Beef Recipes, Recipes

Ox heart recipe w/ flatbread, tahini dressing & pickled chillis

This ox heart recipe is a splendid little assembly for the barbecue season, inspired by the flavours of the Levant. Leave your guests to construct them as they wish. Skewered meat holds a certain thrill and fascination for me. Perhaps because it is not a particularly common practice in our traditional food culture – although it is certainly gaining ground as we embrace multiculturalism and enrich our culinary landscape. Or perhaps I am overthinking it, and it is simply a result of living for many years in northeast London, in close proximity to some of the finest ocakbasi establishments in the country. Observing the masters at work, turning skewers and bread amidst a haze of charcoal smoke. Whatever the reason – and truly, it is inconsequential – I thoroughly enjoy cooking food on skewers. Additionally, it must be noted that a freshly baked piece of bread, regardless of its shape, is a thing of beauty. These flatbread certainly embody that sentiment. Delightful!

Serves 6


For the tahini dressing:

For the flatbread

Shop the ingredients


Make the flatbread dough:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on a low speed for 5-minutes, then turn the speed up to medium and mix for a further 5-minutes, then finally 2 more minutes on a low speed.
  2. Or if making by hand; bring together all the ingredients until combined then knead on a lightly-floured surface for 15-minutes.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and shape into a ball, trying to create tension in the dough as you go. Lightly flour the inside of the bowl and place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave out of the fridge overnight.
  4. The following morning, tip the dough back onto a lightly-floured surface and cut into 125g pieces then shape into balls, again creating tension in the dough.
  5. Lightly oil a large tray and lay the shaped dough balls onto the tray, with a little space in between. Cover again with a damp cloth and leave to prove for up to 8-hours, or until you are ready to bake them.

Now for the tahini dressing:

  1. Put the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, water and a pinch of salt into a food processor or blender and blitz for 30-seconds, then, whilst blitzing, begin emulsifying in the oils, slowly.
  2. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary using salt and more lemon juice if needed to find a good balance.

Prep the ox heart:

  1. Using a sharp knife, remove the hard fat from the outside of the heart and remove the top of the heart, where the arteries are.
  2. Then open out the heart and remove the sinew from the inside, break the heart down into smaller pieces to make this easier.
  3. A whole ox heart is likely to be too much for this recipe, so take some of it and freeze for a later date. Then dice the remaining heart into 1-2cm pieces.
  4. Lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds then add to a pestle and mortar with the Aleppo pepper flakes, coarsely grind and then add a good pinch or two of salt.
  5. Season the diced heart with the spice mix and a little drizzle of oil. Toss together so all the heart is coated.
  6. Load the heart onto the skewers, with Padrón peppers interspersed throughout.

To assemble:

  1. Light the barbecue and wait for the charcoal to burn white.
  2. Place the red onions into a bowl and season with salt, mix well and then add the juice of a lemon and leave to sit for 20-minutes.
  3. Lay the heart skewers on the barbecue, where the heat is hot but not too fierce and cook for around 8-minutes, turning regularly. Once cooked, remove and leave to rest.
  4. Take a ball of dough and lay on a floured surface and flatten out with your hand, pushing outwards from the centre.
  5. Take the flattened dough and lay on the barbecue. Cook for 1-minute on each side and then flip as needed until the bread is cooked and nicely coloured.
  6. Repeat these steps till all the bread is cooked.
  7. Make an incision in the side of the bread and open it up. Wrap around the skewered meat and pull off into the bun. Dress with tahini dressing, then add the red onions, pickled chillis and picked parsley.
  8. Eat and enjoy.