A Comprehensive Guide on How To Cook A Deer’s Heart

Ayesha Food & Recipes
15 Min Read
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For a long time, animal meat has been an integral part of the human diet. As more and more time passes, human beings have been adding a wide variety of recipes to their meals.

As our taste gets finer and more refined, we tend to remove animal organs like the liver or heart from our diet even though they have high nutritional value.

People eat deer meat or Venison in many parts of the world. We can cook and prepare delicious meals from almost all of the organs of a deer. The meat of a deer’s heart is not only tasty but can be highly nutritious for a person.

1. Health Benefits of Eating a Deer’s Heart

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A deer or venison heart is a highly nutritious organ. It acts as an excellent source of lean protein. Deer Heart contains healthy Omega 3 Fatty acids, which are highly beneficial for our health. It can be helpful for anyone suffering from a cardiovascular disease. It also provides nutrients such as Iron, Zinc, Folate, and Vitamin B.

Overall, venison heart is tasty and a healthy addition to your meals.

2. Taste of a Deer’s Heart

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Before finding out what a deer’s heart tastes like, we should know what it means for meat to be ‘gamey.’ The word Gamey comes from ‘game,’ meaning hunted animal or meat of a hunted animal.

When we say meat tastes gamey, it differs from the store-bought or usual meat we eat daily. It may also mean the animal was not raised and fed on a farm.

Deer meat generally tastes more gamey than the other meats we tend to consume, like beef or chicken. It has a slight metallic taste like iron but is hardly noticeable once the heart is cooked. It is slightly complicated and can be made juicy by proper cooking techniques.

Deer heart is a hunting season delicacy that has a chewy texture. It is a lean, healthy, and fulfilling meal. It is also suitable for people who are new to game meat.

Another benefit of a deer heart that makes it perfect for beginners is it is made entirely of muscle. It is much easier to eat when we compare it to other deer organs like kidneys or livers, making it a beginner-friendly organ.

3. Acquiring a Deer’s Heart

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So, you have decided to try deer’s heart. The next question will be,’ Where do I find it?’ Some people, especially the ones living in the city, may find it hard to acquire a deer heart. So here are three ways in which you can get and enjoy it

  • The first and most obvious way will be to hunt it. Hunting seasons for moose and deer are open for Canadian and non-Canadian residents between September and December. The dates may vary according to the Wildlife Management Unit. You can check the dates on sites like the Government of Ontario. Make it a family thing and go hunting for some deer meat. You can ask your local meat seller to do the dirty work or turn it into a bonding exercise at home.
  • Ask your local meat seller to order it for you. He may not have it in person, but he will order it online or from another source. You can then buy the deer heart from the butcher shop.
  • Order it yourself. Many online sites (Bearbrook Games Meat) are selling deer hearts. You can easily order them and receive them on your doorstep. The prices may vary depending on the quantity of meat you want to purchase.

4. Preparing a Deer’s Heart

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The very first step towards making a delectable venison heart dish is to prepare the meat. This is a slightly dirty but mostly easy step.

4.1. Equipment Needed

  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Gloves (Optional to keep your hands clean)

4.2. Cleaning the Heart

  • The first step is to remove the fat and veins around the deer’s heart. You can use your fingers and peel the fat away from the heart. Animals like cats, dogs, or even chickens can eat these fatty parts.
  • Now, you will be able to see the deer’s heart. Cut the topmost portion of the heart.
  • Look for a seam and cut the heart into two halves. In this step, you will have to clean the heart. Make sure to cut the veins and the arteries. Also, wash any blood clots on the inside.
  • When the heart is clean, use your sharp knife to chop it into bite-size pieces of your choice. This is an easy step as the heart is mainly muscle.

4.3. Soaking the Deer’s Heart

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If you want to clean the heart thoroughly, take a bowl of water and add some salt. Soak the venison heart into it for a few hours or overnight. The saltwater will ensure that no more blood is left in the heart.

At this point, the heart may not look very appetizing. But the magic lies in the cooking of it, which will make venison heart a delicious dish.

5. Dishes from Deer’s Heart With Recipe

5.1. Pan-Fried Deer Heart

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Pan Fried deer heart is the easiest way to serve venison heart in a dish. This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients. You can find these ingredients at your local grocery store or in your pantry.

5.1.1. List of Ingredients

  • Venison heart
  • Butter (salted or unsalted)- 1 or 2 tablespoons
  • Cloves of garlic or garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh herbs of your choice- Parsley or Rosemary
  • Vegetables (if desired)- Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms.

5.1.2. Equipment Needed

  • Iron Frying Pan or Skillet

5.1.3. Pan-Fried Deer Heart Recipe

  • The first step is to clean and chop the venison heart if you haven’t already.
  • Heat the pan and add the desired amount of butter. Melt it.
  • Add the venison heart and season it with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. You can also season the meat beforehand with salt and pepper and the herb of your choice.
  • Cook the meat on both sides with butter for about three minutes.
  • Serve the heart as a main dish or an appetizer, and enjoy!

