Some Native Americans believed that by eating the heart from a fresh kill it would endow the hunter with the favorable qualities of his quarry. The successful hunter would assume its speed, resourcefulness, and strength. I’m not sure if that works or not, but when cooked along with some eggs, it makes one heck of a hearty hunter’s breakfast after a successful hunt.
I know what you’re thinking…Eeeewwww! Heart…that’s like eating guts… Let me just tell you that your aversion to this wonderfully tasty treat is not uncommon. When I tell people that I eat heart from any animal, they usually look at me like I’m Jeffery Dahmer or something. The heart, and other organ meats have concentrations of nutrients that are difficult to find in other sources of foods. If you’ve ever noticed when you come across an animal that has been killed by predators (or watch it on T.V.), they don’t dig into the meat first. Nope, they are going for the good stuff. The Alpha Beast that took the animal down is going to dig in to the most nutrient dense food first…the organ meats (liver, heart, kidneys, etc.). Not to mention, it tastes amazing having textures and flavors that you can’t get from any other cut of meat. Because that is what it is, meat. So don’t get too weirded out by where the meat came from.
First step: Kill something with a heart (this is the fun part). If you’ve shot the beast in the heart, then forget it. Sometimes I’ve salvaged a heart that I’ve shot through with an arrow, but most rifle kills won’t make the cut. If the animal has had a bullet or an arrow pass through the guts, then forget it. If shot in the diaphragm or forward (lung area), then its okay assuming there are no bullet fragments or the heart is not vaporized. The heart cooked in this post was from a neck shot whitetail, so it was a clean quick kill. Check out Meat Mission, for this beast’s demise.
Clean the heart in cold water. Submerge it in the water and “pump” it with your hands to remove any lingering blood from it as possible.
Next, remove any connective tissue or fat. You will want to cut open the heart, and remove any of the spider web like tissue from inside the heart. Generally speaking, anything hard, or tough you want gone. You should be left with meat that has the same color, and texture once done.
Then, cube it or slice into thin strips trying to keep the shape relatively uniform so that it will cook evenly. Then, season the heart as desired. I used Ray’s Cajun Kitchen Seasoning Mix on this occasion, but whatever floats your boat will do.
In a black iron skillet over medium heat, melt some butter. Then add the seasoned pieces of deer heart.
On medium/high heat…Cook Dat!
Once browned, add eggs.
Scramble as usual, and enjoy like a victorious cave man!