makes a great stew
makes a great stew
I know this is reviving an older thread but I didn't want to clutter the forum up with a new thread on the same subject.
My wife and one of her brothers love chicken and turkey hearts to the point where they used to fight over them when they were kids. When we have processed meat birds she wanted all the hearts saved from them, too. But for years no one in our family eat deer hearts so they either got discarded or went to the dogs and cat.
For a few years now I've hunted in an all archery suburban deer management program in addition to recreational deer hunting. We butcher a few for our own freezer and I've donated a large number of deer to individuals and to the NY Venison Donation Coalition so that they would go to the needy. This year, as usual, if the deer was going to an individual they got the heart if they wanted it but we soon had several "orphaned" hearts vacuum packed and in the freezers.
Part way through the three month deer management program (with me dropping as many as three deer a week) my wife decides that she's going to try a deer heart and so she cleaned and prepped the next heart I brought home.
After trimming the connective tissue and blood vessels from the top of the heart she cleans them again and slices them cross-ways into rings. She then dredges the rings in seasoned flour and sautes them just until lightly browned. She makes a quick red wine and onion (or shallot) pan sauce by sweating some chopped onion and adding red wine which then gets reduced a bit and thickened with a few pats of cold butter whisked in at the end while the meat rests.
It is hands down the most tender venison we've ever had. Even a rare tenderloin from a young deer is no where not as tender.
So, now I have a a challenge, a mission and a mandate. I can arrow all the deer I want and give them to whomever I want but she gets the hearts. She doesn't even mind that about 3/4 of them have arrow holes through them. She says the hole makes it easier to get into them to clean them. And she says that when I gun hunt again I'll have to hold a few inches higher to get both lungs but hopefully spare the heart.
Interestingly, she used to come no closer to the heart and liver than watching me clean them and prep them for vacuum packing. Now she has the bag with them out of my pack and is cleaning them before I have all my play clothes hung up and my archery gear stowed. She even wants me to wait to clean my arrows at home so she can look at the blood, hair and tissue on them to learn more about arrow placement and "reading" arrows. I'm she'll ever want to go hunting but it's funny how little things string together so that even without her ever having been in the field hunting she get more involved in and interested in my hunting every year.
If there is a moral to the story it is this: If you haven't tried deer heart you really ought to give it a shot. (no pun intended) Your spouse may just decide that you need to do more hunting after all.......
I heart venison heart!
Now that's a cool story. My gf listened to me read it and said she had a whole bag of Nope right here for me. lol. She hates it when I get fried gizzards from Stephensons so an entire deer heart would push her right over the edge.
Que Brad Paisley...."Well, I'm gonna miss her...."