Turn your venison heart into a delicious appetizer by marinating strips of deer heart in a flavorful Asian marinade and grilling them to perfection over an open flame. They're tender, juicy, sweet, salty, and oh-so-delicious. Give this tasty venison heart recipe a try today!
Why This Recipe Works:
Venison heart is really just like another cut of meat when you get down to it. Once you clean it and break it down, you are left with 3-4 steaks that you can treat just like any other steak. It's a lean meat, so it's important to not overcook it.
This simple soy sauce-based marinade penetrates the heart meat with delicious flavor over the course of a few hours. Once the marinated meat hits the grill, the sugars in the marinade caramelize and create a beautiful crust on the outside of the meat while keeping the inside juicy and tender. You're going to love this creative method for enjoying this popular venison organ meat. You'll never want to leave your hearts in the gut pile again!
- Venison Heart: This recipe works with any big game heart (deer, elk, moose, antelope, beef, etc.) or several small game/game bird hearts. It also works great with strips of any type of steak you want!
- Garlic and Ginger: This recipe uses fresh garlic cloves and ginger root, but you can speed up the preparation by using jarred minced garlic and jarred minced ginger.
- Pellet Grill: This recipe uses a pellet grill but you can use whatever grill you have available.
- Wooden Skewers: This recipe uses small wooden skewers, but you can use larger ones or reusable metal skewers too.
- Filet/Boning Knife: Using a sharp filet/boning knife helps give you the precision you need to properly break down a deer heart. You can use other meat processing knives but the filet/boning knife has the most ideal shape for this job.
Step by Step Instructions:
How To Prepare Deer Heart for Cooking:
If you've never cooked deer heart, breaking it down into usable meat can be intimidating! But like any other steak, it is just another muscle. Hearts can be broken down into 3 or 4 steak-like pieces in just a few simple steps. Follow along below to learn how to clean and cut your deer heart.
Pro Tip: If there is any coagulated blood left on the inside that you can't remove, rinse the meat with cold water to clean it out. Typically, I wouldn't suggest rinsing meat. But with hearts, it can sometimes be necessary to remove all of the blood and reduce the iron taste of the meat.
How To Make Grilled Deer Heart Skewers:
The marinade for these skewers is a simple Asian marinade with a handful of ingredients. It can be adjusted slightly and used for lots of other recipes like Asian Grilled Elk Steak, Venison Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps, Pronghorn Bibimbap, and more! The marinade penetrates the meat and leads to very tender meat. Follow the simple steps below to make this easy deer heart recipe.
Pro Tip: Don't overcook the meat. Like any venison steak, deer heart is lean and will lose its natural moisture when it is overcooked.
What to Serve with Deer Heart:
These tasty deer heart skewers can be an entree, appetizer, or snack. They're great as part of an Asian appetizer spread with venison sashimi and soy-marinated shiitake mushrooms or with something simple like steamed rice and edamame. However you choose to serve them, you're going to love this fun new method for cooking your deer heart!
There are many ways to prepare deer heart, but one popular and tasty method is to grill them. Marinate strips of the heart meat in a flavorful Asian marinade, string the pieces onto skewers and grill them to juicy, tender perfection in this great recipe.
Deer heart makes for a great meal if it's prepared properly. Some precaution needs to be taken to remove the tough pieces of tissue and leftover blood. But once it's been prepared properly, it closely resembles any other deer steak and can be a very tender piece of meat!
Deer heart is really just another muscle/steak. It can have more of an iron-like taste because of its function in the body. But it makes a wonderful meal and is one of the best cuts of meat from a deer.
Many recipes will tell you to brine deer hearts to remove the blood. But, this isn't necessary if you properly clean and break down the heart. You can also marinate the meat, like in this grilled venison heart skewers recipe, which can be a better way to remove off flavors from leftover blood clots.
Yes but if you don't clean it before you freeze it, you'll want to eat it within a few months of freezing it. The blood left inside the heart can give the meat an off-flavor and it's best to eat it sooner rather than later.
Other Recipes to Try:
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Grilled Venison Heart Skewers
- Thaw heart upside down in glass bowl or measuring cup. This will help liquid drain out of the heart.
- Trim all outer fat from the heart using a filet/boning knife. Cut vessels from the top of the heart.
- With the bottom of the heart (pointed end) facing towards you, run your knife along the vessel that runs diagonally across the front of the heart. Continue cutting until you remove the entire piece of muscle. This is the left ventricle.
- Once the left ventricle is removed, run your knife under the piece of muscle that was under the ventricle. Continue cutting until the entire heart is opened into one flat piece.
- Trim strings from inside the heart and remove anything else that's not muscle.
- Cut meat into ½" strips.
- In a glass storage container or medium bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ½ cup green onions, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. Place meat in marinade and stir to coat the meat.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3-12 hours.
- Soak wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes or use metal skewers.
- Place meat on skewers in an accordion style and spread the meat out so that you can see the skewers between the meat.
- Preheat grill to 350°F. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until outsides are lightly charred and the inside is still moist and tender.
- While steak is cooking, pour remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer until reduced and thickened slightly. (optional)
- Top with sliced green onions and serve with reduced marinade, if desired. Enjoy!
- This recipe works with any big game heart (deer, elk, moose, antelope, beef, etc.) or several small game/game bird hearts. It also works great with strips of any type of steak you want!
- This recipe uses fresh garlic cloves and ginger root, but you can speed up the preparation by using jarred minced garlic and jarred minced ginger.
- If there is any coagulated blood left on the inside of the heart that you can't remove, rinse the meat with cold water to clean it out. Typically, I wouldn't suggest rinsing meat. But with hearts, it can sometimes be necessary to remove all of the blood and reduce the iron taste of the meat.
- Don't overcook the meat. Like any venison steak, deer heart is lean and will lose its natural moisture when it is overcooked.