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Deer Heart: As Good as Tenderloin!

Did you save the heart of that deer you harvested this season or did you toss it in the gut pile for the coyotes? Next time, save it, trust me! Venison heart is “muscle meat” and is as good as a piece of tenderloin! Packed with B vitamins and protein, with little fat, and a very mild flavor, venison heart is positively delicious if prepared properly!
deerheart
It’s actually simple to make, is best eaten fresh, not frozen, at least within a couple days of the harvest, and should be cooked medium rare to medium. I’m sure there are as many ways to prepare a deer heart as there are hunters, but here is my Mother’s super-tasty, easy recipe for wild venison heart that has been popular with our Wagner Family for years. Give it a try!
Wagner’s Wild Venison Heart
Trim fat and membranes, clean, wash heart well (It can be kept whole or cut in half lengthwise). Soak in flavorful liquid such as Italian salad dressing in Ziploc bag for 2-3 hours in refrigerator.
Italiandressingtodeerheart
Place in cooking bag and pour one 1 can of cream of mushroom soup over the deer heart. Then, sprinkle it with 2-3 tablespoons of dried onion soup mix. Pepper to taste. Tie bag shut. Make 4-6 one-half inch slits on top of cooking bag for some air release. Put in cake pan or foil boat. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for two hours. Let rest a bit, slice.
Momslicingdeerheart
Serve and enjoy! The heart feeds about two people or can be used as a fun appetizer for your dinner guests.
slicedvenisonheart
Interesting fact: Native Americans believed by eating the heart of a deer that the hunter would gain the animal’s strength, courage, and spirit.

About Greg Wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media sites, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

2 comments

  1. Greg,

    Nice. Now you just need to celebrate the hunt and harvest by taking a nip of heart at the kill site! Ha!

    Daryl B.

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