There are few people who have tried properly prepared venison who don't like it. Not only is it more flavorful and healthier than most meat you can buy in a store, if it is cured in the right way, it is also far easier to make than other meats. Among the tastiest and easiest to make is fresh venison heart.
This recipe is so simple it can easily be made at home or at deer camp. In fact, it is a special treat out in camp, and like any meat it can taste better there because it tends to be fresher.
It should be noted that a deer heart is smaller than a beef heart, and is even smaller than a calf heart. If there are more than a few people eating this dish, you will want to make sure you have side dishes to go with it.
The heart should be trimmed. Venison has less fat than most other meats, but it still usually has some on the heart. The heart should then be sliced sideways (horizontally) in 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices. Remove the larger arteries and the wall of the chambers of the heart. These tend to be gristle, so they will be chewy. The meat, on the other hand, will be tender.
1 venison heart, trimmed and sliced
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp olive oil
Mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp each of garlic and onion powder. Dredge the heart slices through the flour and fry in a lightly oiled fry pan over medium heat until golden brown, then turn and cook again until golden brown on the other side. At this point, juices should be coming out clear rather than bloody or pink. If not, the heat was up too high.
This dish goes great with mashed potatoes, kernel corn, and green beans. Cooking the heart with sliced onions or mushrooms can add a special touch.
The drippings can also be made into great gravy by adding some milk and flour and cooking while stirring. This is fantastic on the mashed potatoes and even better on homemade bread or cornbread.
This is a great recipe for cooking fresh venison and will create a memorable experience. If you like beef heart, though, you may not want to eat beef heart ever again. Venison is just too good.