Love in disguise

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Pigs' hearts
1 small Onion
4 ounces Fresh breadcrumbs
\N \N Bay leaves
\N \N Parsley
2 \N Lemons (zest only)
1 \N Egg; beaten with milk
2 tablespoons Milk; to beat with egg
2 teaspoons Wine vinegar
\N \N French mustard
15 ounces Canned tomatoes
\N \N A little stock
2 ounces Butter
1 ounce Well-seasoned flour
\N \N Few spoonfuls yoghurt (opt.)

You may get 2 or 3 large hearts for this weight or several smaller ones. Whatever the size, they will be slashed; this is normal. 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. Chop the onion finely and soften it in 1 oz butter. Away from the heat stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, 4 tablespoons 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.

Whizz the tomatoes in a blender, stir in the vinegar and add enough stock to make up to 1 pint. Dust the hearts thoroughly with the well-seasoned flour. Melt 1 oz 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. 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 (160 C) gas mark 3 for 1 hour. Turn the hearts gently and continue cooking for 1 to 1-½ hours more until meat is beautifully tender.

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 yoghurt if liked. Pour the sauce over the hearts, scatter lavishly with chopped parsley and serve with boiled potatoes or noodles.

Source: Philippa Davenport in "Country Living" (British) October 1987.

Typed for you by Karen Mintzias

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