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.
Adapted from The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
- Yield:two as an appetizer
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 1/2 hours
- 1 lamb's heart
- 2-3 tablespoons bulgur wheat
- 1 shallot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Few drops lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- A few sprigs finely chopped parsley
- To serve:
- Pita bread
- Romaine lettuce
- Fresh radishes
- Black olives
Cook bulgar wheat: Place bulgar in small bowl. Pour boiling water over bulgar, immersing entirely. Let bowl of bulgar sit covered for one hour to cool and absorb water.
Grate shallot with microplane zester. Finely grind lamb's heart or pulse in food processor until you have a smooth paste. Transfer lamb's heart to bowl and beat in onion, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, pinch of cayenne, lemon juice, and salt. Beat in bulgar. Chil mixture for one hour before serving.
Finish by trickling with the remaining olive. Scatter the parsley and final pinch of cayenne. Eat with hot pita bread and undressed romaine lettuce leaves, radishes, and olives.