Timber 2 Table - Pan-Fried Venison Heart with Black Pepper Buttermilk Gravy

Don't leave one of the tastiest parts of your deer behind.

Pan-Fried Venison Heart with Black Pepper Buttermilk Gravy

30 Min

Prep Time

15 Min

Cook Time





All too often, the heart of big game animals gets left behind when that animal is field dressed. That is a shame. Hearts, when trimmed and prepared correctly, make excellent table fare. Don't let tales of tough and chewy heart dishes turn you away. If you don't already save the hearts from your game animals, try this cleaning method and recipe with your next one. You won't be disappointed.

Pan fry the heart strips until golden crispy brown and serve with gravy for dipping sauce.

This recipe is quick to cook and makes a great appetizer or quick main dish. An overnight soak in buttermilk adds a zippy flavor to the meat and helps to make it even more tender. Using buttermilk in the gravy adds a tangy flair to it as well and pairs well with the heavy black pepper. If you are serving the dish as an appetizer, put the gravy in small bowls for dipping.


1-2 hearts (venison or any other big game), trimmed and sliced

1 cup buttermilk for marinade


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Oil or lard for frying


¾ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups buttermilk

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup of reserved oil and crumbs from frying of heart

Cooking Instructions

Trim and prep the heart. Slice into half-inch thick strips. Place the strips in a bowl and pour over 1 cup of buttermilk. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Trim away all fat from the exterior of the heart, then cut it open to lay flat.

Serve the fried strips topped with gravy or serve on a tray with bowls of gravy for dipping.