A tradition in our family has always been cooking up heart and tenderloins and/or backstraps the night of the harvest. I grew up in the upper midwest so there was never a concern for any diseases so there was no testing needed to be done to wait to hear if your meat was editable or not. The past 5 years I've lived in CO and there is a concern for CWD ( cronic wasting disease) so the first couple years it was a drastic change for me to have to wait a few weeks to hear if your meat was clear or not. Long story short, I pulled an elk heart out today from last years harvest and it was delicous.
I only fried a couple heart steaks up tonight so there's more to cook tomorrow for Thanksgiving!
*Note - clean your heart properly. Cut it down to the meat and remove excess vains, fat, etc etc. I can get in more detail if you would like.
My parents used to cook up our whitetail heart and loins for 40 min, carmelizing the onions, mushrooms, green peppers and garlic but I've learned to treat the heart like a fillet or any fine piece of meat after the carmelizing has been achieved. Theirs was fantastic but now as an adult and a wannabe chef, I realized it could be less chewy and much better.
Here's a great way to enjoy some heart or any tenderloin / backstrap.
Cut some onions, garlic, mushroom, green peppers or anything that you fancy.
Heat up your pan, melt some butter and toss in the veggies but save the garlic for last. Medium heat, let them all slow cook until carmelized. I also love to add a large sprig of fresh thyme at this time :) . It's soo good and crispy.
Up the heat to medium high & add another dab of butter, the garlic and the heart or meat.
I like to season the meat with a little salt and pepper and sometimes, well usually, garlic salt.
Cook the meat until it's medium or medium rare and pull off the heat and plate or wrap in foil.
Immediately add some whipping cream or half & half to the pan and a tablespoon of capers or more depending on your craving :)
Let the cream get to a soft boil and turn off the heat. I like to stab / crush a few capers to get that salty brine flowing into the cream and stir it all around the pan to deglaze the pan of the garlic and other flavors.
Sauce is done, poor next to meat and ENJOY!
This isn't much of a recipe, but more of a reminder and heads up to those cooking any great cut of meat. Caper cream sauce is delicous and makes the meat taste soo good! Trust me!