Wine Braised Venison Heart

by Ian Burrow


The heart of a whitetail doe.

The heart of a whitetail doe.

“Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded—with what caution—with what foresight—with what dissimulation I went to work!” - from Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart

AND PERHAPS YOU DO FANCY ME MAD…

The more I cook, the more my curiosity grows. I’ve found myself seeking to broaden my horizons and push past any self-imposed negative stigmas surrounding certain species of game to consume, particular cuts of meat to work with, or different methods of cooking. After all, what’s the point of spending time in the kitchen if you’re just going to prepare the same thing every day?

I’m certainly not the first to eat a heart so let’s not pretend this is some kind of ground-breaking culinary innovation BUT I will argue that a heart (of any species) rarely finds its way to the dinner table in 2019. My wife was a bit shocked when I told her that she’d just eaten a heart, but what’s the fun of mystery meat if you give away the answer before the plate has been scraped clean? I spent about 30 minutes preparing the ingredients, another hour cooking, and about 0.2 seconds devouring.

If you like steak, then I bet you’ll like this. The composition of the meat is awfully similar to a steak (the heart is a muscle after all) but one notable difference is the texture of the meat. It’s so…smooth. So smooth in fact, you just may feel a phantom beat of a heart as your jaw closes…


Laid to rest in a Kansas cornfield.

Laid to rest in a Kansas cornfield.

THE COMPONENTS

1 VENISON HEART

1/4 CUP OF FLOUR

1 CHOPPED ONION

1 SHREDDED CARROT

2 CHOPPED CELERY STALKS

2 TEASPOONS OF THYME

2 TEASPOONS OF GARLIC

2 TEASPOONS OF TOMATO PASTE

1/2 CUP OF RED WINE

1/2 CUP OF BEEF BROTH


BY THE NUMBERS

  1. Soak the heart in water, changing the water every 30 minutes, for two hours total. This will pull the blood (there’s going to be a lot) out of the meat.

  2. Brine the heart for an hour while you get the kitchen prepped and the other ingredients pulled together.

  3. Slice the heart in half and cut out the arteries and cartilage; then cut the heart into slices.

  4. Fire up the skillet with your favorite lubricant (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.).

  5. While you wait for the pan to heat up to medium-high, lightly dust your slices of heart in flour. Toss them in and sear each side for 45 seconds.

  6. Push the heart to the side of the pan, drop the temperature to low and add the tomato paste. Let it caramelize.

  7. Now add all the remaining ingredients to the pan, making sure everything is mixed well, and cover. Retain heat on low and allow the dish to simmer for an hour. Occasionally stir and grab a waft of delicious, sinister flavor.

  8. Use this time to prepare a grain of some sort (quinoa, spelt, rice, pasta, etc.), clean up the kitchen, and polish off the rest of the wine.

  9. Place your braised heart over the grain, add a scoop of the vegetables from the pan, garnish with something exotic, and serve.


Wine braised venison heart served over pesto spelt, garnished with kale and paired with a Malbec. Salt and pepper to taste (via dinosaur shakers).

Wine braised venison heart served over pesto spelt, garnished with kale and paired with a Malbec. Salt and pepper to taste (via dinosaur shakers).