“Roast me some Heart please!”

I’ve been asked too many times to count, what my specialty to cook in camp was.  I don’t know if I ever had much of a specialty, though I really enjoyed cooking up the game meat that was brought back to camp.  One of my favorites was heart.

Heart!?!   You say.  Yep.  Heart.

In my experience, Caribou heart or Sheep heart are the easiest to work with.  Moose is just a little big, but works if you have a big crowd to feed and all day to cook. (Kinda like roasting a turkey)

I probably would never attempted to cook up heart if I lived in town and went to the grocery store like normal people for meat.  Probably never would have cooked up heart if I hadn’t had a guide (named Raymond) ask one day, “Roast me up some heart please.”

“Well Raymond, in order to do that, I need a heart to roast.”

“Okay, we’ll bring you one today.”

And sure enough he did.  Got a caribou down that evening and brought back the backstraps, tenderloins and heart.

Guide Raymond with hunter, packing out a mountain caribou.

Well now, time to cook some heart.

I didn’t have an oven—only a three burner propane stove.  I asked Raymond how he liked his heart and he said cooked.  So I boiled the organ in a pot of water with some sage, thyme, salt and black pepper.  It didn’t look like something to write home about.  In fact I’m kind of surprised I’m writing about it now.  (Boiled meat is one of my least favorite smells, due to one guide up in the Yukon having a pot of boiled moose constantly on the go while we were in camp.)

Jake taking a Stone Sheep heart in for dinner

But I cut into it, tried some and was pleasantly surprised.  Very tender, very tasty. Even better with a little hot honey mustard.  Sliced like a dream for sandwich meat the next day.  Even the skeptical hunters really enjoyed their caribou heart and said it was one of their favorite and most memorable camp meals.

So after that, whenever we got an animal down in camp, Raymond would always bring me the heart.  I tried, Stone Sheep heart—stuffed and roasted, and Moose heart—broiled in tin foil on the BBQ.  I passed up on Grizzly heart—not a fan.

Heart, boiled, roasted or barbequed was met with rave reviews, and if I could only get my hands on some more heart . . . well, it’s just not so easy anymore walking into the local Sobey’s and asking for heart!

Stuffed Stone Sheep Heart Roast Recipe:
1 Stone Sheep Heart (cleaned and trimmed)
Leftover Bread, cubed
handful Fresh Sage, coarsely chopped
2-4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium Onion, fine chop
1-2 Stalks Celery, fine chop
Salt and Pepper, or Montreal Steak Spice
Milk, or Red Wine
Saute Onion, Celery and Garlic until translucent, add sage and seasonings, mix into bread cubes, add a little milk or red wine to soften. Stuff into holes in heart. Pour a little milk or red wine over top of heart. Season heart with salt and pepper. Roast until meat thermometer reads 150 F. Pull out and let rest for ten minutes, for a medium to medium well done heart roast. You can go more rare, but it isn’t necessary as the heart is very tender even when well done. Slices nicer for sandwich meat if more towards medium.
(I don’t have measurements for all you people who need them to cook, I didn’t have measuring cups or spoons in the bush, so I just eyeball things.)

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4 Responses to “Roast me some Heart please!”

  1. Sarah says:

    I have a deer heart sitting in my fridge right now, just waiting to be cooked up. So glad that I stumbled across this recipe! Do you have any more good heart recipes?

    • Jake says:

      Well I’m glad to be of service Sarah! The only recipes for heart that I have on hand are the ones I mentioned in the article. I found that boiling the heart in stock or water and spices made for a very nice flavorful meal. Of course the boiling times all vary on the size of the heart. It was all experiment for me generally every time, because I never got a heart that was alike. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

      • Sarah says:

        Roasted the heart last night – it was so tasty and tender! I threw some feta cheese in with the stuffing mixture too. It will definitely be a repeat. Our little guy who normally won’t touch meat of any kind probably ate half of it on his own – didn’t leave much for the rest of us!

      • Jake says:

        That’s awesome Sarah! I like the feta cheese idea! I never had that option in most of my camps. But it sounds like a great idea. Glad it went over well with the little guy. 🙂

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