|The heart from Ryley's buck.|
You wouldn’t think it but Valentine’s Day and hunting have a quite a few things in common; bows, arrows, a fat guy obsessed with archery. But there is one more thing they have in common which is usually overlooked by the average hunter. Most hunters, when field dressing their deer, moose or elk leave behind one of the tastiest, least off-putting pieces of offal; the heart. That’s a complete waste because the heart is all muscle after all. It’s very dense and flavorful and when prepared the right way it simply can’t be beat. So the next time you find yourself gutting a deer, or walk past a fresh gut pile, go ahead and bring back that heart and put it to good use. You won't regret it.
In honor of Valentine’s Day (and coincidentally Taco Tuesday) here is a recipe that will get you hooked on heart.
Venison Heart Tacos
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 pound diced venison heart (¼ inch cubes)
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 soft flour taco shells (or soft corn taco shells)
- Shredded romaine lettuce
- Shredded shard cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- 1 pack grape tomatoes, quartered
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Brown the ground venison, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add the diced venison to the skillet and continue to cook
- When the meat is thoroughly cooked add all the remaining dry spices, onion, bell pepper and garlic, stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add a ½ cup water and tomato sauce. Add bay leaf.
- Cover and cook on low 3 to 4. Remove lid and continue to keep warm over low heat to evaporate any remaining liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Heat the taco shells in cast iron skillet and assemble your tacos. Enjoy!