Braised hearts with creamed leeks and wild garlic

Serves 4

This is based on a favourite childhood recipe of mine – my gran used to make these delicious braised hearts with a parsley and thyme breadcrumb stuffing. As I remember, much of her cooking was based around cheap, tasty cuts such as lambs' livers and beef brisket.

But her stuffed lambs' hearts used to be a weekly feature on our dinner menu, and I remember always looking forward to eating them – although I hadn't come across wild garlic at that point.

8 lambs' hearts, trimmed
Flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
8 cocktail sticks
2 medium leeks
A small handful of wild garlic
200ml double cream
A good pinch of salt

For the sauce

1 medium onion, finely chopped
A good knob of butter
1tbsp plain flour
tsp tomato purée
200ml beer
400ml beef stock
1 bay leaf

For the stuffing

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
A good knob of butter
60g fresh white breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. First make the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan; gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute. Gradually add the beer, stirring to avoid lumps forming, and gradually add the beef stock. Bring to the boil, add the bay leaf and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Gently cook the onion and thyme in the butter for a minute to soften them, then stir in the breadcrumbs and season. Insert the point of a small knife into the cavity of the heart and remove any sinews, allowing room in the cavity for the stuffing. Force as much stuffing into the cavity as possible and secure with a cocktail stick. Season and lightly flour the hearts. Heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in a frying pan and lightly brown the hearts, turning them so that they are evenly coloured. Put the hearts into a casserole with a lid; cook in the oven for about an hour and a half, turning every so often.

Meanwhile, cook the leeks in boiling salted water for 10 minutes, or until tender; remove from the water; leave to cool. Once cool, cut into half-cm slices and place in a pan with the wild garlic and cream, season and simmer until the cream has reduced and is just coating the leeks. Spoon the leeks on to warmed plates, place the hearts on top and spoon over the sauce.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace