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Mar 26, 2013 09:34 AM

Beef Heart Burgers?

So I bought a beef heart and was hoping to grind it into burgers. I've made the usually grilled beef heart and pan seared versions, but I want to make a 100% beef heart burger.

Is the fat around the outside of the heart good for adding back into the grind, or will it taste funky since it is heart fat, and I'll need to find another source for my fat? I have bacon but I really don't want to use pork. I want this to be 100% beef. I also have an oxtail that I could butcher up, but I REALLY want the lean to be 100% heart so I can say I gave this an honest go.

If anyone can help on the heart fat issue I think I can make a go at this. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing back!

BTW, if you haven't had heart go to your nearest Publix and ask them to save you one. It's one of the only stores that consistently throughout my state has them. They are also great at keeping fresh beef kidney and liver as well.

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  1. RC,

    You'll definitely need to add some fat. I'd recommend trimming a little piece of the heart fat and frying it up, to see how it tastes. If it's inoffensive, and doesn't develop a tough texture (and if there's enough of it), then you're probably set. If, on tasting it, it isn't suitable, then you can sub in some beef fat, or possibly even just fat it up with some butter.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Booklegger451

      Thank you so much, I think that I am going to include the fat off that oxtail too and just sacrifice it. I guess I could include the oxtail meat but that seems cheating. If there isn't enough fat to bring it up to at least 20% I will resort to lamb fat off some shoulder chops I have. I'll post up how it turned out soon, and hopefully it will be a good report. I suppose I'll need to pan sear these burgers and leave the grill alone. I'd hate for them to fall apart mid cook. If they do that in a pan, I can still have a beef heart sloppy joe I suppose. LOL.

      1. re: rcbaughn

        I don't think you have to sacrifice the oxtail... it should braise up nicely, even without it's fat, and if you want to add a bit back in, just give it a bacon wrap before it goes into the braise.

    2. without fat, the heart won't hold together as burgers. the heart fat will be fine to use if there is enough.

      1. (Hmm....had to register to post - no "Anonymous" post option)

        Ah, beef heart burger! Haven't tried that. I have however eaten a "50% aged beef (up to 40 days I think - or was it 30 or 60?), 50% ox heart burger", done IIRC medium rare. It was wonderfully tasty and juicy.

        Unfortunately (for you Americans) the guy who makes and cooks them is UK based. They're called Heartbreaker burgers

        According to an older review post ( the first versions were "100% ox heart cooked in 60 day aged beef fat". The current versions are 50% beef 50% ox heart (not sure what fat is used). Not sure why the switch (I didn't get to eat any of those 100% burgers) but I think the extra fat in the beef helps hold the burger together since ox heart is apparently quite lean meat.

        2 Replies
        1. re: athcnv

          Yeah, heart meat is super lean. Adding fat helps it hold together, and helps mobilize the flavors in the meat, preventing it from tasting flat or livery/coppery.

          1. re: athcnv

            Looks like I will be adding the oxtail fat then. I don't eat a burger unless it has at least 20% fat. Otherwise it's just gonna be a lump of dryness no doubt. Thanks for the link!

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Hi, rcbaughn:

              I grew up eating ground heart as sandwich and stuffed vegetable filling, and forcemeat, and can verify that it lacks a binder to keep it in patties. But IMO it's a shame to dilute its flavor with blending it with other cuts.

              As with many extremely lean meats, e.g., bison, elk, etc., all you really need is a suitable binder. The fancy new "meat glues" will work, as will eggyolk and a handful of breadcrumbs with an easy hand on the turner.

              I also wouldn't sweat including the offal fat in your grind.


              4 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu

                You couldn't have been more right about a binder. I incorporated the 20% fat which I'll probably do next time too since rendered fat gives a ton of flavor and juice, but after they hit medium rare they turned into a loose-meat sandwich instead of a solid burger patty. It was very good, but you lose that juice that is withheld within a solid burger patty. Very glad I pan fried it instead of grilling it or I would've had a ton of ground heart fall between the grates and turn to charcoal.

                Very good though, it tasted like a very meaty beef with just a hint of irony flavor. Good stuff.

                1. re: rcbaughn

                  i love the taste of beef heart. :)

                  1. re: rcbaughn

                    Hi, RC:

                    You know, instead of sweating the binder too much, you might try my dear mum's solution of making loose-meat sandwich filling with mayo/aoli/mustard/schmeer du jour to hold it together. I was very popular in gradeschool because of the odd offal lunches that Mum put in my pail--I've eaten hundreds of ground beefheart sandwiches.

                    If you want to get fancy, you could reduce the jus and add it back into the schmeer. Or (something I haven't tried yet), totally puree/tamis a portion of the heart, and mix *that* in as binder. At least you'd not be diluting the flavor...


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Thank you Kaleo, that sounds like a Man-wich sloppy joe made with a mayo base instead of ketchup. The burger I made ended up really good though and the mayo that was smeared in it definitely made it better, but I didn't use mustard like your mom did. Here's a picture of the burger, tell me what you think.