Wild game hearts are often discarded. The heart, liver, kidney, and organ meat offer great nutrition. Native cultures often ate organ meat first, due to its healthy and delicious properties. If you have ever eaten a Slim Jim, you have already eaten heart. Scrapple and sausage also contain ground organs.
Like a Slim Jim, the heart meat has a chewy texture. Slow cooking makes it extremely tender. If it is too chewy, you cooked it too much.
Heart protein can really keep you pumping! Hearts are full of healthy chemicals, vitamins, and muscle protein. CoQ10 is abundant in the muscle tissue. So is Hoy levels which are essential chemicals to stem off Dementia.
Heart meat improves cognition, sex drive, anxiety, and helps with depression. The meat texture, in the heart, is denser and different but is just a muscle. The hearts from elk, deer, moose, and big game are all amazingly healthy and delicious. Wild bird hearts and waterfowl hearts are also delicious. At the very least, feed the hearts to your hunting dogs, when field dressing. Tuna, or large fish hearts are also tasty and not to be wasted.
To cook waterfowl, turkey, or upland game hearts, simply rinse them thoroughly and fry for a quick minute, in butter or duck fat. They make perfect appetizers. Spice with salt, pepper, and paprika. I just use Old Bay seafood seasoning. Cook quickly and rest. They are also great on the grill, or simply stuck on a stick over the fire. I am not a raw meat eater, especially considering potential parasites and disease concerns. Avoid the brains and spinal cord areas, due to CWD.
Mix this brine for 1-2 big, rinsed, game hearts. 2 tbsp. of Soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce. Add 2 cloves of minced Garlic. Crack in some fresh pepper. Add 1 tsp of McCormick meat tenderizer. Blend all into 2 cups of water. Allow the hearts to soak for a couple hours.
Now prepare your Dry rub. You need 1 tsp of dried Garlic and Paprika. ¼ tsp of pepper. ¼ tsp. of Garlic powder and Onion Powder. In a pinch, just go with the Old Bay seasoning or your own basic rub.
Smoking the whole heart is delicious or you can slice it into ¼ inch wheels, cut across the grain. The smoker should be around 230-250 degrees. After adding the dry rub, smoke for 2-21/2 hours, depending on the heart sizes. You want an internal temperature of 145 Degrees. Remove and rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
If you have reluctant eaters, think presentation. Place hearty chunks onto toothpicks and maybe prepare a simple BBQ sauce or try Heinz 57 sauce. Make a green covered plate with the heart teasers. Put them on the table and walk away.
Another way to enjoy the heart is to cut the cooked heart into bacon bit sized pieces and add to the salad or as a sauce topping. I find starting to slice at the hearts base is easier.
Eat Hearty to keep you healthy!