How To Cook Deer Heart

Ever eaten deer heart? If not, you're missing out on a cut of meat that many hunters prize. Unlike recipes that start off with the life story of the author and how they grew up eating their grandmother's version of this dish, this is just a direct and straightforward set of instructions for those who have never tried to cook deer heart before.


1 deer heart
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of broth (beef or vegetable)
1/2 cup of red wine (optional)
Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, or sage) for flavor (optional)


  1. Prepare the deer heart:

    • Start by trimming any excess fat and connective tissue from the deer heart.
    • Carefully slice it into thin slices or medallions, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

  2. Season the heart:

    • Season the heart slices with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. Heat the pan:

    • Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.

  4. Sear the heart:

    • Once the oil is hot, add the deer heart slices to the pan.
    • Sear them for 2-3 minutes on each side until they develop a nice brown crust. Cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the slices. Be careful not to overcook, as deer heart can become tough if overdone.

  5. Remove the heart from the pan:

    • Once the heart slices are nicely seared, remove them from the pan and set them aside.

  6. Saute the onions and garlic:

    • In the same pan, add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
    • Cook them until they become translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

  7. Deglaze the pan (optional):

    • If using red wine, pour it into the pan to deglaze. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any flavorful bits stuck to it.

  8. Add broth and herbs (optional):

    • If you're not using wine, simply add the broth to the pan. You can also add fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage for extra flavor.

  9. Simmer and return the heart:

    • Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
    • Return the seared deer heart slices to the pan and let them simmer in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes.

  10. Serve:

    • Once the deer heart is heated through and the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove it from the heat.
    • Serve the deer heart slices with the onion and garlic sauce. You can also serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, or your favorite side dishes.

Remember that deer heart is lean and can easily become tough if overcooked, so keep an eye on it during the cooking process to ensure it remains tender and flavorful. Enjoy your delicious deer heart meal - and let me know what you think!

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