Marinated Grilled Beef Hearts

This image courtesy of Tom Eckerle

Editor's Note: This is a savory recipe for all of you beef lovers out there. It is can be a great entree for an outdoor gathering. While grilling the small beef cubes on skewers, easy for serving, you can also grill some very tasty vegetables, such as portobello mushrooms and eggplant. The garlic, onion, fresh oregano and red wine marinade overnight bring out the spectacular flavors of the beef and help you create an amazing barbecue memory. Of course the beef skewers would not be complete without pairing them with a spicy salsa sure to cause a second alarm blaze in every bite. 

Beef hearts are a chuckwagon legacy. The dish has a very aromatic blend of spices and herbs and is a simple preparation.

Cooking MethodGrilling


Total Timea day or more

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course


MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureGarlicky, Savory

Type of DishSkewer


  • 1 beef heart (3 to 4 pounds), fat and nerves, removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ΒΌ cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 bottle (25.4 ounces) dry red wine
  • Salt, for grilling
  • 12 dried New Mexican chile pepper pods
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Grill with pinon, mesquite, or charcoal
  • Stainless-steel skewers


  1. For the beef: Place the cubed beef heart in a mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients except the wine and mix. Add the wine and mix. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  2. Prepare a fire of pinon, mesquite, or charcoal. Drain the beef hearts, reserving the marinade. Thread the cubes onto skewers and season with salt.

  3. When the coals reach a dusty red glow, grill the hearts, turning often and basting with the remaining marinade. Beef hearts are best served rare with salsa.

  4. Salsa Rena: Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and soak in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes. Drain the chiles. Process the chiles in a food processor, turning the machine on and off until they begin to puree. Add the oregano and a generous amount of salt. Turn the processor on and gradually add the oil. For a very hot sauce, add chile seeds to suit your taste.

  5. Serve with grilled beef hearts or with tequila as a chaser.


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