How to cook lamb heart

How to cook lamb heart

Offal is always seen as a little challenging to work with, and the idea of carving up a whole heart on the chopping board can be a bit too visceral for some home cooks. But if you’re a fan of lamb, lamb heart really is a must-try. This underrated cut has a strong lamby flavour and, as it is a muscle, it has a texture more akin to steak than to other offal cuts such as liver or kidneys, which some find a little challenging. As well as fitting in with the nose-to-tail philosophy of cooking, ensuring no part of the animal goes to waste (something we all should be doing more of), the heart is rich in iron and B vitamins, which are actually very good for your own heart health. It's also very affordable!

What to look for when buying lamb heart

You’re unlikely to stumble across lamb hearts in your local supermarket but they are readily available from butchers, or can be ordered in for you if you ask. Look for firm, smooth flesh with a deep red colouring and only a little bit of fat showing. The heart may have some unsightly tubes and vessels attached; these can easily be trimmed away at home or you can ask your butcher to do it for you. Due to heart's underrated status, they can be picked up for as little as £1.50 each. As with all lamb, choosing organic, grass-fed meat not only ensures a happier life for the animal but healthier, tastier meat packed with more nutrients. If you are stuffing and slow-cooking the heart, one heart per person makes a nice generous portion. However, cutting it up into smaller steaks for sandwiches or salads makes it go a little further and can easily feed two.

Heart recipes

Be still my beating heart... take a look at all our hearty (in more ways than one) recipes and get some nose-to-tail cooking done at home.

How to cook lamb heart

Lamb heart is a muscle and arguably the hardest working muscle at that, meaning it can be a tough cut if not treated properly. Braising it low and slow for 2-3 hours ensures a guaranteed, melt-in-the-mouth texture with a strong, deep flavour. Alternatively, you can butterfly the heart out into thin steaks and flash-fry, leaving it pink in the middle to avoid a chewy texture. Due to its strong flavour, the heart can stand up to heavily flavoured rubs and marinades – think punchy Indian spices and hardy, woody herbs such as rosemary.

For a simple way to fry lamb heart that's been sliced into steaks, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to prepare it before checking out our simple recipe below. Once you've got to grips with the basics, we've got plenty more ideas on how to use this wonderful cut.

How to pan-fry lamb heart

Ingredients

1

Place the lamb heart pieces into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix to create an even marinade. Leave to marinade for at least a couple of hours or preferably overnight

2

Remove the heart pieces from the marinade and loosely wipe off any zest and garlic. Place a frying pan over a high heat and, once smoking, add the heart to the pan. Sear for 1 minute on each side then remove from the pan and leave to rest for a minute

3

Carve up and finish with a little flaky sea salt

Stuffed lamb hearts

Due to its shape, the heart is naturally an ideal vessel for a stuffing. The braised recipe below contains a sausage meat stuffing which is brightened up with lemon zest and parsley to help cut through the rich red wine sauce. Regula Ysewijn creates a kale, bacon and mushroom stuffing for her roasted ox heart recipe which would also be delicious with lamb.

I heart sandwiches

Lamb hearts are ideal for a quick and tasty sandwich. One heart can feed 2–3 people and has bags of flavour for such a low price. We’ve paired our ultimate lamb heart sandwich with a punchy aioli and a mint and anchovy dressing, or take inspiration from Helen Graves’ ox heart sandwich (easily replaced with lamb) and fire up the barbecue for a delicious charred and smoky finish.

Spiced lamb heart

With a deep lamby and almost gamey taste, lamb hearts can easily take a lot of flavour. A heavily spiced, slow-cooked lamb dish such as this lamb chop bhuna or lamb tagine would be delicious with some or all of the lamb being switched for diced lamb heart.

Barbecued lamb heart

Healthy lamb heart salads