Hearts remind me of a rabbit warren - they're full of tunnels, passages, and dead ends. The easiest way to deal with them is to slice them open and spread them out flat, like unrolling a bell pepper. There's some good meat in the middle, but just cut that out for now. This will give you a nice, flat piece of meat to work with. Once the heart is spread out, trim off all the ventricles and valves at the top, which will feel like hard rubber rings. I usually rinse the heart as well, since blood like to hide in the nooks. Next, return to that middle bit you cut out and trim off any hard or bloody bits. This will leave you with nice lean meat you can use in a lot of recipes, such as kabobs, grilling like flank steak, or grinding.
|Three heart cutlets, some very good heart meat trim, and ventricles off in the back|
a great book on Polish sausages, and I was surprised there were no recipes for heart sausage. They're used in head cheese, and some liver puddings, but no sausage. I wonder if it's just because the hearts, which are made of cardiac muscle, don't lend themselves well to this type of dish, at least in the high percentage of heart meat I used. Or perhaps since head cheese has so many gelatin-rich ingredients in it already, it makes up for the heart's lack of binding.
|No photoshop! These heart sausages turned super pink while cooking.|