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Deer Heart | Venison Heart

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Indulge in the exquisite and savory delights of our venison heart recipe. This exceptional dish, renowned for its delicate and nuanced flavors and tender texture, elevates traditional meat cuisine to an art form.

Sliced deer heart steaks on a gray plate with sides.Pin
Deer Heart Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Want to learn how to prepare deer hearts and make delicious steaks with them? You are in the right place. This recipe is incredibly easy and only takes a few minutes of your time.

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The most important thing is to clean the heart well. If you do it right, you will end up with three lovely steaks.

Use this recipe for any wild game hearts, including deer, antelope, elk, and moose. You can even do the same thing with beef heart.

What you need

  • Deer hearts: Clean them well and cut them into steaks. (See instructions below)
  • Apple Juice: You can use either apple juice or apple cider for the marinade base. You can substitute a mild vinegar like white wine or red wine vinegar for the apple juice.
  • Oil: Olive oil or vegetable oil can both be used.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This will add a bit of umami flavor to the marinade.
  • Oregano: Either dried oregano or a sprig of fresh oregano are both good.
  • Thyme: Again, either dried thyme or a sprig of fresh thyme can be used.
  • Salt: Sea salt or kosher salt is the best.
  • Black Pepper: Use freshly ground black pepper.
Ingredients for deer heart steaks. See details in recipe below.Pin
Ingredients Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

How to clean the heart and cut it into steaks

Step One:

You can see that the outside of the heart is completely surrounded by a thick membrane. The first job is to remove that.

Deer heart prior to cleaning.Pin
Fresh deer heart Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Two:

Open the membrane with a very sharp knife. Cut it all of the way down and just slide the heart from out of the membrane.

Opening the covering membrane to expose the muscle.Pin
Open the membrane with a sharp knife. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Three:

Once the heart is removed, cut the membrane off.

The heart removed from the membrane.Pin
Once the heart is out, cut off the membrane. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Four:

Clean off the top of the heart by cutting a fresh cut.

You can see all of the chambers are full of blood.

Straight edge made in the flesh with a sharp knife.Pin
Cut off the very top of the heart to form a straight cut. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Five:

Rinse the heart well inside and outside to remove all of the blood.

Heart muscle after it has been rinsed.Pin
Rinse the heart in cold water to remove all of the blood. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Six:

Cut off all of the fat and silver skin off of the muscle.

Cutting the fat off of the outside of the heart.Pin
Cut all of the fat and silver skin off of the muscle. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Seven:

You can see how clean the heart gets.

Perfectly trimmed heart of a white board.Pin
Trimmed heart Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Eight:

Cut down through one of the chambers and open it like a book.

Clean up any fat, grizzle, or connective tissue.

Cutting the heart into steaks.Pin
Cut down through one of the chambers. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Nine:

Flip the muscle over and cut through the other chamber. Open that like a book too.

Opened heart muscle.Pin
Flip the meat over and cut it down through the other chamber. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Ten:

You will see that there are two obvious places to cut them into steaks. You end up with three large pieces.

One of the steaks will be thicker, and one will be considerably thinner.

The whole heart cut into steaks.Pin
Cut it into steaks. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

After cutting the steaks, the meat can be frozen for about a month. It is recommended to cook it immediately for the best flavor.

How to marinate the steaks

We do a quick marinade to the meat for a bit of added flavor.

Step One:

Add all of the marinade ingredients to a medium bowl.

Marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.Pin
Add all of the marinade ingredients into a medium bowl. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Two:

Mix well.

Marinade mixed up in a medium bowl.Pin
Whisk the mixture well. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Three:

Add the steaks to the marinade. Marinate for one hour up to two days.

Steaks added to the marinade.Pin
Add the steaks to the marinade. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

How to cook them

Step One:

Dry the steaks between sheets of paper towel.

Drying steaks between sheets of paper towel.Pin
Pat the steaks dry between sheets of paper towel. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Step Two:

Tenderize steaks with a blade-type meat tenderizer.

Add high-temperature oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat.

Quick sear the steaks over medium-high heat on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side.

