Don’t leave your heart in the field. They are an excellent source of yumminess. Cleaning them up can be tedious, but well worth it.
The heart is a wonderful muscle, it is a nice little package of muscle that works non-stop to keep us going. Muscles that don’t hold things together or provide structure are much different. They really don’t have a grain to follow, so you can clean up a heart going any direction with your cuts. You can slice it crosswise from top to bottom, which will give you some neat ring like pieces. Or you can clean up all the fat, pericardial tissues and the “heart strings” and be left with some very beautiful strips of clean and lean red meat.
The heart is a four-chambered hollow pump. It is divided into the left and right side by a wall called the septum. The right and left sides are also divided into chambers called the atria which receive blood from the veins, and the two bottom chambers called ventricles which pump blood into the arteries. The chordae tendineae are a group of tough tendinous strands in the heart that are referred to as the “heart strings” that function as guide wires that hold the atrioventricular valves in place while the heart is pumping blood.
When cleaning up a heart I start with a cut from top to bottom along both sides of the septum and lay the heart open flat leaving the septum sticking up nicely to be trimmed off. The septum is a nice flat piece that can be trimmed of the strings and sliced up neatly or cooked as a steak. After removing the septum I simply remove all strings and large pieces of fatty tissue and slice the remaining opened up heart into slices. I then take these slices and trim any unsightly cardiac tissues that are on the inside and the outside of the heart leaving the pure slices of heart that can be turned into a really great Fajita!
- 1 cleaned elk heart cut into strips
- 1 Tbsp oil
- ½ red pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- ½ orange pepper
- 1 small sweet onion cut into strips
- 1 can of Elpato jalapeno sauce
- Flour tortillas
- Guacamole (homemade or store bought)
- Sour cream
- Slivered radishes
- Clean up your heart and cut into strips. Cut your peppers and onions into strips. In a large cast iron skillet (any frying pan will do) on the stove on high heat add your oil and get a sear going on your heart meat. Then add the peppers and onions and keep stirring these up in the pan for about 5 minutes. Add the can of Elpato and turn the heat down to medium and let everything meld and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Take a nice flour tortilla and add some of the heart, pepper and onion mix
- Garnish with lime, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream and radish sliver….or just eat it and Enjoy!