I purchased a beef heart last spring during a local grassfed beef sale and had been intimidated by it ever since. Since it has the potential to be tough, I wanted to use the pressure cooker (Instant Pot) to cook it. It turned out great!
Finally, I made my way to the bottom of the freezer. I shrugged, thawed my beef heart overnight in the fridge, and the next day popped it in the pressure cooker with low expectations. It turns out that beef heart is delicious! What a pleasant surprise. For an organ meat, it’s not weird at all, and it isn’t tough like I expected. It was easy to cook in the Instant Pot.
Beef heart was rich in CoQ10, and that it is recommended by Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions to serve your family organ meats often. She recommends grinding up heart meat and mixing it in with ground beef. Other than that, there have been very few further mentions of heart, its benefits, and how to cook or serve it. It turns out, though, that CoQ10, which is super high in heart, is also super beneficially especially in aging people.
CoQ10 For Cardiovascular Disease and Inflammation Treatment
CoQ10 improves energy, augments the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. (source)
Though CoQ10 is produced in humans, supplementation may also be useful especially with aging.
There is evidence that supplementation positively affects mitochondrial deficiency syndrome and the symptoms of aging based mainly on improvements in bioenergetics. Cardiovascular disease and inflammation are alleviated by the antioxidant effect of CoQ10. (source)
Despite the knowledge of the importance of CoQ10, it was hard to track down many studies of where it can be found in food. Placating ‘in fresh fruits and vegetables’ was thrown around in various mainstream articles, without specifics. Upon further digging, I found that CoQ10 is super high in heart and liver of any animal, most specifically heart!
See the tables below comparing mg of CoQ10 in heart vs liver, muscle meat, vegetables, and grains.
And lucky for us, heart is also inexpensive, easy to prepare, and delicious!
Another win for organ meats, and the traditions of eating every part of the animal.
How Long to Cook Beef Heart in the Instant Pot
Beef heart is super easy to make in the Instant pot and it comes out tender and delicious! Cook on high pressure for 75 minutes, adding salt and 1 cup of broth or water.
Think of the beef heart as a nice big flavorful roast. In my experience, heart is even easier than roasts to cook since it doesn’t dry out.
Here we cook the heart on its own, but you could quarter peeled onions and cook them with the heart, or add sliced carrots and celery as well with no change in cooking time.
Beef heart can be purchased as pieces from US Wellness Meats, or your local butcher probably can set one aside for you.
Beef Heart in the Instant Pot
Beef Heart cooks up easily in the Instant Pot and is a tender, mild-flavored organ meat that is rich in CoQ10, protein, B12, folate, and more.
- 1 beef heart 3-4 lbs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 onions optional
Peel and quarter optional onion, and place in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
If not cut in half, cut beef heart in half and remove any hard bits (it may already be trimmed and there is nothing to do). Place in the Instant Pot on top of the onion if using, and sprinkle with sea salt. Pour water around the salted beef heart.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and set to 'seal'. Cook on high pressure for 75 minutes on high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes.
Slice thinly against the grain, salt as desired, and enjoy. The sliced pieces can be served as you would serve steak, topped with sauce like chili-lime mayo, salted, or even diced and added to stir fry or soup, or slice thinly and use as lunchmeat in sandwiches.
Alternative Option: Beef Heart in the Slow Cooker
More meat-based recipes you’ll love:
Carnivore Breakfast Sandwich Recipe
Garlic Studded Boneless Lamb Roast
I’ve heard that high temperatures are bad for meats. Could you look in to that. Thanks
Meat needs to be denaturalized in order for you to eat it. This means, the fibers should separate by heat, and the blood should be drained out of the meat.
This means you need to cook it well.
I do not own a pressure cooker or an instapot.
Any chance you know how to make beef heart in a slow cooker?
Yes I think you can! I’d just do it on low, covered in water, all day.
Same recipe, I use onion, celery and carrot Basic soup stock flavors) and cook on high for about 3-4 hours. Time is very forgiving as long as there is a layer of wateer in the bottom of the pot. Beef tongue is delicious too. Same recipe and peel the skin of after cooking.
Where do you find beef tongue? When I was a child my grandfather would make heart and tongue like this: take the heart and tongue and boil them until tender (I am using the Instant Pot now instead). When they cool slice them and place them in a bowl with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar ans a sliced onion. Allow to sit for several hours. You may add salt and pepper to taste. He would leave the bowl on his kitchen table and when us kids would visit we would gobble it up.
Check out butcher shops.
I find beef tongue at my grocery store at the meat department. Ask the guys behind the meat counter.
Beef heart is good in beef vegetable soup.
I’m going to try this with pork heart!
I love using beef heart meat to make beef stroganoff! So delicious, my family thinks stroganoff made with steak is sub-par!
Oh do go on… how do you use for stroganoff?
Can you share some tips on using heart for stroganoff? My husband does not want to eat the heart and he loves stroganoff. Maybe this can change his mind?
I make Stroganoff with the heart and my family didn’t even know the first time. Now, this all I use. Pressure cook it and then slice it like you would steak. Yum
Oh wow! I could get the kids to eat it this way. Anyone know how to make the heart tender enough for stroganoff?
My mom would summer the beef heart and when it was tender, cut it into chunks and put it in home made stuffing and bake it in the oven! Delicious
How long would I cook beef heart from frozen?
I believe frozen meat is beat thawed overnight in the fridge (depending on size is how long it takes to defrost). That way it won’t get rubbery/more tough or affect the flavor.
I appreciate you sharing this recipe. I’ve cooked heart before, but it was always tough. The texture/taste of heart using this method was similar to tongue/a chuck roast, but juicier than a roast would be. Thank you!
I would like to try pureeing my beef heart to mix into other dishes. Does this come out tender enough to do that? (I am assuming I would add some of the liquid to the puree.). Thank you for the recipe!
I like to make heart sandwiches with plenty of mayonnaise. By slicing for sandwiches and bagging for freezer,I can pull out a small bag for quick lunches or snacks. Great for travel or fishing and hunting trips.