Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bison Heart Stew

Yeah, maybe I went overboard with the butter, but maybe not.

Last week we prepared this dish because we now have a source for delicious organ meats, including bison heart, bison liver, and sweetbreads (beef). Heart has always been a favorite. It can be added to any meats you grind at home to add depth and richness to the meat or sausages you might make.

Some people are cautious about using heart because it is high in cholesterol, but based on calories and protein, it is right there with white meat chicken (95 calories, 15 grams of protein for a 3-oz. serving). Heart is very high in Vitamin B-12 and very low in fat. For those monitoring iron intake, a 3-oz. serving provides half the DRI of iron for men, and 22 percent of the DRI for women.

Eaten by itself, it can be a bit strong. I like to soak my fresh venison hearts in water for 24 hours to remove the blood clots, then slice thin and toss on the grill for a couple minutes, topped with smoked sea salt.

How do you like your heart?

Bison Heart Stew
1 lb. ground bison, venison or beef
1 lb. bison heart, diced
1 qt. beef broth
1 TB prepared mustard
2 garlic cloves
1 (7 oz) jar tomato paste
2 TB Italian seasoning
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
1 leek, slices of white part only
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 bell peppers (red, orange, and/or yellow), seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf
Pats of butter, to add before serving
Salt to taste
Trim off obvious silver skin from heart, as well as any blood clots or arteries. In a blender or VitaMix, combine beef broth, mustard, garlic cloves, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, cherry tomatoes, and coconut aminos. Blend until smooth.

Cut your heart pieces small to make them easier to chew, especially if serving to children.

In a Crockpot or slow cooker, place vegetables and the bay leaf. Place meats on top (alternatively, you can brown the ground meats for a few minutes on the stovetop to bring out a bit more flavor). Now pour your tomato puree over the meat/vegetables. Set the slow cooker to LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 to 6 hours, and cover to cook.

Tomato sauce before blending.

Serve the Bison Heart Stew hot with a pat of butter. If you have any fresh herbs around, feel free to chop and add those to the bowls as well. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Time to Come Home and Eat

Hello dear readers and eaters. It has been a while but you have not been forgotten. As life does, it got in the way, but only in the best of ways. We added to our growing family, a son born in late November 2012. So this last year has been busy changing diapers and now chasing little scampering feet around the house. But I've also been doing all the fun stuff: hunting, fishing, foraging, and eating.

In fact, I've been invigorated by some new reading materials, new sources for new meats, and potential for some pretty darn cool adventures in 2014. So stay tuned!

But here are a few things that kept me busy in 2013:

Fishing the Bighorn River

Touring/Signing my new book, Montana Beer

Making beer

Eating delicious BBQ

Savoring Elk Carpaccio for my birthday

Also, with the exception of beer, I've gone "paleo" in my life, so expect some awesome recipes that truly highlight the hunter/gatherer in all of us and showcase the simple, whole foods that are plants and animals.

Right now, though, I'm off to prepare some Bison Heart Stew, which will be my first recipe of 2014 published shortly.

CHEERS! - Ryan