Skirlie, a Scottish oatmeal hash, and stovies, a dish of stewed potatoes, are here combined into one side dish to accompany this hearty stew. Ox heart is beef heart. Veal heart, which is somewhat smaller, may also be used. Both are meaty and delicious and well-suited to long braising.
For The Heart
- 5-6 lb. beef or veal hearts
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 whole carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped
- 3 whole celery ribs, chopped
- 1 whole rutabaga, peeled and chopped
- 1 whole yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 cups red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°. Using a very sharp knife, cut heart open lengthwise and trim of all valves, connective tissue, and so forth, leaving as much of the pure muscle as possible along with some of the exterior fat. Season all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large heavy enameled cast-iron or other heavy nonreactive heatproof pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add oil and heart and brown well all over. Transfer heart to a bowl and set aside. Add carrots, celery, rutabagas, onions, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Return heart and any accumulated juices to pot, add wine and stock, and bring to a simmer.
- Cover pot and braise heart in oven until very tender, 3 1⁄2—4 1⁄2 hours, depending on size of heart. Set heart aside, covered, on top of the stove.
- Transfer heart to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Boil braising sauce in pot over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain sauce into a bowl, discarding solids. Thinly slice heart.
- To serve, divide skirlie stovies and cabbage between 6-8 warm plates and arrange slices of heart on top of skirlie stovies. Spoon sauce over heart.
For the Accompaniments
- 1⁄2 head green cabbage, cored and thickly sliced
- 1 whole bottle Riesling
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1⁄2 cup pinhead oatmeal
- 1⁄2 whole yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups beef stock
- 4 Tbsp. butter or rendered bacon fat, cut into pieces
- For the cabbage: Put cabbage into a large bowl and generously season with salt. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 3 hours. Rinse and drain well. Put cabbage into a large pot, add wine, and simmer over medium heat until wine is almost completely evaporated and cabbage is tender, about 1 1⁄4 hours. Season to taste with salt, if you like.
- For the skirlie stovies: Preheat oven to 300°. Put oatmeal into a small heavy skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Toss potatoes and onions together in a medium baking dish and spread out in the dish. Add stock to dish, scatter with toasted oatmeal, and dot top with butter or bacon fat. Season to taste with salt. Tightly cover dish with foil and bake until potatoes are soft , about 1 1⁄4 hours. Stir gently and adjust seasonings. Turn off oven, cover skirlie stovies, and keep warm in oven.