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!

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.