Hearts, hearts and more hearts, my top 5 heart recipes.

Heart

After posting an instagram post on eating heart and offering to give out recipes I decided to write this post just for you all. The first day of posting the pictures I had over 250 direct messages asking for recipes and how to’s on cooking heart. Before we start cooking we need to understand the benefits of eating heart, also where to get and how to prepare it.

Heart is one of those muscles that is over looked when it comes to the butchering process. Most hunters I talk to don’t even take it from the gut pile, let alone cook it. But lets take a look at the heart and some benefits from eating it and other parts as the Offal, whats offal you ask?

Lets look at the word Offal, offal literally means “Off Fall” these are the parts of the animal that fall off the carcass during the butchering process.This includes the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and all other abdominal organs, as well as the tails, feet, brains, tongue, and even the testicles. Yes, I know what you are thinking, I can eat all those things? But then why do I leave them in the gut pile. This is the question we need to answer. Taking a look at nature especially predatory animals, they go for the organ meat first and leave the main muscle groups for later. Reason being, the Offal meat is packed full of everything they need to keep running strong.

Organ meats are packed full of high protein, omega-3 fats, vitamin E, B, B12, D, A, K2, Amino Acid, choline, CoQ10, Iron, copper, zinc, and chromium. All of these are necessary for a healthy lifestyle and many Americans are lacking in these elements because of our western diets. Because organ meat has become an Eww factor for many of us, we have to substitute with pills and shakes to get our daily doses of these incredible life giving vitamins and minerals

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When it comes to eating the Offal many are turned off not only by the idea, but also the flavor of these incredible food items. The flavor is greatly effected by how they are cared for from the field to the kitchen and eventually the plate. I could spend days talking on each of the listed above edibles but, Ill focus on my favorite cut… The heart.

The heart is a muscle just like every other muscle in the body, its a muscle that is always working and pumping life to the other muscles. When cooked correctly heart can be melt in your mouth delicious, but when cooked wrong it can be tough as boot leather. Ive won more people over to eating heart by simply cooking it for them and doing it well, then I have ever done by explaining the benefits of eating it. So lets get right into it shall we?

Heart Removal:

This is simple, once you’ve removed the guts and cut through the diaphragm wall, you come into the chest cavity. Placed directly between the lungs you will find the heart, its sitting there in a protective sack. Simply cut the top of the ventricles and remove the heart from the sack. If you’ve ever hunted with me you know I always bring a couple ziploc bags for the organ meats.

Cleaning:

Start off by rinsing the heart in cold water, pushing water through each vent and forcing out the clotted blood and other undesirable parts. I like to shove my fingers down each vent to make sure I am cleaning it out to the fullest. Rinse until the water comes out clear and all blood is removed.
If you’re eating it whole there are a couple ways to clean it further if you want or need to. One simple way to remove the spiderwebbing from inside the vents is to get a baby bottle cleaning brush (Yes I have one just for this) and shove it down each vent. You can twist the bottle brush down each vent this will remove the webbing without having to cut the heart open. “”This does not need to be done, some people just don’t enjoy eating it, it can be rubbery when cooked””.

If your going to make a recipe where the heart is sliced before cooking you can simply cut the spiderwebbing off when you get into the heart itself (See attached Photo)

Cooking the heart:

I feel like Bubba in Forrest Gump when I say, you can sauté it, boil it, bake it. You can grill, smoke and grind it. You can make heart tacos, heart gumbo, and on and on. I have come to find my favorite way to cook heart is with a nice smoke on it, smoked med-rare and sliced thin… Drool….

 

Recipes:

Smoked Heart:

Ingredients:

1 heart
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cloves garlic whole
4 sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Clean and rinse heart
In small bowl or ziploc add all ingredients and mix, add heart and cover in fridge fro 2-6 hours.
While heart is marinating start smoker with any fruit, oak or nut wood. I avoid mesquite because it add a very bitter taste to game meat, especially heart.
Remove heart from marinade and stuff each vent with a clove of garlic and sprig of rosemary
Smoke heart at 180 degrees f until internal temp reaches 130-145
Remove heart from smoker, and allow to rest for 10 minutes
Remove garlic and rosemary, slice thin and enjoy

Heart Schnitzel:

Ingredients:

Heart
1 large egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Oil

Directions:

Clean and rinse heart
Open heart like a book and remove webbing, cut in half.
Pound each half out till 1/2 the width of original or 1/4 inch thick
Season heart with pepper, salt, garlic and thyme
Dredge each piece as follows: flour, egg wash, bread crumbs
Heat oil to med-high heat, enough oil for the meat to float but not submerge. Oil should be around 330 degrees.
Cook around 3-4 minutes each side until breading is golden brown and crispy
Remove from oil and drain
Squeeze a fresh lemon over and enjoy

Stuffed Heart:

Ingredients:

1-2 hearts
1/2 cup button mushrooms
1 bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup cooke rice or quinoa
1 can black beans
1 cups corn
1/2 cup salasa
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can green chilies

Directions:

Clean and rinse heart
Cut out center of heart leaving a pocket
Mix all ingredients and stuff each heart
Using a cupcake pan or any other dish the heart can stand up in bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes (if you want heart cooked more, cook additional 10 minutes.)
Remove heart from oven and enjoy

Cast Iron skillet heart

Ingredients:

Heart
1/2 brown onion
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
Olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
Cracked pepper and sea salt
Smoked paprika

Directions:

Clean and rinse heart
Starting from the bottom, slice heart thin
In hot cast-iron skillet bring oil to temp over med-high heat
Season steak with salt, pepper and paprika and set aside
Add onions and sauté until soft,
Add butter, garlic, rosemary and steak to skillet
Cook 4-6 minutes browning each side of the heart rings
Remove from skillet along with onion and garlic and enjoy
( you can add to rice, mash, pasta or eat just like that)

Heart Tacos
( Ground or sliced)

Ingredients:

2 hearts
2 tablespoons Taco seasoning*
1 small red onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic minced
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 cut cilantro, rough cut
1 tomato, diced
1/3 cup water

Directions:

Clean and rinse heart ( if grinding, cube and de spiderweb and grind with large grind plate)
In skillet add onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon oil, brown until soft 2-3 minutes
Add jalapeños cook 1 min
Add meat and cook until done, season with taco seasoning and 1/3 cup water
Add tomatoes, cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes
Remove from heat and add to your favorite taco shells and top with favorite toppings

(if slicing heart, slice lengthwise, thing and cook same way)

 

(* DIY taco seasoning)

Taco Seasoning
From Field To Plate

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
(If you need or want a little more kick add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container
Use 2 tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of meat
Brown meat sprinkle, seasoning over meat add 1/3 cup of water
Mix into meat and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the water is cooked off

One comment

  1. Great post! Heart is so delicious and healthy. I love these ideas (had never thought of smoking it!). My favorite is to make simple salted beefheart jerky by slicing it paper thin, sprinkling with sea salt, and dehydrating overnight. Gets really crispy and has amazing flavor!

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