Cured beef heart

  • Other
  • medium
  • 20
  • 10 minutes
Not yet rated

This innovative cured beef heart recipe uses a salted sourdough starter to cure a beef heart, creating an extra umami boost. Dean uses it as a beefy seasoning, finely grated as you would bottarga or Parmesan as a flourish to a dish. If you don't already have a sourdough starter on the go, it takes a good 5 days to make, so prepare well in advance.

First published in 2017
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Cured beef heart

  • 1 beef heart
  • 350g of salt
  • 1kg sourdough starter, Dean uses a rye starter


To begin, prepare the heart. Wash it thoroughly and cut away any excess fat and gristle
To brine the heart, make a 10% brine by dissolving the 300g salt in 3 litres of water. You can flavour your brine here too if you'd like – black pepper, rosemary, garlic and bay leaves work well; or sichuan pepper, star anise, coriander seeds and chilli flakes if you prefer Asian flavours. Place the heart in the solution and set aside to brine for 7 hours
Remove from the brine and pat dry with kitchen roll
Mix the remaining 50g of salt through your sourdough starter then submerge the heart in it, rubbing the starter into any nooks and crannies. Cover and leave it to cure overnight at room temperature
  • 1kg sourdough starter, Dean uses a rye starter
  • 50g of salt
Wash off the cure and pat dry. The heart then needs to air-dry in a cool, dark, well-ventilated room for 7 days. 15°C is the ideal temperature, so you could even hang it outside in spring or autumn if the weather's right
The heart should have turned completely hard and darker in colour. If it feels like it still has some bounce in the centre, keep drying for longer (you can cut it into pieces to check progress and speed up the drying time)
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. Grate over pasta, into sauces for extra depth of flavour, or even over scrambled eggs to add a touch of umami to your breakfast
First published in 2017

With an unwavering dedication to finding the best ingredients around and amplifying their flavour through a variety of techniques, Dean Parker is an exciting young chef who rose through Robin Gill's restaurant empire and now heads up his own restaurant in Glasgow.

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