Cooking Meat/Bear heart

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Question
I have never cooked bear heart before although I have done other cuts. Is it safe to eat the heart and is pressure cooking it the best method? I appreciate your advice and would like a receipe if available.

Answer
Heart is probably one of the safest meats to eat.  It is pure lean muscle.  Like any bear meat there is the threat of Trichinosis, same as in pork, so cooking to at least 150F is necessary.

As to how to cook it.

I cook a lot of chicken hearts and gizzards and simmer them for a few hours with brown sugar, molasses, garlic, soy sauce, and make a thick teriyaki sauce with them.  Then add oriental veggies and serve on rice.  Jack in the Box used to serve something similar called Teriyaki Bowl.  You could do something like that, but I would recommend cutting the hear into smaller pieces before cooking it as the cooking will go quicker.  After about 3 hours of simmering it loses its chewy toughness and is quite nice.

The recipe below is for heart grilled, but I would have to say, it will probably result in something quite chewy.

If I had to do it, I would probably simmer it first, or pressure cook it,  to tender it up, then slice and grill it.

Being all muscle and no fat, heart meat will only become more dry and tough if exposed to high heat for very long.


The recipe below comes from here:

http://honest-food.net/2012/06/13/grilled-deer-heart-recipe/

There is a nice description on how to cut the heart up.

Grilled Venison Heart with Peppers and Onions

This recipe can be done with any large heart. I designed it for deer and elk, but it will work with antelope, moose, wild boar or whatever. For non-hunters, try beef heart, veal heart or lamb hearts. You don’t have to marinate the meat, but it adds a lot of flavor, and helps keep it moist on the grill.

A tip on the peppers and onions: Cut them in large pieces so they don’t fall through your grill grates. For the onions, make sure you keep the stem end attached. And cook the skin side of the peppers first — if you get any parts that blacken, the skin peels right off. You actually want significant blackening here, so keep your grill ragingly hot.

Serves 2 to 6, depending on the heart.

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus up to a day for marinating

Cook Time: 15 minutes

1 or 2 deer hearts, or 1 elk, moose or beef heart
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 or 4 colored bell peppers, cut into 2 to 3 pieces each
1 large onion, cut into large wedges
__________

Trim the hearts as discussed above. In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, oregano, thyme and black pepper. Massage the marinade into the meat, put everything into a container that can just about hold everything and marinate for as little as 30 minutes, or as much as 2 days.
When you are ready to cook, get your grill hot. Coat the peppers and onion in the rest of the olive oil and salt well.
Grill everything on high heat. Put the hearts and veggies on the grill — skin side down for the peppers — and leave them alone with the grill cover open for 8 minutes. Flip everything and grill, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.
Check the peppers and onions, and when they are nicely cooked with a little char, remove and put in foil to steam. Remove any blackened skin from the peppers.
If the hearts are not cooked through yet, cover the grill and cook for 2 to 5 more minutes. If you are using a thermometer, you want to get the meat off the grill when it is 130°F in the center. You can also use the finger test for doneness. Tent the hearts loosely with foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper and good sea salt at the table.

Another alternative.

Love heart and most other organ meats. I used to roast heart and found it delicious but quite dry so switched to sliced heart drenched in seasoned flour and sautéed in butter with garlic and a few drops of white wine. Many other spices can be added dependent on personal tastes  

Cooking Meat

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Keith Patton

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I can answer questions regarding wildgame cookery ranging from venison, elk, buffalo, wild geese, duck, wild turtle, feral hog, javalena, wild boar, racoon, beaver, and woodchuck.

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I am an avid hunter and chef. I have run a successful catering business, processing my own meat, curing hams and making wild game sausage.

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