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Hunter, author, outdoorsman and preparer of delicious wild game Steven Rinella is the host of Meat Eater, which airs on the Sportsman Channel. Out today is the first volume of his most recent book: The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Game. This installment tackles big game — really big game. Elk, moose and buffalo big. Once you’ve tracked, hunted and butchered these titans, you’ll need to know what to do with hundreds of pounds of meat. Chicken it ain’t. Fried heart with a smudge of ketchup and some strong coffee, it is. 

Deer heart takes to a marinade quite nicely. I like to marinate it and grill the slices. Here’s a simple recipe you might want to try.

When I was growing up, we always ate the heart of a deer soon after killing it. My mom cooked it very simply: sliced thin, dredged in seasoned flour, and then fried in a skillet. My dad always complained if we put ketchup on venison loin, but he didn’t mind if we dipped our slices of heart in it. Since then I’ve had wild game hearts cooked in dozens of ways, but this is still my favorite. It’s easy, it’s deeply Midwestern, it tastes perfect, and it’s a great way to introduce otherwise squeamish eaters to a somewhat adventurous food item. Try it, and this recipe is likely to become a ritual of your own.

Reprinted with permission from The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game