Happy(belated) Valentine's Day, everybody!
When it comes to Valentine's Day, the image that I always bring up in my mind is of course, a heart. Chocolate-shaped hearts are in the supermarket everywhere in the month of January leading to February 14. But I had this weird idea to make a stew with both chocolate-shaped hearts and a cow heart, plus some chocolate milk to boot!
Breaking down the heart was pretty cool. It was the biology dissection class I never had in high school(thanks a lot, vegans!). It doesn't even come close to the owl pellets(read: poop) I dissected in 6th grade for science class!
When you break down a heart, you see many things, like the white plaque inside the heart that you can turn into beef tallow, and the arteries connecting the heart. This is probably a vegan's worst nightmare.
It's very important to wear plastic gloves when cutting up the heart, since the heart is full of blood.
I was expecting the cooked cow heart to taste like liver but it tasted like stew meat instead, which is great because I hate liver! Even my dad agreed that the heart tasted like stew meat.
The chocolate taste came more from the chocolate hearts I put into the stew than the chocolate milk itself. This stew is so good and hearty!
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
Kitchen shears or a butcher's knife
A large plate
A large bowl
A medium bowl
A frying pan
A large saucepot with lid
For the stew:
1 cow heart
1 cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Red palm oil or any cooking oil
10 oz. potatoes
15.5 oz. Roman beans, drained
10 oz. green beans
2 tsp. fish bouillon in 2 cups hot water
2 cups chocolate milk
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of marjoram
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
Garlic bread or wonton strips
To prepare the heart:
1. Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands from cow blood! Remove the plastic from the heart(if there's any). Remove the fat(the pink stuff) and any external connective tissue with kitchen shears or a butcher's knife. Any white stuff you see is not meat! It's plaque. Note: cow heart is very slippery to cut up so be careful, especially with a knife! However, you can render the white stuff into beef tallow.
2. Cut out the red meat and put it in a medium bowl. Cut the internal veins, arteries, and connective tissue(the stringy stuff). Discard anything that isn't red heart meat.
3. Cut the chunks of red heart meat into smaller pieces so it cooks faster.
4. Submerge the meat in the medium bowl under cold water to remove the excess blood. Salt the water and let the meat sit in the salted water for 30 minutes at room temperature.
5. After 30 minutes, drain the liquid out using a colander. Put the heart meat back into the medium bowl.
6. Soak the heart meat in 1 cup of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. If the meat isn't fully submerged, top it off with water until the meat is fully submerged. Put alumimum foil on top of the bowl. Let the heart meat soak in the bowl in the fridge for 1-24 hours.
7. After it's done soaking, drain the liquid out using a colander. Put the heart meat into a clean, large bowl. Pat dry the meat with paper towels to remove any excess liquid.
To make the stew:
1. Pour red palm oil or any cooking oil into a frying pan. Spread it around the pan. Heat the oil up by turning the stove on.
2. Once the oil is heated up, put the heart meat into the frying pan. Not all of it is going to fit, so you'll have to work in batches. Brown the meat by moving it throughout the pan. If using red palm oil, it's ok if the meat is a little yellow. Put the cooked heart meat onto a plate.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the rest of the batches.
4. Put the cooked heart meat into a large saucepot, along with the potatoes, Roman beans, and green beans.
5. Mix 2 tsp. of fish bouillon into 2 cups of hot water to make a fish broth. Pour fish broth into the saucepot, along with the chocolate milk and spices/seasonings.
6. Mix all the ingredients up with a spoon.
7. Bring the stew to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the stew simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Put the lid on the saucepot.
8. After 2 hours, remove the lid and raise the flame to medium-medium low. The liquid will rise, so watch it at all times! Let the stew cook for 30 minutes. This will thicken the stew and reduce it. If the stew rises too much, you can always lower the flame a little.
9. Remove the saucepot from the stovetop. Add in as many chocolate hearts to the stew as you like. Serve with garlic bread or wonton strips. Bon appetit!
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