Don’t be shy.
Ask your butcher for venison hearts. Out of venison? Substitute lamb, calf or ox heart if you like. Most meat markets can easily accommodate these special orders. Cooking wild food is not about trying to cover up the unique flavor of game meats and birds, it’s about accentuating them, pairing them, curating them. It’s also not just for eating in the fall. Wild meat, poultry and seafood is a year round experience. Here’s a wild game dish that’s are perfect for warm weather eating.
Grilled Venison Hearts with Arugula, Sauce Gribiche & Shallots
- 2 pounds hearts
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 3 cups washed and dried young arugula
- 2 cups whole shallots
- 1 cup each of corn starch and AP flour
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 2 cups white wine
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Oil for frying
- Lemon and EVOO for seasoning the arugula
- 3 cups parsley leaves, free of stems
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 4 anchovies
- 1 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- Leaves from 2 sprigs oregano
- 1 flame roasted hot green chile, cleaned (jalapeno or Serrano)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup olive oil, or a tad more to taste
- 10 French cornichons
- 2 hard boiled eggs
Prepare the sauce gribiche
Place all ingredients except the egg into a blender or processor and pulse to combine well.
Grate the hard boiled egg into a large bowl. Add the parsley mix and stir, reserve to the refrigerator.
Fry the shallots
Combine honey and wine in small sauce pot, and bring to boil. Drop whole shallots in, cover and cook for 20 minutes at a simmer. Let shallots cool in liquid. Squeeze out the rings. Pat dry.
Mix starches, egg and cool water to make a batter. Drop in the shallots and fry in the vegetable oil at 375 degrees until crispy. Season with salt.
Grill the heart
Butterfly hearts, splitting open lengthwise. Trim ventriculae and season with salt, pepper, parsley, minced shallot, olive oil and grill to rare/medium rare. Let rest.
Dress the arugula with the olive oil and lemon.
Spoon gribiche onto plate, lay sliced hearts onto sauce. Garnish with dressed arugula and shallot rings.