Ox heart skewers with guindilla chilli, mango & radish salsa

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

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An ox heart is not something that the faint-hearted should prepare. They are a huge muscle, and when one thinks about it, it seems somewhat odd to be cutting one up - well, that’s how I feel about it anyway. Interestingly, considering how much work the heart does, it isn’t that tough a muscle, although a little marinating will help keep it tasty. Once diced up, people will think it’s simply rump steak or the like. At Bellota restaurant in New Zealand our first head chef, Argentinean Mariano Ramon, cooked ox heart kebabs and these went down really well with our Auckland punters - so this dish is created in his honour. As an ox heart is so huge, and one heart will make many skewers, see if your butcher can sell you just half a one! Or, feed the rest to the cat. The pickled chillies in the photo are Spanish guindilla chillies - but head to your local speciality food shop and you’ll find something suitable there.


  • ½ an ox heart, trimmed of all sinew and fat
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp pimenton picante (spicy smoked paprika)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 1 mango
  • 4 radishes
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 pickled green chillies, sliced (plus extra for serving with the kebabs)
  • several stalks of coriander with leaves still attached, shredded
  • a few flat parsley leaves, shredded
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice


Cut the heart into 2-cm dice. Rub with the garlic, pimenton, cumin and 2 teaspoons of flaky salt then leave for 5 minutes. Pour over the wine and 20 ml of the olive oil, mix it all together then place in a covered container in the fridge and leave for at least 18 hours - and up to 36 if you like. It’s important that you mix it all up twice during this time to make sure the marinade is infusing the heat evenly.

When it’s ready, drain the marinade from the heart and discard it. Thread the meat onto skewers and bring to room temperature.

Make the salsa. Peel the mango, remove the flesh from the stone, then cut the flesh into small dice and place in a bowl. Slice the radishes and add these to the mango, along with the spring onions, the sliced pickled chillies, coriander, parsley and lemon juice. Mix it together and taste for seasoning, then mix in half the remaining olive oil.

Brush the remaining olive oil over the ox heart skewers then grill over a moderate-high heat, turning them as they colour. If you cook the heart too much it will become quite dry and tough.

Serve straight from the grill topped with the salsa and with a few spare chillies to the side.