Monday, June 18, 2012

Beef heart jerky is yummy!

Recently I made beef jerky from beef heart. Wow, is it good! It's the best jerky I've ever had. I marinate it in red wine vinegar with cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. I dehydrate it in my crappy Ronco dehydrator that works great despite being the most low-budge, low-tech dehydrator you can buy. Jerky isn't cooked. The heart is raw when I place it on the dehydrator racks. Mmm mmm good!

Here's the recipe:
marinate 3lbs heart as slices in:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper for at least twelve hours
Then dehydrate!

Recently, on recommendation from a random man I was talking to at Whole Foods, I went to Santa Cruz Market. Santa Cruz Market has been there as long as I can remember. I remember it from way back as a little girl. They still have the G & H Blue Chip Stamps sign on the side of the store. Do you remember blue chip stamps? That was a looong time ago. You got stamps with every purchase to put into a book. Once you had enough stamps, you could order something from a catalog. The more stamps the better the thing you could order.

Santa Cruz Market is now an ethnic grocery. Many of the items are in Spanish or bilingual, including the meats. I asked the butcher if they had heart. He didn't know what that was so I pointed to my own heart. Oh yeah, we have that! He sold me "Corazon de res" for $2.59 a pound. I pay $8 a pound when I buy the grass fed stuff on the Internet. I can't even find it anywhere else.

They had all kinds of meat there. Pork belly, pork liver, even goat. They probably had beef brains, but I didn't see any. I think Santa Cruz has become my meat market now. I know grassfed is better for you, but I can get organ meat and specialty meat. Grassfed meat is only available as chuck roast, ribeye and NY strips and ground, which I imagine is just the chuck, ribeye and NY steaks they couldn't sell, and it's minimum $7 a pound and up to $25 a pound. You have to buy CAFO meat if you want organs and any thing else.


  1. Hey Piper, I know that locally we can source grass fed beef from Rancho San Julian and Novy Ranches -- I wonder how receptive they would be to offering you the less common cuts if you approached them?

    Novy already sells ground organ meat:

    1. I would have to go to the farmers market and ask them and then go back the following week to get what I asked for. I often have things to do on the weekends. I can't always get there.

      They're selling Rancho San Julian beef at the IV Food Coop. I work at the university and often walk over there on my lunch break. But no organ meats. I might be able to pester the Food Coop manager to carry liver.

      I kind of wonder if these local meat makers actually get back all the organs when they have their cattle slaughtered. It sure doesn't seem like the get the whole animal back, just bits and pieces. I wonder what happens to all the rest. I mean, I'm sure they don't get the hides and the hooves back, so it would make sense they didn't get back all the organs and bones, too, when they sent their cattle to the slaughter house.