4 Feb 2013, 7:06pm
Ingredients Main dish Recipe Uncategorized:


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  • Slow cooked Ox Heart and Kidney

    This is a favourite weekday supper dish at Ermine Towers. It has all the hallmarks of my sort of food: it tastes good, it is cheap, and it is rich in nutrients. I go to a local farm shop that sells really excellent pasture fed meat, and buy all the cheapest cuts. The lady manning the till one day said, “the only other people who buy this feed it to their dogs”.  More fool them, I say.

    Ox heart needs long, slow cooking, and it doesn’t do the ox kidney any harm either. Once it has been cooked long enough to be reasonably tender it has a delicious flavour.

    Ox kidneys, though I think there may be a big of pig kidney in there too (my mistake, but the end result was still good).

    This list isn’t a prescription for quantities, but what I happened to buy that day. About two thirds heart to one-third kidney works well.


    • Ox heart, chopped into large cubes 2.2kg (about £6)
    • Ox kidney chopped into pieces, trimmed off the tougher bits 850g (about £3.40)
    • Offcuts of decent smoked bacon, not too lean (about £1)
    • Onions, chopped (about 20p) and carrots too if you like.
    • Bone stock (free if made from waste bones)
    • Animal fat (free if rescued from cooking meat)
    • Cooked haricot beans, or other pulses (about £1)
    • Herbs, proper sea salt and pepper (call it 20p)

    Total cost, excluding cooking fuel, rice and accompanying veg: £11.80 for ten portions

    Cost per portion: £1.18

    Ox heart. Good value, and delicious if slow cooked for a long time.


    1. Use a cast iron casserole dish. With this quantity you might well need two dishes. Brown the meat in batches in a really hot pan in any sort of animal fat you have to hand. Don’t move the meat for a while once you’ve added it to the hot fat, let it sizzle, then stir briefly, and leave again to sizzle. Put to one side when browned.
    2. Then fry the chopped bacon in the same pan. Once nicely browned put to one side, then fry the onions in the same pan.
    3. Add the meat back into the pan (spreading the ingredients evenly if you are using more than one pan. If you are, you’ll need to create some gravy from the browing on the bottom of the pan, and share that between the dishes too).
    4. Top up with stock, and water if necessary. If you have some red wine to hand, all the better.
    5. Add other ingredients (except the beans)
    6. Stir well, and bring to the boil slowly.
    7. Leave to simmer very slowly for many, many hours. I leave it all day on a very low heat.

    I cook all the ingredients in this way, except the beans, and freeze it in double ermine sized portions, which is why I buy such large quantities. I add the cooked  haricot beans (or other pulses – depends what I have to hand – chickpeas and butter beans also work well) once it is defrosted.

    I like to serve this with a good pile of home grown veg with nice butter on, and rice. If you buy rice, onions and dried pulses in bulk from your local Indian grocers you’ll save lots of money them compared to a supermarket.


    Slow cooked ox heart and kidneys