Old Foodie - Newbie Member - Cured Tuna Heart Anyone?

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Joined Sep 5, 2018
Hi All-

I've been a food enthusiast forever. Coming from an Italian heritage and being raised in New York City in the 1970s gave me fertile grounds to taste lots of things from lots of cultures. While I've done some food reviews for online venues, I'm really just an enthusiastic amateur. (I'm currently running a technology startup).

In any event, I recently purchased Chris Cosentino's Offal Good in search of the best tripe preparation. While reading, I came across a recipe that used grated, cured tuna heart. I looked for it online and it was very expensive and hard to find. I happen to work in New Bedford, MA (the country's largest $$ fishing port). So I called to a few friends in the seafood processing business and have scored 5# of fresh tuna heart and figured I would cure it myself.

Well, to say I'm not a man of half measure is an understatement. I have never cured anything in my life. But undeterred, I just bought a vacuum sealer and I'm trying to find the best resource to learn about curing fish offal.

Can any of you folks that have formal culinary training point me to the best resource or text to learn how to cure this big hunk of giant fish muscle?

Thank for reading!

SpaceCadet65
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
No formal culinary training can prepare you for this!

So I couldn't find anything online except

HEART OF TUNA

Heart of tuna, open and cleaned of fatty parts , dark in color, dried.

It is mainly used in the preparation of a typical carlofortino dish , prepared with the famous " gallette ", ( a traditional bread of the area, very dry ), tomato and olive oil.

We proceed to the cleaning, spinning and processing of tuna, separating the heart from the remaining parts .

The heart is cut by opening it in the middle part and covered with salt for about 24-26 hours ; subsequently the parts are washed in sea water and placed to dry on reeds and / or bundles that allow a certain ventilation.

Once the pieces are dry, they are held together with string and hung from the ceiling of a cellar type room.

Key here being split in half. IMO if you want to try I would salt it, weight it with as many bricks as I can, change the salt a few times, then rinse in brine, wrap in cheesecloth and air dry.
 
3
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Joined Sep 5, 2018
Thanks for the information Kuan! Great tip on how to break the heart down. The hearts and innards are usually cut out of the tuna on the boats and discarded at sea by the fisherman. But I happen to have a client who owns fishing boats and seafood processing plants. He called out the the fleet and asked one of the boats to separate the hearts and bring them to the local processor so I can pick it up. It was funny because the guys on the boat asked how many hearts I needed. Considering that tunas that they pull out of local waters can be 1000+ lbs, I just told him 5-7# of heart would do it. o_O I figure I'd probably ruin some of it while learning.

My plan is to cut the heart into manageable pieces, clean, vacuum seal, and freeze much of the meat. I'll then follow your instructions on a small amount of the meat and see how it works. There are some charcuterie books out there and I'll seek those out to learn as much as I can. If all goes well I'll figure it out before I destroy all of it! Who knows, I might get it right quickly and everyone I know will have a special Christmas present! If it goes well, I PM you and ship you some if you're interested.

Thanks again!
 
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