Back in Time for Winter

Stuffed beef heart with root vegetables

Now you can make this 1940s-inspired dish!

Now you can make this 1940s-inspired dish!

While the Carlson family knew they would be faced with unfamiliar foods over the course of this time-traveling winter experiment, they couldn’t have predicted their first family dinner would be this hearty war-time favourite: stuffed beef heart. 

Melanie Carlson’s cooking tip? Use extra lard!


  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 small onions
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 beef heart
  • 1 cup tomato juice, plus extra if needed

Special materials required

  • Butcher's twine
  • Trussing needle


Preheat oven to 325F degrees.


Peel carrots and potatoes and cut into large 1-inch chunks. Peel and slice one onion. Set aside.


Crumble bread into half-inch cubes, set aside in a mixing bowl.

Next, chop remaining onion and fry in 1 tablespoon of lard over medium heat until softened, approximately 3-5 minutes. Transfer onions into bowl with bread and let cool for 2 minutes. Add egg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.

Stuffed heart:

Wash heart under running water and pat dry. Then, using a knife, remove veins, arteries (any hard parts). Discard the pieces that have been removed. Season heart generously with salt and pepper on all sides.

Fill heart cavity with the stuffing, packing it in gently. Sew openings shut using the trussing needle and butcher’s twine.

Melt remaining lard over medium high heat in the frying pan used previously. Add heart and sear on all sides until golden brown, then transfer to a roasting pan. Add a half cup of tomato juice to pan, cover with lid and cook in oven for 3 hours total. At the 2-hour mark, remove roasting pan from oven, place prepared vegetables around the heart along with the remaining half cup of tomato juice, adding additional tomato juice or water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and return to oven. Let cook for remaining hour.

Once heart has cooked for 3 hours and vegetables are tender, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove butcher’s twine. Transfer the heart to a large platter, add the vegetables around it and spoon over pan drippings. 

Cut heart into half-inch thick slices, serve with the vegetables and enjoy.

Serves 5 as a main dish