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Pickled Deer Heart Recipe

Pickled deer heart is a popular dish among hunters and food enthusiasts alike, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

To make pickled deer hearts, you’ll need a few simple ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, garlic, and onions.

The heart is boiled in a mixture of water and pickling spices before being added to a jar with the pickling solution.

The result is a tender and flavorful meat that can be enjoyed on its own or as a topping for sandwiches and salads.

Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner, pickling deer heart is a delicious and satisfying way to enjoy this often-overlooked cut of meat.

How to Make Pickled Deer Hearts

pickled deer heart recipe

Ingredients List

To make pickled deer heart, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 deer heart
  • 1 quart of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Start by preparing the deer heart for cooking.

Step 2

Remove any fat, arteries, and valves from the heart.

Cut the heart into quarter-inch slices or medallions.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

Add the heart pieces to the pot and boil for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Drain the water and rinse the heart pieces under cold water.

In a separate pot, combine the white vinegar, water, brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic slices, red pepper flakes, and white onion.

Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Step 4

Place the heart pieces into a 1-quart or 2-quart jar.

Pour the pickling liquid over the heart pieces, making sure they are fully submerged.

You can add a slice of jalapeno pepper for extra heat if desired.

Seal the jar with a lid and place it in the refrigerator.

Allow the heart pieces to pickle for at least 24 hours, but preferably for a few days.

The longer they sit, the more flavorful they will become.

Step 5

Serve the pickled deer heart as a delicious snack or appetizer.

It is a great way to enjoy the flavors of wild game animals.

That’s it!

You now know how to make pickled deer heart.

This recipe is a great way to use parts of the animal that might otherwise go to waste.

Side Dishes for Pickled Deer Hearts

Pickled deer hearts can be served as a standalone dish or as a part of a larger meal.

Here are some side dishes that pair well with pickled deer heart:

Saltine Crackers

Saltine crackers are a classic side dish that can be paired with almost any pickled food.

The crackers’ saltiness and crunch complement the rich and tangy flavor of pickled deer hearts.

Simply place a few crackers on the side of your plate and enjoy them with each bite of deer heart.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a comforting and hearty side dish that pairs well with pickled deer hearts.

The creamy texture of the potatoes contrasts with the chewy texture of the deer heart, creating a satisfying mouthfeel.

The mild flavor of mashed potatoes also balances out the strong flavor of the pickled deer heart.

Ingredients Substitutes

If you don’t have all the ingredients for the pickled deer heart recipe, don’t worry.

Here are some substitutes you can use:

Beef Hearts

If you can’t find a deer heart, beef heart is a great substitute.

It has a similar texture and flavor to deer heart, and it’s readily available in most grocery stores.

Garlic Powder

If you don’t have garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder instead.

Use 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of garlic.

How to Store Pickled Deer Hearts

Once you have made your pickled deer heart, you need to store it properly to ensure it remains fresh and tasty.

Here are some main storage methods for pickled deer hearts:

Storing Pickled Deer Heart in Jars

One of the most common ways to store pickled deer hearts is to put them in jars.

You can use mason jars or any other type of jar that has an airtight seal.

Here’s how to store pickled deer hearts in jars:

  1. Make sure the jars are clean and sterilized before use.
  2. Fill the jars with the pickled deer heart, making sure to leave about an inch of headspace at the top.
  3. Seal the jars tightly and store them in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cellar.
  4. The pickled deer heart should last for up to a year if stored properly.

Freezing Pickled Deer Heart

If you don’t plan on eating your pickled deer heart right away, you can also freeze it for later use.

Here’s how to freeze pickled deer heart:

  1. Put the pickled deer heart in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  2. Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the container or bag before sealing it.
  3. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  4. Store the pickled deer heart in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Other Storage Tips

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when storing pickled deer hearts:

  • Always use clean utensils when handling the pickled deer heart to avoid contamination.
  • Keep the pickled deer heart away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • If you notice any signs of spoilage, like mold or a bad smell, discard the pickled deer heart immediately.

By following these storage methods, you can enjoy your pickled deer heart for months to come.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when preparing Pickled Deer Hearts:

Not Preparing the Heart Properly

Before pickling the deer heart, it is important to clean and prepare it properly.

Make sure to remove all the fat, arteries, and connective tissues.

Leaving these parts on can affect the texture and taste of the final product.

Using Hot Heart or Warm Water

It is important to let the heart cool down completely before pickling it.

Using a hot heart or warm water can cause the meat to cook and become tough, which can affect the texture and taste of the final product.

Adding Too Much Sugar

While sugar is an important ingredient in pickling, adding too much can make the final product too sweet.

Use the recommended amount of sugar and adjust it to your taste if necessary.

Not Using Enough Water

Using too little water can cause the pickling solution to be too strong and overpower the flavor of the heart.

Make sure to use the recommended amount of water and adjust it to your taste if necessary.

Not Letting the Heart Pickle Long Enough

Pickling takes time, and it is important to let the heart soak in the pickling solution for the recommended amount of time.

Not letting the heart pickle long enough can result in a bland and underdeveloped flavor.

Not Using Enough Seasonings

Seasonings like garlic, red pepper flakes, and pickling spice are important for adding flavor to the pickled heart.

Make sure to use the recommended amount of seasonings and adjust it to your taste if necessary.

Using the Wrong Type of Vinegar

Using the wrong type of vinegar can affect the flavor of the pickled heart.

It is recommended to use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for the best results.

Using a Dirty Jar

Make sure to thoroughly clean and sterilize the jar before using it to pickle the heart.

Using a dirty jar can result in contamination and spoilage of the pickled heart.

pickled deer heart recipe

Pickled Deer Heart Recipe

Pickled deer heart is a popular dish among hunters and food enthusiasts alike, and it's surprisingly easy to make at home.
To make pickled deer heart, you'll need a few simple ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, garlic, and onions.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 6
Equipment
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 separate pot
  • 1 jar
Ingredients
  
  • 1 deer heart
  • 1 quart of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 white onion sliced
Instructions
 
  • Start by preparing the deer heart for cooking.
  • Remove any fat, arteries, and valves from the heart.
    Cut the heart into quarter-inch slices or medallions.
    Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
    Add the heart pieces to the pot and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the water and rinse the heart pieces under cold water.
    In a separate pot, combine the white vinegar, water, brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic slices, red pepper flakes, and white onion.
    Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Place the heart pieces into a 1-quart or 2-quart jar.
    Pour the pickling liquid over the heart pieces, making sure they are fully submerged.
    You can add a slice of jalapeno pepper for extra heat, if desired.
    Seal the jar with a lid and place it in the refrigerator.
    Allow the heart pieces to pickle for at least 24 hours, but preferably for a few days.
    The longer they sit, the more flavorful they will become.
  • Serve the pickled deer heart as a delicious snack or appetizer.
    It is a great way to enjoy the flavors of wild game animals.
    That's it! You now know how to make pickled deer heart.
    This recipe is a great way to use parts of the animal that might otherwise go to waste.
    If you're interested in learning more about wild foods and conservation stories, be sure to check out podcasts like Bear Grease, Buck Truck Hop, and the MeatEater podcast with Janis Putelis.
    And for more delicious wild game recipes, check out the work of authors like Danielle Prewett and Jason Phelps.

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