Eat Your Heart Out

At Olivia Restaurant in Austin, Chef James Holmes calls this dish "lamb corazon" and describes it on the menu as "pancetta & jalapeno-wrapped lamb hearts, with yaupon honey." When Holmes stopped by our table, he apologized for his lack of originality -- the bacon-wrapped packages look exactly like that old hunting-camp standard, dove poppers. Dove poppers are dove breasts wrapped in bacon, stuffed with jalapeno and grilled. If you know anybody who hunts dove, you have eaten a lot of these.

Honestly, I thought the concept was fine, but the execution didn't quite work. The problem was that the lamb hearts were too rare, which made them a bit of a challenge to chew. There was also a lot of crunchy fresh jalapeno in each package, so the burn kicked in and completely took over the taste. Maybe if the lamb hearts and jalapenos were grilled a little first before the wrapping, the whole thing would hang together better?

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