Remember that the skinniest steak will take less time than the thicker steaks.

Searing the steaks in a cast iron pan.Pin
Sear the steaks in a cast iron pan. Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

As with all very lean muscles of the deer, you want to either cook it low and slow or fast and hot, just for a couple of minutes.

Venison heart sliced on a plate with sliced apples.Pin
Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

Pro tips for your success

  1. Be sure to wash the heart thoroughly to remove all of the blood clots.
  2. Use a very sharp knife to remove the exterior membrane, fat cap, sinew, silverskin, veins, and arteries.
  3. Do not overcook the steaks, or they will become very tough and chewy. Cooking it to medium-rare (135°F/65°C) is suggested, but you could cook it to medium. Don’t cook it any hotter than 145°F/70°C.

How to store leftovers

Storage: Store leftovers well-wrapped in airtight containers for up to two days.

Freezing: Refreezing is not recommended. The texture will become quite chewy.

More unique venison recipes

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Sliced deer steaks with side dishes on a gray plate.Pin
Venison heart Photo credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival

As you savor the final bites of this beautifully seared deer heart, you’ll appreciate it’s unique combination of its tender texture and complex flavors. This recipe showcases venison’s versatility and provides a memorable culinary experience that celebrates the best of wild game cooking.

Close up of seared, sliced deer heart.Pin

Venison Heart Recipe

Indulge in the exquisite and savory delights of our venison heart recipe. This exceptional dish, renowned for its delicate and nuanced flavors and tender texture, elevates traditional meat cuisine to an art form.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
marinating time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 521kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $2

Ingredients

Instructions

To clean the heart

  • You can see that the outside of the heart is completely surrounded by a thick membrane. The first job is to remove that.
    2 deer hearts
  • Open the membrane with a very sharp knife. Cut it all of the way down and just slide the heart out of the membrane.
  • Once the heart is removed, cut the membrane off.
  • Clean off the top of the heart by cutting a fresh cut. You can see all of the chambers are full of blood.
  • Rinse the heart well inside and outside to remove all of the blood.
  • Cut off all of the fat and silver skin off of the muscle.
  • Cut down through one of the chambers and open it like a book. Clean up any fat, grizzle, or connective tissue.
  • Flip the muscle over and cut through the other chamber. Open that like a book too.
  • You will see that there are two obvious places to cut them into steaks. You end up with three large pieces. One of the steaks will be thicker, and one will be considerably thinner. They will cook at different rates.

How to marinate the steaks

  • Add all of the marinade ingredients to a medium bowl.
    1 cup apple juice, ½ cup olive oil, or other mild oil, 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon oregano, dried, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Mix well.
  • Add the steaks to the marinade. Marinate for one hour up to two days.

How to cook them

  • Dry the steaks between sheets of paper towel.
  • Tenderize steaks with a blade-type meat tenderizer. Add the oil or butter to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
    1 tablespoon oil or butter for searing
  • Quick sear the steaks over medium-high heat on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remember that the skinniest steak will take less time than the thicker steaks.
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Notes

  1. Be sure to wash the heart thoroughly to remove all of the blood clots.
  2. Use a very sharp knife to remove the exterior membrane, fat cap, sinew, silverskin, veins, and arteries.
  3. Do not overcook the steaks, or they will become very tough and chewy. Cooking it to medium-rare (135°F/65°C) is suggested, but you could cook it to medium. Don’t cook it any hotter than 145°F/70°C.
 
Storing leftovers
Storage: Store leftovers well-wrapped in airtight containers for up to two days.
Freezing: Refreezing is not recommended. The texture will become quite chewy.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 375mg | Sodium: 723mg | Potassium: 940mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 14mg
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Beth Neels

Author: Beth Neels

Title: Owner

Expertise: canning, game meat cooking, smoking

Bio:

Beth Neels is an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, author, and recipe developer. She founded Binky’s Culinary Carnival in 2014, focusing on “Crafting delicious recipes with sustainable ingredients.” She has been featured in multiple online publications, including MSN, Reader’s Digest, Associated Press, and Parade.

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