You can add other vegetables like peppers, onions, or mushrooms. Sautee them separately or with the deer’s heart for a delectable and healthy combination.

5.2. Cooking Grilled Venison Heart Skewers

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Grilled Venison Heart Skewers are a more fancy way of cooking venison hearts. It can be served at family dinners and to guests if you are trying to impress them with your culinary skills. If you feel a little more experimental with your venison meat, this is the perfect recipe.

5.2.1. List of Ingredients

  • Venison heart
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar- red wine, sherry, or rice. (1 tablespoon)
  • Worcestershire sauce- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vegetables like Bell Peppers and Onions

5.2.2. Equipment Needed

  • Grill- To grill the venison heart. It can be of any type.
  • Skewers- If desired.
  • Sharp Knife- To clean and chop the venison heart.

5.2.3. Grilled Venison Heart Skewers Recipe

  • Clean the venison heart and chop the meat into pieces. Ensure the pieces are not too small; otherwise, they can overcook.
  • Take a big bowl and pour two tablespoons of olive into it. Mix the olive oil with one tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. You can also add herbs like thyme and oregano to further enhance the taste.
  • This is the marinade of the meat. Add venison heart to this marinate and stir it around so it is mixed well. Leave it for as short as half an hour or as long as one to two days.
  • Marinade the vegetables after chopping them.
  • When your venison heart is ready, heat the grill.
  • Alternatively, put the vegetables and the meat on the skewers.
  • Please put it on the grill until it is done.
  • Serve it and enjoy!

If you do not have any skewers, skip the skewer step and grill it directly. Then, serve it on a plate with some sauteed vegetables.

5.3. Pickled Venison Heart

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Pickled Venison is a hit or miss for many people. Venison’s heart has a slightly sweet taste. It is milder than other organs of a deer and thus makes it a perfect pickling option. One advantage of pickling a Venison heart is that you can hoard it for a long time.

Usually, the organs of any animal tend to rot quickly. So people have to prepare and eat it in a very short time. Pickling solves this problem; it can make a venison heart last much longer than its shelf life.

5.3.1. List of Ingredients

  • Venison heart
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar- White or Brown
  • Salt- 2 tablespoon
  • Pickling Spices- 1 or 2 tablespoon
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Red Pepper Flakes- if you want more spice

5.3.2. Equipment Needed

  • Jar for storing pickle
  • Pot for boiling water
  • Saucepan

5.3.3. Pickled Venison Heart Recipe

  • Clean the venison heart.
  • Put the venison heart in a pot of water. The water should be enough to cover the venison heart. Boil the water for 30 to 45 minutes. You can add onion and pickling spices in this step.
  • Add the remaining ingredients in a saucepan- vinegar, sugar, salt, pickling spices (if you haven’t already), garlic, pepper flakes, and a little water.
  • Simmer it for ten minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the stove.
  • Take the heart and slice it into whatever length you desire. Remove any complex parts that you find.
  • Put the sliced heart into a jar and pour the brine over the heart. You can also add onion and garlic clove to the pickle.
  • Close the jar and refrigerate it.

And this was your recipe for pickled venison heart. You can eat it in many ways- as a side dish with your meals, like a quick snack, or add it to sandwiches and burgers.

Overall, pickled venison heart is a great way to introduce someone to venison meat who feels squeamish about eating it in any other form. Slowly lead them into the deer meat team and enjoy the previous recipes.

5.4. Doneness of Deer’s Heart

A deer is an animal with lean muscles. Hence, its meat is drier than that of other animals. Due to this, people find it drier than beef. The most tender meat of a deer is on its hind legs and near its backbone. If you are dealing with any other part of a deer, the doneness of the meat plays a crucial role.

When it comes to deer’s heart, we need to cook it well, or it will be gamey and dry. Before removing it from the pan, ensure the meat is slightly pink in the middle. If it is red all over, cook it for a longer time.

As for the doneness of the meat, deer’s heart is best when it is medium rare; that is, it should be on the rare side of medium. It will make the meat juicy and easy to eat.

6. Conclusion

Although cooking a deer’s heart is exceptional, one cannot deny its health and culinary benefits. Somewhat chewy and delicious, a deer’s heart is worth adding to your meals.

Cooking with a deer’s heart is not limited to the recipes in this article. You can always experiment as you will with any meat. Add it to noodles, make a burger patty, or serve a hot gravy; a deer’s heart can enhance your culinary experience.

Whether you are a beginner gamey meat eater or a veteran in the field, we hope the article has answered all the whats, hows, and whys related to cooking a deer’s heart. The only thing left to do is get cooking and enjoy!

Last Updated on by Khushahal Malakar

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