By Dante Zuniga-West
Native Americans and other “old-timers” believed that the spirit of a bear resided in its heart. For this reason, consuming the heart was thought to be a way of absorbing strength from the animal they revered as “man without fire.” Whether or not you ascribe to this belief, one indisputable fact is simple: a properly prepared bear heart is delicious. So, the next time you’re elbow-deep in your field dressing process, don’t pass up the opportunity to harvest this tasty treat. Here’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-pull-off recipe for bear heart that can be cooked at home or at camp.
- 1 Bear Heart
- Lemon Pepper
- Garlic Salt
- Soy Sauce
- Worchester Sauce
- Red Wine
- 1 Sharp Knife
- 1 Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 Small Tupperware Container
- Place your bear heart on a cutting board or flat surface. Using your knife, start at the bottom and slice the heart using horizontal cuts. Slice the heart sparingly, your finished product should appear as a series of circular medallions, getting progressively larger as you cut your way up.
- Rinse your heart slices in cold water, then place them in a Tupperware or receptacle.
- Place your desired amounts of red wine, soy sauce and Worchester Sauce into the receptacle. Take care to ensure that all of the heart slices are fully submerged in this marinade. You may leave the slices in this marinade for as little as 30-minutes or as long as 24-hours.
- Remove the slices from the marinade and cover both sides of each slice with lemon pepper and garlic salt.
- Fry the slices in your cask iron skillet.
Note: This writer used to believe in the theory of “the fresher the heart, the better.” However recently, it was discovered that thawing out a frozen heart and applying this very same recipe yielded an excellent result as well.