Grilled Beef Heart w/ Lemon and Cracked Pepper Marinade

Grilled Heart w Lemon and Cracked Pepper

When you and your spouse are both funemployed at the same time you get to do some really awesome stuff together.  Like wake up late and sip coffee out on the deck on a Thursday.  Like make breakfast side by side without bitching at each other because one or the other is already running late.  Like just decide on a whim to go take a bike ride along the C&O.  Like head over to the butcher afterwards and freak out the whole place when you ask for a beef heart and the guy says he’ll go see what they’ve got in the back and promptly slams what is most certainly the heart of a wooley mammoth–not a cow–onto the counter. What can I say? We’ve got fertile land.

Beef Heart

“What is THAT??” asks the lady behind me.

“A beef heart!” my husband cheerfully replies. “They’re amazing. And cheap. And are, like, the beefiest beef you’ve ever had!” What we left unsaid was that by eating the cow’s heart we’d gain all of its strength and power.

Grilled Beef Hear with Lemon and Cracked Pepper

Usually the easiest thing to do with a heart is to toss it in the slow cooker—they’ve got enough fat on them that they stay really moist and will flavor whatever accessory vegetables you put in alongside it. A “fancier” way to use it is to cut it into strips or chunks and just do your thing like you would with any other cut of beef. Being a holiday weekend and all, I figured now was the time to take a stab at grilling the thing.

Unlike other organ meats there really isn’t the need to disguise the flavor at all—the heart is a muscle, and tastes like any other muscle meat. If there’s anything distinctive it’s the almost “beefier” taste, if that makes any sense. I’m pretty confident that as long as you cut it right you could serve it to a crowd without anyone being the wiser. This is good because I’m not a huge fan of drowning something in sauce or marinade if I don’t have to…especially not when we’re lucky enough to have our herds raised on sweet, sweet valley grass.

Grilled Beef Heart w/ Lemon and Cracked Pepper Marinade
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 beef heart, trimmed to your liking
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T cracked pepper
  • 1 T coarse sea salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  1. Cut the heart in half, then place each half in a bowl or dish for marinating.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, pepper, salt, and oil.
  3. Pour the marinade over the heart and marinate at least 4 hours.
  4. Grill, covered for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the grill and slice to serve.


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6 thoughts on “Grilled Beef Heart w/ Lemon and Cracked Pepper Marinade

  1. Wenchypoo

    Wanna freak people out more? Order a bison liver–they’re HUGE compared to the stuff in grocery stores. Wanna freak YOURSELF out? Go to an Asian grocery store that sells cuts of meat–mine sells ears, tail, uterus, tendon, eyes, and tripe, as well as the usual heart, liver, feet, shanks, and ground-up stuff. They’ve even got fish and produce there that seem to come from a different planet.

  2. Julie

    This looks great! I think I have some lamb hearts in the freezer but they’re much smaller. I will definitely look for beef heart after reading your post!
    I especially appreciate your photo of it cooked. It looks really delicious!

  3. Amy B.

    This is awesome. I have 2 beef hearts in the freezer and had no idea what to do with them. I don’t have a grill (Believe it or not), but I love your idea to put one in the slow cooker. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it’ll probably be great, especially considering heart can be tough if overcooked, and that’s hard to do in a slow cooker. :) Thanks!

    1. camilla Post author

      Definitely! The best thing to do is toss it in there (I usually put a bed of veggies down but thats not mandatory) fattiest side up with some seasoning…my favorite thing to do is just drench it in balsamic vinegar. Hope you like it!

  4. Kelly

    So I don’t need to cut out the ventricles or anything? I’ve seen posts on that. That’s why mine is still in the freezer. Too much work. If I can just toss it in the slow cooker, now that’s easy!

    1. camilla Post author

      I never have. The ventricles and atria are just the chambers of the heart, like big holes. Some people may cut out the papillaries, which are the little white stringy things, but honestly once its cooked I can’t tell. Like anything else, it can be trimmed to one’s desire.


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