A tasty method for elk heart

8 Mar

Marinated and Grilled Elk Heart(Or any other type of heart, I suppose.)

Start with a very fresh heart. Trim out the nicest, most even solid pieces of muscle (I tossed the remainder to the very happy dog). Marinate in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, saba (a grape juice reduction — if you don’t have this, use balsamic vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar), juniper berries, whole blade mace, whole peppercorns, a bay leaf, and some salt. I marinated it for a couple of hours in the refrigerator, shaking the container occasionally.

I’m not good at keeping track of quantities, but I would say I used approximately:

  • 2 T oil
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1/2 T saba
  • 1 tsp whole juniper berries
  • 1 whole mace
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Build a nice hot fire in your grill, ideally using a combination of wood and high quality lump charcoal. When the coals are red hot but there are no flames, grill the pieces of heart for just a few minutes per side, until the outside is nicely seared but they are still very tender when poked.

Let stand 5-10 minutes, then slice. Top with finishing salt (I like locally produced Jacobsen’s).

This was A+++ — I love heart, and this is the best way I’ve ever had it. The spices in the marinade are all traditional game accompaniments, and have wonderful robust flavors that stand up well without overpowering the fundamental awesomeness that is heart. I buy my elk heart from a guy at the farmers’ market, because I am a soft city girl.

(Hmm, I think I’ll add elk to my list of beasts for this year, even though I ate this before I “officially” started my challenge.)

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