Mesquite Grilled Beef Heart Burrito

Be sure to read Millie’s post about the nutrient value of traditional foods!

Grass-fed beef heart is marinated  and grilled over a mesquite fire before being simmered with tomatoes, garlic and smoky chipotles en adobo..

Mesquite Grilled Beef Heart Burrito


For the Chile con Queso Asadero

1 cup fresh whole milk
2 cups grated Asadero cheese (substitute Monterrey jack)
2 fresh Serrano chiles, thinly sliced
1 fresh red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper

Heat milk and chiles over a double boiler, stirring frequently until small bubbles begin to break the surface.  Slowly whisk in grated cheese and stir until thick and creamy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, reduce heat and keep warm.

For the Burritos (serves 4)

1 fresh grass-fed beef heart
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced
juice of 1 fresh lime
1/3 cup melted beef tallow (substitute leaf lard or rendered bacon fat)
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons roasted paprika
2 chipotles en adobo
sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper
4 large flour tortillas

Trim fresh beef heart of any sinew and gristle, rinse with fresh water, cut into 3-inch chunks and place in a colander set over a sink and allow to drain 20 minutes.  Transfer heart to a non-reactive bowl and marinate in melted tallow, garlic and lime juice while you prepare the grill.

Transfer marinated beef heart to a medium-hot mesquite fire and grill to medium rare as you would a steak.  Transfer grilled heart to a cutting board and allow to cool enough to handle, then chop roughly.  Kill the fire, but leave grill covered to retain heat.

Place 2 tablespoons of the tallow marinade in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  As soon as the fat begins to shimmer, add the onions, garlic and chopped beef heart and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.  Reduce heat and add tomatoes, oregano, paprika and chipotles en adobo. Add 1/4 cup water, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, partially cover and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.

To assemble, heat fresh tortillas on the grill or on a comal then heap filling in the center.  Spoon a little cheese sauce over the filling, then fold envelope-style.  Place burritos back on the grill, cover and heat 5 minutes.  Transfer burritos to plates and spoon cheese sauce over the top.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with pickled cabbage or pickled red onions for a nice contrast to the richness of the burritos.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

16 thoughts on “Mesquite Grilled Beef Heart Burrito

  1. I’m cookin’ up some pastured pork neck bones and ribs in the crock pot right now with a guiness stout, a bit of organic apple cider vinegar, a splash of organic prune juice, 2 pints of home-canned tomatoes, and a healthy squirt of rooster sauce (as I don’t have the makings for a fine batch of homemade heat). I’ll add some frozen organic summer baby limas and silver queen corn from the garden, and maybe some of my garlicky chicken stock if it needs it, maybe a decent potato if I can turn one up, tune it up with some good coarse sea salt and call it mad scientist brunswick stew – hold the squirrel. Now, what else would you add to it?

  2. Thank you for this post! I’ve had the beef heart sitting the freezer from the cow we bought last spring waiting to find a recipe that would inspire me to defrost it. Now I have one (what are your thoughts on lard rather than tallow? we don’t have any tallow right now).

    • You’re welcome, Marianne!

      Lard would be perfectly fine. Another tasty way to cook heart is to skewer it on whole rosemary branches and grill it like shish-kebab. A little butter, garlic, fresh lemon & plenty of salt & pepper.

  3. Excellent!! I just picked up a small beef order yesterday, which included one tongue & one heart. I already knew I wanted to make Tacos de Lengua, but was looking for “just the right thing” for the heart. I have to wean the family gently. This is looking like it may be a winner.

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