitted San Remo olives
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 15 ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons fresh basil, julienned
- 4 teaspoons fresh mint, julienned
- Maldon sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Garlic chips
- Crostini (thinly-sliced and toasted bread, usually brushed with olive oil)
First cut the heart into pieces that are small enough to put through the meat grinder set on a medium dice. (A KitchenAid grinder attachment is perfect). If you don’t have a grinder, then hand-cut the heart into ¼-inch pieces.
In a mixing bowl, combine the heart with the capers, red onion, Serranos, olives, lemon zest, and tomatoes. Gently mix, being careful not to break up the tomatoes. Add a splash of olive oil, vinegar, and herbs, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper. (You’re looking for a nice balance between the meat, garnish and heat from the chiles).
To assemble the dish, divide the mixture onto 8 cold serving plates and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Then sprinkle with the crispy garlic chips and serve with the crostini.