HEART & Soul of Hunting

How do you supply meat for your family?


Do you rely on the local grocer or local meat shop for your poultry and meat?  Do you raise your own? Does someone in your family hunt?  Or do you forego meat all-together?


Here on our farmstead, we rely on those first three methods:


  1. When buying meat, we try to buy as local as possible from our local meat shop, but occasionally will purchase at the grocery store.
  2. As far as raising our own meat, so far, we have only ventured into meat chickens, but will one day hopefully have some lamb offspring to raise.
  3. Yes.  My husband hunts.  And for this, I am beyond thankful.  Ideally, he brings us home one deer and, hopefully, one elk per year.  This year, we have been fortunate enough to have one large elk brought home.

I am extremely proud to have a husband who works so hard to provide this for his family – and I know how proud he is to be able to do it as well.

We are also fortunate enough that my husband is able to process the elk himself – butchering the meat, grinding the burger, and packaging it up for freezing.   Think back to the cost of meat for your family this past year – I remind myself of this number whenever I eat the game meat my husband has provided, as it has saved us so much.  One elk will easily feed our family for the year!  To put it into perspective, last year we went in with a couple of other families to purchase a beef cow.  You can easily spend at least $500 for a half of a cow.  After initial set-up expenses for hunting (bow, arrows, and other gear), he spends right around $100 for his deer & elk tags and license (and a hell of a lot of physical work). Not too shabby for a year’s worth of meat, right?!

elk 2013
This year’s elk
The end result!
The end result!

This year, when he brought home a beautiful cow elk, I was hopeful that he had saved something special for me – the heart.  I haven’t had wild game heart in forever.  In the past, I had only had it lightly breaded and fried, but recently had found a new recipe to try.  Jennah over at house.barn.farm. shared a recipe on her blog for pickled heart that I just HAD to try.

In all his years of hunting, my husband had never tried heart – and was definitely skeptical.  I convinced him, however, to just give me (and the heart) a try ONCE- And if he did’t like it, I promised him I wouldn’t ask him to try it ever again.

Fair enough, right?

First things first, I needed to prepare the heart.  After a good rinse, I admired the heart for awhile.  Seriously, have you ever seen anything so gorgeous?   Perfection!

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2013-12-10 11.18.16
It’s real! I promise!

Next, I soaked it in a mild salt water solution over night, then rinsed it off again before cutting it up.

And yes, the nurse in me came out – My daughter and I spent quite a bit of time looking through my old anatomy books before starting our dissection of the heart.  I couldn’t pass up this learning opportunity to check out all the parts of the heart, right?

I ended up taking about 1/3 of the heart and cooked it up.  Here’s how I did it:  I thinly sliced the raw heart into strips , seasoned them with an all-purpose steak seasoning (rub the seasoning in good, now, will you?), then lightly dredged the slices in flour.  I then heated up some coconut oil in a skillet and lightly fried them until golden.  *Sigh* THIS is amazing.  🙂  My husband’s first introduction to heart HAD to be this.  He received a true breakfast of champions: elk heart, fresh pastured eggs, and homemade toast!  Oh, and guess what – HE LIKED IT!  🙂  Yup!  Score one for me!

Photo 1 (3)
(Apologize for the cell-phone quality pic)

I then pickled the remainder of the heart using Jennah’s recipe – Hubby and the whole family loved it!  Score number two!

pickled heart

 There you have it.  The true HEART and soul of hunting.

Does your family hunt?  How do you prepare your game meat?


This post can also be seen at Modern Homesteaders!

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