venison heart

A Venison Heart Recipe That Should Be in Every Hunter's Cookbook

If you're going to kill a deer, you owe it to yourself and to the animal to eat every edible, salvageable part.

There's an obvious discrepancy between hunting in real life and hunting you see on streaming sites or the outdoor television, and we've got a good example.

Rarely do you ever actually see the average hunter keep a deer heart. You hear hunting celebrities talk about it. Plenty of wild game chefs talk about it in their books. But it's not hard to find avid hunters who've never even tried venison heart.

Most hunters toss the heart out with the guts, failing to salvage some of the best meat Mother Nature has to offer. Once you learn how to prepare venison heart the right way, you'll never waste it again (unless, of course, your arrow or bullet it, in which case you need to pass it up).

However, as delicious and venison heart already is, Jeremy Critchfield, aka HuntChef, takes it to a whole new level with this mouthwatering recipe.

If that doesn't make you want to hit the deer woods immediately, then we might not be able to help. Hunting is about harvesting healthy protein to feed yourself and your family, and HuntChef is doing it in style.

Here's a recap of those ingredients:


  • Venison heart
  • Peppers
  • Pinto beans
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Local honey
  • Bacon
  • Stone House Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Stone House Brisket Rub
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Jalapeño
  • Chicken Broth
  • Yellow Curry Powder
  • Chorizo
  • Thyme
  • Green Onion

This video really highlights the shame in wasting an animal's heart, as these particular cuts look like medium-rare fillet mignon once he removes the connective tissue.

As Critchfield mentions, heart can be a tad firmer than other cuts of venison, but taking a slower grilling or smoking approach when cooking the meat could make a difference. Even using Critchfield's quick-and-easy pan-fried method, you're still going to get a pretty tender finished product with a ton of flavor.

Just like any other recipe, you can use this as a basic template and play around with different ingredients to alter your dish some, but it won't be easy to beat this wild game entrée.

It's not uncommon to see people blend pork (i.e. bacon) with their venison to give it a little bit of fat that it naturally lacks. However, a blend of chorizo and bacon sounds like it belongs in every wild game dish, doesn't it?

Most people think venison goes well with a little zest, as opposed to a sweet marinade, so this recipe's use of peppers and barbecue sauce is certainly an exciting take on deer meat.

The beauty of this particular recipe is that it would theoretically work with any big game animal. Regardless of whether you need a recipe for elk heart, antelope heart or even beef heart, this would work all the same as a delicious entree. Additionally, this would work for other meats, too. So maybe try it out on your backstrap first if you want to know what to expect before throwing your heart in some olive oil.

As HuntChef always preaches, always eat what you kill, and that includes organ meats.

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