The Nasty Bits: Lamb's Heart

The Nasty Bits

Recipes and stories for everything but the oink.


[Photographs: Chichi Wang]

In honor of Valentine's Week, have a heart—a lamb's heart. It's no bigger than the size of your fist. Once you trim away the exterior fat and the interior veins and ventricles, you're left with a fair amount of lean and tender muscle flesh. You could quick-sear it and eat it like a steak or forgo cooking altogether and serve it tartare-style.


Kibbeh Naye, a sort of Lebanese lamb tartare, is a simple preparation to use when you have impeccably fresh and high-quality lamb at your disposal. Though the dish is typically made with leg or loin meat, it's delicious with lamb's heart too.

Simply run the heart through the grinder or food processor until you have a relatively smooth paste. The texture becomes creamy and the flavor, not too offal-y—just clean-tasting and mildly lamby. Mix with a bit of onion, lemon, and cayenne pepper, and you've got an easy appetizer that satisfies the craving for pure, unadulterated meat.