Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cooking With Frank: Venison Heart Ragout

A deer heart gifted from Dad,
before we cleaned it
To start this is a recipe utilizing venison heart, but can be substituted with beef heart. If meats of the offal family (organ meats) turn your stomach, retreat now...

Like the rest of the animal, venison (deer) heart tends on the strong side flavour; while not unpleasant to an adventurous palate, if you are trepidatious it's best to taste it for the first time with someone who likes  it, if only so someone eats it.

Venison heart is a muscle organ that is extremely lean, low in fat, high in B12 and iron.

'Ragout' is a French cooking term for slow cooked stew, and can include any number, and kinds, of vegetables and meat. While the meat of the heart cooks pretty quickly, the majority of "slow" cooking in this recipe we created is done with vegetables.

Note that this recipe is not a true ragout, hovering instead somewhere between a stew and a thick gravy.

Obviously you'll want to rinse the heart before you start working on it, to remove excess blood, hairs and any other debris. (If you purchase the heart from a supplies/butcher, it's likely been washed and cleaned).

(Thanks to our cook buddy, Ryan, for locating and sharing this great instructional video)

2-3 Tbsp Butter
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 an Onion (medium-large sized), sliced
10 Button Mushrooms (medium-large sized), sliced
1/2 a large Venison Heart (or 1 medium), diced
5-6 Tbsp Flour
1/2-1 tsp Salt
1/2-1 tsp Pepper, fresh ground
1/4-1/3 c Water

Mince the garlic and thin sliced onions. In a pan on a burner over medium heat melt butter and add olive oil. (this where the dish becomes less healthy)
Sauté onions and garlic slowly until the onions are just turning brown.
Season flour with salt and pepper, and toss the diced heart in the flour mixture, shaking lose a bit of the excess flour.
Fry the heart until it just starting to get a medium brown "crust". (this should prevent the gravy from holding onto the floury taste)
Slowly add water to the mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring slowly and continuously.
Continue adding water, keeping the pan over the heat, until the sauce (gravy) becomes a desired thickness.


Serving Recommendation: Over a bed of mashed potatoes and squash, which are great fall vegetables that naturally pair with venison meats, as fall is also the seasons for hunting most wild game.
Suggested Accompaniment: A personal variation of a fresh slaw, great for mellowing the richness of the dish: Add thin sliced plum tomato (center/seeds removed) with thin sliced orange/yellow peppers, and thinly sliced celery. Squeeze fresh lemon on top, season with salt and pepper and toss. It also adds a nice splash of colour.


More food stuff from us...
Food & Cooking
Also...Frankie Skins a Deer (this year we'll be hanging it, making it easier on our back, and making gravity help us with some of the work)

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