With Fergus as my guide…
Beef heart, and lamb kidneys in their suet, both headed for the grill. Thanks to Saugatuck Craft Butchery for helping us to keep things interesting.
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Both were prepped simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and seared on a hot grill. (The kidneys were sliced lengthwise, and rinsed in cold water first.) After resting, the heart was sliced thin for fajitas, and I was really happy with how it turned out. It had a remarkably fine texture and a nice beefy flavor, more minerally than other cuts, but in a good way, and it was firmer than a tenderloin without being chewy.
After grilling the kidneys, I put them in a bowl and covered them with foil to rest, realizing they might need some additional cooking. They did. A quick saute in some butter and a splash of red wine, a few sprigs of thyme, and a little more salt and pepper, and they were ready to go.
These were good, but I’m coming to realize that kidneys might not be my favorite dish. They had plenty of flavor, weren’t overcooked, and all of the flavors came through, but I think it’s the kidney flavor itself that I’m not so crazy about. I’m still willing to try them a few more times, and I’ll order them at some point if a someone can recommend a place that “has good kidneys,” or can share a favorite recipe. But so far on the offal scale, pig’s ears, calves brains, and sweetbreads are more to my liking.
If you’re looking for something to throw on the grill that’s a little different but will actually win people over, go with the heart.
Thanks to Andrew Hyatt for photos of the cooked meats.