Heart Goulash and Diaphragm Soup


Heart Goulash and Diaphragm Soup

It’s slátur (“slaughter”) season in Iceland, when people make their own blood and liver pudding from scratch. But slátur packages include more than the ingredients for blood and liver pudding, for example, sheep hearts and diaphragms. Watch this audio slideshow on how to make good use of these variety meats through heart goulash and diaphragm soup.

Photos and narration Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir [email protected]

Click here to download the audio slideshow.


Two years ago I taught you how to make slátur, blood and liver pudding from sheep, an Icelandic delicacy. I also introduced what is included in a slátur package, singed sheep heads, hearts and diaphragms, for example. Then I introduced you to sheep’s head jelly.

Now, with the aid of the Icelandic food bible, Helga Sigurdardóttir’s Matur og drykkur, I’d like to teach you how to make good use of variety meats and try to convince you that heart goulash and diaphragm soup are actually quite tasty.

At any rate, it’s cheap and healthy food, so if you’re buying a slátur package this slátur season, don’t throw these goodies out just because they look gross.

Let the hearts soak in cold water for about a half an hour, then wash away the blood and dry the hearts with paper towels. You can either stuff them, Helga teaches, with parsley and butter or prunes and apples, or cut them into small pieces. If you stuff the hearts, you have to sew them shut.

Either way, fry the hearts in butter and season with salt and pepper and perhaps some fresh herbs, like parsley and chives. Then put them into a casserole.

Pour some hot water into the frying pan and then pour it into the casserole so that nothing goes to waste. Add some more boiling water and one or two stock cubes.

Boil for a half an hour if you cut the hearts into pieces and for an hour if you stuffed them. Use sauce thickener (or flour and water) to thicken the sauce, season some more if you prefer. You can also use sauce coloring if you think the goulash looks pale.

Serve the heart goulash with boiled potatoes and yellow turnips, red currant jelly and fresh salad.

Remember, the heart is a muscle so there is no reason why it shouldn’t be eaten the same as fillets or rump steaks. It tastes a little different from other meat and is very tender.

For the diaphragms, boil them for approximately one hour. Take them out of the water—don’t pour it out—and once they’ve cooled down; pick out the meat from between the membranes. Diaphragm meat tastes just the same as regular soup meat.

Chop some vegetables, for example, leeks, carrots, potatoes, yellow turnips and white cabbage and let them boil for approximately 20 minutes in the water in which you boiled the meat.

Also add some yellow split peas, red lentils, whole peppercorns and bay leaves, and one or two stock cubes.

Add the meat when the soup is almost finished, season as you please, with salt, pepper and some fresh herbs—parsley and chives are always good with soup.


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