Beef Heart Chili

I’ve been making and eating chili for a very long time now (some examples here and here), but I can honestly say that this is the most intensely-flavored, beefytasting pot I’ve ever had.  The secret?  Well, there are a couple.

Beef Heart Chili

Beef Heart Chili

Let’s look at the ingredients..

Chili Ingredients

its all about the ingredients

This is a fairly mild chili, but you can certainly increase the heat with jalapeño or Serrano peppers if you desire.

Clockwise from the bottom-left, we have 70% lean coarse-ground grass-fed beef, chiles Chipotle Dorado, New Mexico and Ancho, beef tallow, white onion, ripe plum tomato, Mexican Oregano, annatto seeds, cumin seed, sea salt, black pepper, long-neck garlic, coarse corn flour and freshly-ground beef heart.

Start by splitting the chiles with a scissors and removing the stems and seed clusters.  Its a good idea to wear gloves while doing this- I keep of box of recyclable medical gloves for this purpose.

Lay the split chiles out flat on a dry comal or heavy skillet along with some whole cumin seeds and toast over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 8 minutes.  Don’t let anything burn or it will be bitter.

Transfer the toasted chiles, cumin and annatto seeds to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a semi-fine powder.  Set aside.

Melt beef tallow in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking.  Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add ground beef and heart and sear until well browned.  Transfer meat to a Dutch oven, then sauté onions and garlic in the same pan.

Add the onions, garlic, oregano and diced tomato to the meat along with about 2 cups of filtered water for each 1 1/2 pounds of meat.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the corn flour and simmer another 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper if necessary and serve garnished with finely minced tomato, white onion and cilantro.  Offer beans and/or tortillas on the side if you wish.

Beef heart is very high in iron, riboflavin, selenium and vitamin B12 and high in niacin, phosphorus and zinc, and has an extraordinary amount of cancer-fighting CoQ10.  The appearance, texture and taste are indistinguishable from that of high-quality ground beef, except that it has a beefier flavor than hamburger.

7 thoughts on “Beef Heart Chili

    • For chili, you’ll want to trim any fat/membrane and grind twice while still chilled. A 3:1 beef:heart ratio seems about right to me. Let me know how you like it!

  1. I love it that we can get ground heart (1/4 heart to 3/4 ground beef) from our farm – I use it in anything I use straight ground beef for, it tastes great!

    This looks great, and it is definitely that time of year again where chili sounds so good. 🙂


  2. This looks tasty, I’ll have to make some with a venison heart after deer season this year. I usually feed the heart & liver to the dog, but I may just eat it with this recipe. I used to eat heart/liver/tongue in Colombia growing up all the time. I love love love liver, but I didn’t go for it with CAFO beef, I have found a local source for grass-fed beef though, so I’ll have to make my favorite – liver & onions soon. MMMMMMMMM.

  3. Pingback: Tuesday Twister |

Leave a Reply