The heart of a deer is one of the tastiest organs that you can prepare in a variety of ways. Would you like to know how to cook dear heart with stuffing? Here’s what you need to know.
- Read more: How Long to Dehydrate Deer Jerky?
Those who do not know that deer heart can be a delectable organ normally throw it out and proceed to make meals out of the regular flesh of the animal.
But the Native Americans believed the deer heart doesn’t just make a “hearty” meal, pun intended. However, eating said organ would transfer the strength of the animal to the person.
Whether you’re eating venison heart for the interesting story behind it or the sheer enthusiasm for wild meat, cooking deer heart should pose no problem.
After all, you can cook the heart in multiple ways and use ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen or the camp.
Health Benefits of Deer Meat
The word “venison” commonly refers to deer meat, but it can also be used to refer to the meat of antelope, elk, and moose. Due to the deer’s diet, venison typically has lower calories than pork and beef.
Venison is also high in protein, low in carbohydrates and contains three times less the cholesterol found in meat. Venison proves to be a healthier option over beef and pork if you are on a low-carb or low-cholesterol diet.
Additionally, Venison is an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12 which both help combat anemia.
Today, campers and hunters who were lucky enough to hunt a deer make sure that they cook the heart that very same day. But first, there’s a right way to preparing the deer heart before it hits any cookware.
Preparing the Deer Heart for Cooking
1. Clean the heart by running it under cold water and pumping it to remove all the blood.
2. Using a Santuko knife, remove the arteries, veins and all the fat from the heart.
3. Position the heart upright and stick your finger into the center of the heart which is the very muscle of the heart. With the finger still guiding you, run the knife over the arteries to remove them.
4. Depending on how you intend to cook the heart, you can cut create a single horizontal cut to make it look like a butterfly. But if you’re stuffing it, you can only leave the heart whole. You may also make smaller strips if you’re sauteing or make larger cuts perfect for grilling.
Ways of Cooking Deer Heart
Surprisingly, there are more than one ways of how to cook deer heart.
You may melt the heart of bigger deer like elk and venison heart teriyaki or saute it with onion, wine, and tomatoes. You can also marinate the heart with vinegar, olive oil Worcestershire sauce and your choice of herbs.
Massage the marinade for 30 minutes or let the heart soak for up to 2 days. And then grill the marinated venison heart. You might also like the flavors and texture of a pan fried deer heart or have it cooked in Philips airfryer.
Cooking Stuffed Deer Heart
But one of the best ways to maximize the flavors from eating deer heart is to stuff it. The shape of the deer’s heart makes it ideal for stuffing your favorite ingredients – meat, herbs, vegetables and seasoning.
- 1 large venison heart
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
- 250ml beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350F degree.
2. Clean and prepare the Venison heart according to the procedure stated above. Don’t make any more slices as you’ll need to put stuffing inside later on. Set the heart aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a non-stick skillet. Add in garlic and onion and cook until fragrant and translucent. Stir in diced celery and minced bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables become tender. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for several minutes.
4. While the vegetable cools down, slice the Italian sausages into small pieces and place into the bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley and mix well. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
5. Scoop the stuffing mixture into the interiors of the heart. Pierce skewers through the muscle to secure the dressing and prevent them from falling, then tie using a kitchen twine.
6. Roll extra stuffing into balls and set aside.
7. Pour olive oil into a Dutch oven and heat in medium flame. Rub the heart with salt and pepper and position into the center of the Dutch oven.
8. Place sliced onions around the heart, along with smashed garlic and sliced celery. Add in the stock.
9. Bring the stuffed heart to a boil.
10. Bake the heart for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes to see the level of stock. You may need to add more stock to have some liquid left over for gravy.
11. Check the heart at the end of the second hour to determine the tenderness. Once tender, place the balls into the gravy and bake along with the heart for another 20 minutes.
12. Serve with mashed potatoes or warm rice.
The heart of a deer may not be everyone’s idea of a familiar dish, but it certainly has a place in the heart of outdoor lovers, hunters and game enthusiasts.
If you’d like to tread on this type of cuisine and experience cooking the “wild” way either outdoors or in your home kitchen, cooking venison heart should be an exciting experience.