Marinated Lamb Heart Kabobs with Cucumber Mint Raita

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by snorkelinggirl, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi guys,

    I hope that everybody has had a great weekend full of grilled and/or smoked food!  I'm wrapping up the weekend with a nice little nose-to-tail dish: Marinated Lamb Heart Kabobs with a Cucumber Mint Raita sauce.

    The connective tissue on a lamb heart isn't as tough as on a beef heart, so I don't spend as much time trimming it. I basically just take the whole heart (minus the top fat cap), and cut it into cubes.

    I do trim away the chordae tendineae, which are the tough white string-like bits of connective tissue attached to the heart valves. Otherwise I leave the heart alone. Here is my cubed lamb heart (with chordae tendineae trimmed away).

    I use a marinade which goes as follows for 1 lb of cubed lamb meat. Scale up or down as required.

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    juice of 1 lemon

    2 chopped garlic cloves

    1 small onion, chopped

    1 tsp ground cumin

    1 tsp kosher salt

    1/2 tsp ground allspice

    6 or so sprigs of parsley

    Let the lamb heart marinate for at least 6 hours, better if you can go 8-12 hours. 

    1 lamb heart makes about 2 skewers of kabobs. I like to have leftovers for lunches, so I also cubed up a 2 lb boneless lamb shoulder and marinated it using the same marinade.

    While the lamb was marinating, I made up some Cucumber Mint Raita to go with it. You want to make the raita a couple of hours before dinner so that the flavors have time to meld. The recipe I followed called for 1 cup of full fat yogurt, 1/2 large cucumber peeled and coarsely grated, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper (more to taste), and S&P to taste. 

    The grated cucumber needs to have the water squeezed out of it so that the raita doesn't get too runny, so put it inside a few paper towels and give it a good squeeze. Then mix in all the rest of the ingredients.  Put it into the refrigerator to meld.

    About a half hour before you want to thread your skewers, start soaking the bamboo skewers in water. I like to use bamboo skewers for this rather than metal skewers because I don't want the inside of the lamb to get overcooked. Metal skewers would get hot and cook the lamb cubes from the inside-out as well as the outside-in from the heat of the grill.

    Here are the lamb heart cubes on the skewers.

    And here is the whole batch of kabobs ready to go, lamb heart skewers on the right.

    On the grill. We use medium high direct heat for about 6 minutes, turning the skewers every couple of minutes. We were targeting for medium rare, but overshot a little. But the acidic marinade buys you some margin on this because it tenderizes the lamb, so the lamb doesn't get as tough as it typically would if you overshoot on the cooking.

    Off the grill.

    And here it is on the plate. The lamb heart skewer is on the left, lamb shoulder on the right. Only the cook would know which is which. An unwitting family member would have no idea that they were just given a kabob of organ meat.  Here is a simple plate with steamed rice, sliced cucumber, and the Cucumber Mint Raita. 

    Here is a close-up shot of a piece of the lamb heart with some raita. Still nice and pink in the center.  The marinade has a great flavor, and really does tenderize the lamb.  Although both the lamb shoulder kabobs and the lamb heart kabobs were very tasty, the lamb heart was our favorite because it had a better (i.e. less chewy) texture.  The lamb heart had no absolutely no liver-y or off taste, just a great flavor from the marinade. The cucumber mint raita complimented the marinated lamb kabobs really well.

    This was a delicious way to prepare lamb heart, and I think it would go over well even with folks who haven't eaten heart before. 

    Thank you so much for checking out my post, and hope everyone has a great week!
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Clarissa...again Beautifully done.  I [​IMG] to the girl who cooks the meats I do not dare to try!

  3. Clarissa now i am scared of you since i am a mule and have a heart[​IMG]  OK i have a heart

    That is great.i love it. I have mint in the garden and a neighbor with a heart[​IMG]  [​IMG]. OK i won't[​IMG]  the neighbor.

    I love it. Great post. Chicken hearts are my favorite part of the yard bird.

    Happy smoken my friend.

  4. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow never seen this done before! Great work!!!
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice and tasty looking....     

  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks so much, Kat!  I know this stuff isn't your thing, so I especially appreciate you checking out my post!  Thanks for the compliment and have a great day!!

    Hey David,

    I'm sure with the right marinade and sauce, we could make it all taste good!  Especially with the right adult beverage accompaniment!  [​IMG]

    Good eatin to be had in the innards!

    Thanks for checking out my post and have a great day!
    Stick around the Nose-To-Tail Forum and you'll see some fun stuff!   Thanks so much for the compliment and have a great day!

    Thank you, Dave!  Have a great day!

  7. The entire meal looks great!!! Outstanding step by step. You make some not so ordinary foods look fantastic!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks really tasty Clarissa. Once again another great write up!
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you so much, Alesia!  I really appreciate the compliments!

    Hope you have a great night!
    Hey Case,

    Thank you for the compliments and for checking out my post!  Have a great one!

  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Been a bit preoccupied & just saw this now. Great job,[​IMG]lamb hearts are great meat.Clever thinking going with bamboo not metal on the skewers. I love the marinade ,makes me think that a middle eastern style marinade might have some prospects. Would serve it with the same cucumber deal riata.

    Part of last nights dinner after Rick Steins India book launch.Beef tongue,tripe & beef Sichuan style.
  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mick,

    Thanks so much for the compliment!  Yes, lamb heart is awesome.  Too bad there is only one per lamb!  If you do a middle eastern riff on the marinade, be sure to post it.  Kabobs are a great summer meal, and I would love to learn some other variations.

    That beef tongue and tripe dish looks amazing!  I'd love to try cooking with tripe sometime, but haven't worked my way up to that yet.

    Have a great night!

  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I will do something with a paste called zhug,cilantro,spices,garlic ,chilli, & bits, its out of Yemmen via Isreal .I will knock up a fresh batch soon.Then just repeat your great method without further changes.

    Tripe is a funny thing.I dont eat ot on its own but that Asian way of mixing it up with other things is really cool. Butchers daughter ate it. [​IMG]

    Rick Stein is a famous English chef,writer & TV guy. I have several of his books that go with his TV  series.He divides his time between Sydney & Cornwall.He is a great champion of nose to tail.

    His TV  series have ranged from France ,The Med, S/E Asia,Spain,USA & now India. Gave hin some bottarga ,he was thrilled.[​IMG]

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