Beef Heart Bourguignon

Beef Heart Bourguignon
photo by greg rannells


1 beef heart (about 2 lbs. meat)*
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup cognac
1 sprig thyme
3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. bacon, diced into ¼-inch lardons
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups diced onions
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
4 garlic cloves, diced
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 750-ml. bottle red Burgundy, divided
1 quart beef stock
3 cups diced red or Yukon Gold potatoes
Pat of butter


Three days before serving:
• Trim the beef heart by using a sharp knife to slice down the back of the heart until it falls open like a book, exposing the chambers. Trim the thin layer of fat from the back of the heart. Then, carefully slice the steaks away from the stringy bits of muscle fiber and veins. Cut into 2-inch cubes.
• In a large bowl, season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Douse the cubes with the cognac and rub vigorously. Add the thyme sprig. Cover and refrigerate, rotating and rubbing the beef with the brine daily.

Day of:
• Remove the beef cubes and discard the marinade. In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat until nicely browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
• Add the bacon lardons to the pan and render slowly until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside with the seared beef. Pour off about half of the rendered bacon fat and return the pan to medium-high heat.
• Saute the carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste and stir until it deepens in color, about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Return the bacon and beef to the pan and stir. Add half the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Pour in the rest of the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the liquid by two-thirds, stirring occasionally.
• Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Add the beef stock to the pan and boil 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover** and braise in the oven 2 hours.
• Add the potatoes to the pan, cover and return to oven. Braise 1 hour longer, until the beef is tender.
• Return the pot to the stove and bring to a heavy simmer over medium-high heat 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds and has a glaze-like consistency. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and serve.

* Available at Global Foods Market, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112,
** If using a pan, cover with foil and cut a few slits in the foil to let steam escape.