Love In Disguise

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Fancy names were traditionally given to offal dishes like this one in order to mask their origins. This is really just a recipe for stuffed pig hearts.

Yield: Serves 6.

Course:

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pigs' hearts
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • Bay leaves
  • Parsley
  • 2 lemons (zest only)
  • 1 egg beaten with milk
  • 2 tablespoons milk to beat with egg
  • 2 teaspoon wine vinegar
  • French mustard
  • 15 ounces canned tomatoes
  • A little stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons well-seasoned flour
  • Few spoonfuls yogurt (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash the hearts and trim away waste - fat, membrane, gristle and arteries. Soak in lightly salted water for 10 minutes then rinse, drain and dry well.
  2. Chop the onion finely and saute it in 2 tbls butter. Away from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, 4 tbls parsley and lots of salt and pepper. Bind with the egg and milk. Use the mixture to stuff the heart cavities, and secure the openings with toothpicks or cocktail sticks - there is no need to make perfect closures.
  3. Whizz the tomatoes in a blender, stir in the vinegar and add enough stock to make up to 2 cups.
  4. Dust the hearts thoroughly with the well-seasoned flour.
  5. Melt 2 tbls butter in a flameproof casserole, stir in the leftover flour and let it brown a little. Blend in the tomato mixture and make a smooth, bubbling hot sauce.
  6. Lay the prepared hearts in the sauce and tuck the bay leaves among them. Cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, and cook at 325°F for 1 hour. Turn the hearts gently and continue cooking for 1 to 11/2 hours more until meat is tender.
  7. Transfer the hearts to a warmed serving dish. Stir the mustard into the sauce, add salt and pepper to taste - and carefully blend in the yogurt if liked. Pour the sauce over the hearts, scatter lavishly with chopped parsley and serve with boiled potatoes or noodles.

Tips/Techniques

You may get 2 or 3 large hearts or several smaller ones. Whatever the size, they will be slashed; this is normal.
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