Qapla'! Klingon Bloodwine is Finally Mine! (So I Made Heart of Targ Tartare.)

The memory of this sings in my blood.
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Claire Lower
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The memory of this sings in my blood.

You know that old Klingon proverb "bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS" (To really succeed, you must enjoy eating poison)? Well, I like to think that I am very successful by that measure, because if you view whiskey and gin for what they truly are, I really, really enjoy poison.

I've always admired the Klingons' lust for life and battle, but I particularly respect the role that food and drink plays in their culture. They seem to shy away from replicated meals, preferring instead to kill and cook their own food. (Plus, they have the strongest coffee in the Federation.)

For these reasons and because I enjoy a good Worfism --"Sir I protest! I am not a merry man!" -- I've always enjoyed Klingon-centric episodes and wished I could share in their glorious after-battle banquets, feasting on targ and gulping down Bloodwine. 

In what I can only call "proof that the universe is kind and nerds like to drink," a red blend from Paso Robles called "Klingon Bloodwine" is now available for purchase. It may not be completely "authentic," but I'm willing to overlook it because it's the closest I'm ever going to come to knocking back a few bottles with Worf in Quark's bar. 

Once I was aware of this libation, I immediately -- and very politely -- requested that some be sent my way. The makers of the Bloodwine were happy to oblige but then tragedy struck in the form of cold and brutal shipping temperatures, and my first bottle fell in battle.

death cry 2.gif

Once the terrible winter had passed and conditions were more favorable to shipping bottles of alcohol, another was sent, and that one arrived in perfect condition.

Now that it was mine, I needed something to pair it with. This sanguine blend of Malbec, Syrah, and Petit Verdot could be paired with grilled meats or mature cheeses, but I thought it fitting to make something a little more traditional and I whipped up a "Heart of Targ" Tartare.

Pickled onions are a warrior's garnish.

Pickled onions are a warrior's garnish.

Now obviously I'm a long way from Q'onoS, so I couldn't obtain any "real" Targ, but you know what those Klingons say: "tlhutlhmeH HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS" ("Drinking fake ale is better than drinking water").

Not totally authentic heart.

Not totally authentic heart.

In the spirit of that proverb, I felt that eating a not-quite-targ heart is better than eating no heart at all, so I ordered a beef heart from my local butcher.

tIqDaq HoSna' tu'lu'! (Real power is in the heart!)

tIqDaq HoSna' tu'lu'! (Real power is in the heart!)

But on the off chance that you find yourself lucky enough to be invited to a targ hunt on Q'onoS, you better have a targ-hunting song at the ready. If you don't have one, you can borrow mine:

Claire's Targ Hunting Song (set to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," the lyrics of which didn't have to be changed that much, tbh.):

Dark in the forest, night is the time 

My stomach's empty and my heart is afire

Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

Targ, you are hiding, give me a sign

I hear you breathing now I'm closer behind

Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

In touch with the ground

I'm on the hunt, you can't be far

I don't make no sound, I'm low to the ground

And I'm hungry for a targ

You'll soon be mine, I'm biding my time

I'm on the hunt, you can't be far

My mouth is alive, there's blood in my wine

And I'm hungry for a targ

Stalked in the forest, too close to hide

I'll be upon you, Praxis lighting my stride

Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

High blood drumming on your skin, it's my hide

You feel my heat, I'm just a moment behind

Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

In touch with the ground I'm on the hunt, you can't be far

I don't make no sound, I'm low to the ground

And I'm hungry for a targ

You'll soon be mine, I'm biding my time

I'm on the hunt, you can't be far

My mouth is alive, there's blood in my wine

And I'm hungry for a targ

Ahem.

Once you have obtained your targ, remove its heart for cleaning.  You could do it "properly" like Chris Cosentino does in this video, or you could be like me and just kind of hack away at all of the stuff that isn't gorgeous, crimson meat.

cleaning the heart.jpg

Since this was my first time cleaning a heart, I wasn't fantastic at it, and was left with oddly shaped chunks instead of uniform slices. That didn't really matter though, because this heart was going to be a tartar, thus elimiminating the need for pretty slices.

Pro-tip: Save the fat for rendering.

Pro-tip: Save the fat for rendering.

Heart of Targ Tartare

You will need:

  • A bat'leth or a very sharp knife
  • The honor of a warrior
  • 8 ounces of cleaned targ (or beef) heart
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Slices of grilled baguette
  • Greens for plating
  • Pickled onions for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Using your bat'leth, chop the heart as fine as you can get it by running your sharp and mighty blade through it several times.
  2. Combine the chopped heart and all other ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Sing a song to honor the deceased beast that will be fueling your body in battle.
  4. Put some greens on a platter.
  5. Layer the tartare on top of the greens and garnish with pickled onions.
  6. Pour copious amounts of bloodwine and toast "ghIj qet jaghmeyjaj!" (May your enemies run with fear!)
beef heart tartare a.jpg

Now about that wine.

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As mentioned earlier, this Klingon Bloodwine is a hearty blend of Malbec, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. This makes for a bold and assertive beverage that is best consumed with foods that stand up for themselves, such as grilled meats or stinkier cheeses. Though it's only 13% ABV, it came across as a bit stronger. I got notes of blackberries and maybe a hint of vanilla, but I felt that it wasn't quite smooth enough to drink without food. My friend Lisa -- who is much better at wine than I am -- described it as "big" and "virile" and best suited for "serious drinking out of a goblet" with medium acidity and hints of tar.

klingon bloodwine.jpg

Though the Heart of Targ was delicious, it was surprisingly delicate in flavor, and thus not the best pairing for the Klingon Bloodwine. If you must have targ with your Bloodwine, I suggest roasting a whole one over an open flame, as the charred flesh has a much better chance standing up for itself in a battle against such a mighty beverage. If you wish to make the tartare, I suggest pairing it with something a little milder, perhaps a dry rosé or a Beaujolais. 

But if you find yourself invited to a summer barbecue hosted by a nerd like me, you could do a lot worse than procuring a bottle of this. Not only will it pair nicely with all of the flame-roasted fare, but your memory will sing in blood of the host and everyone in attendance.

It will truly be a Qapla'.

Claire is a huge nerd on Twitter. Hit her up if you're into that kind of thing.