Balsamic Venison and Greens

Ready in 25 minutes

Serves 2 people

  • 247 calories
  • 23g protein
  • 9g carbohydrates
  • 13g fat

Ingredients

  • 10 oz venison heart (or any heart/steak works)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 3 cups Power Greens (or other leaf mix)
  • 1 small red onion

Spices/Condiments

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I used garlic infused)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used fig infused)

Preparation

  1. Carefully prepare the heart by making a large incision along the biggest muscle separation line
  2. Pull open the heart and begin cutting the filaments holding it together
  3. Begin butterflying the heart by carefully cutting near the bottom so that it can fold out into the size and shape of a normal steak
  4. Be careful to remove any ventricles or openings that would be chewy or hard to eat
  5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over high heat, season the heart with salt and black pepper, and slice your onion however you prefer
  6. Carefully lay the steak into the skillet sliced side down so that it does not curl up during the cooking process and so that the meat absorbs the oil
  7. Cook for 2 or so minutes and flip being careful not to overcook to avoid toughening up the meat since it is very lean
  8. Remove the steak, place on a cutting board, letting sit for a few minutes to absorb the oil and juices from cooking
  9. While the steak rests, begin cooking the onion in the juices until browned
  10. Slice the steak into thin strips and gently place onto a plate with your leafy greens and top with the onion strips and goat cheese
  11. Pour your balsamic into the skillet on medium heat, reducing until thick, and coat the contents of your plate

Guess who got an amazing new camera to use on food photography? ME! Thanks to a wonderful friend, I can now finally capture the beauty of the cuisine I create, and I could not be happier! I didn’t realize how fun, exciting, and beautiful it was to explore the different aspects of photographing my food. But I won’t go into it here!

Anyway, this recipe means a lot to me for a few reasons. In case you haven’t noticed it yet, this recipe includes a heart. The heart of a deer. I know this may seem a little different than my other recipes posted here, but I believe it represents something important.

Although I love plants and animals equally, plants are much more guilt-free when it comes to killing them. They don’t move, have consciousness, or experience feelings. Therefore, we lack a real sense of attachment or empathy to them. However, killing animals is a different story.

The killing of an animal is emotional (at least it should be). It should be respected. Please don’t get me wrong here, I love the movements of veganism, vegetarianism, pescatarianism, etc. I believe in their messages, and I often try to follow their guidelines for a week or so. Corporate slaughterhouses are inhumanely treating animals and our environment itself is being affected at the cost of mass meat production. These inhumane, cheap, unhealthy, environmentally damaging companies are what I do NOT support. Nonetheless, the killing of animals is necessary, and I believe it to be beneficial if done correctly, respectfully, and properly.

Michael Pollan goes on about this debacle in his work, and a lot of his work sums up my viewpoints on the subject as well. To avoid going into a huge source-cited personal stance on the subject, let’s instead get back to the recipe since that’s the main focus of my blog.

As I mentioned, the killing of an animal should be respected. With this in mind, I think it’s important to try and utilize every part of the animal. My family are hunters on our land, and my parents had enough money to buy some deer tags to go out this year. After hearing news that my mom shot a doe, they asked if I wanted any of the meat. Given my views on the total utilization of an animal, I politely asked if they could harvest any of the organ meats that I knew they wouldn’t be interested in (mainly since they’re lean and typically not too tasty). Lucky for me, I’m an experimenter when it comes to cooking and nutrition, and this was a perfect time to blend my 2 passions!

Organ meats are wonderfully nutritious. They are essential to the functioning of an animal, and typically contain bounds of micronutrients within them. So, when I knew that I was about to have the chance to eat some fresh ones that belonged to a naturally-living animal, I was beyond excited! I knew that it would be delicious AND nutritious.

After doing some quick research on how to cook a heart, I found a lot of folks referring to its taste and texture being similar to that of a steak only not nearly as fatty. Here is when I knew that I had to keep it simple but to dress it up with some type of sauce. Hence, the balsamic reduction came to mind.

This heart steak was funky to filet, but oh my gosh did it absorb the oil beautifully. After reducing the balsamic in the skillet, capturing the bristly chunks left behind from the steak, and mixing with the leftover garlic-infused olive oil, it simmered into the perfect topping for a lean cut of meat.

While eating this tender cut, I decided to take a bite of my salad to mix in my mouth. WOW. The softness of the goat cheese paired with the tender sweetness of a balsamic topped steak? Utterly decadent.

The textures and aromas of this dinner were perfection, and I could not advise you more to try it. I know that a heart may not be in the cards for you, but I would bet that any cut of lean steak would suffice. Trust me when I say this, you can make organ meats taste delicious. Even my little sister liked this meal! And if you can make such a nutritious meal that even a little girl would eat, I think that’s even more reason to do so.

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