If you’ve ever left your heart in the woods, you won’t do it again after trying this recipe! Don’t be afraid of the “wobbly bits” – grilled elk heart tacos are surprisingly delicious. The flavorful marinade and the taco presentation make it perfect even for the apprehensive eaters. But if tacos are your jam (as they should be), keep on reading!
How to Break Down an Elk Heart
Breaking down hearts can be intimidating, but once you get past the initial challenge, you’ll be rewarded with high-quality meat. Remove the tough pieces and unveil the deliciousness hidden underneath. You can cook the heart like a steak or use it in various recipes, such as grilled heart skewers. Follow the steps below, and get ready to savor some mouthwatering meat!
- Start with a sharp knife. Filet or deboning knives work great.
- Remove all the fat from the outside. The fat can turn waxy when cooked.
- Trim away unexpected fat that may be hiding.
- Cut off the vessels on the top of the heart.
- Cut along the vessel on the front to remove the left ventricle.
- Keep cutting until the ventricle opens up.
- Remove the left ventricle.
- Cut through the middle of the heart to open it up.
- Cut out heart strings and remove any other tough material.
- Cut the remaining meat into steaks, and you’re ready to cook!
How to Cook Elk Heart
Cooking elk heart is similar to preparing any other wild game steak. However, if you’re a bit nervous, marinating it for tacos is a great way to go. Tenderize the meat before marinating to enhance its flavor absorption. This marinade is bursting with lime juice and chipotle, ensuring a heavenly taste. After marinating for a few hours, skewer the meat accordion-style, leaving enough space for even cooking. Grill it to perfection, making sure not to overcook – small pieces on skewers only need around 2-3 minutes per side.
How to Make Pickled Jalapeños
Pickled jalapeños are the taco topping you never knew you needed. They add a spicy, crunchy, and vinegary kick to any taco. Making them is incredibly easy. All you need are fresh jalapeños, garlic cloves, vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Slice the jalapeños thinly according to your preference and pack them with a couple garlic cloves in a pint jar. Simmer the other ingredients, then pour the brine over the jalapeños. Let the jar cool for about 30 minutes, cover it, and refrigerate. These tangy jalapeños will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and are perfect for adorning tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, and more!
How to Make Avocado Crema
While avocado slices are a fantastic taco topping, they tend to slip out of the ends. The solution? Whip them up into a creamy sauce! It’s easy to blend together avocado, sour cream or yogurt, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Keep the avocado crema refrigerated in an airtight container, ensuring it stays fresh for a few days. To prevent browning, either squeeze out the air and seal it in a zippered bag or cover the surface with plastic wrap. This zesty and creamy taco sauce is a treat for your taste buds!
How to Cut a Pineapple for Tacos
Pineapple is the perfect taco topping, adding a touch of sweetness and juiciness to balance out the savory fillings. However, if you cut it into chunks, they might fall out of your taco and create a mess on your plate. The solution is to cut the pineapple into slices that fit neatly into your taco. No more mess, just a delicious bite of pineapple with every taco bite. Follow these instructions for the perfect pineapple slices for your tacos:
- Cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple.
- Stand the pineapple upright and slice off the peel from the top down.
- Remove the remaining slices of peel from the sides.
- Cut the pineapple in half from the top.
- Turn the pineapple 90 degrees and cut it in half again.
- Remove the tough core from each quarter.
- Slice each quarter into thin slices.
- Voilà! Perfect pineapple slices for your tacos!
Putting It All Together
Now that you have your perfectly cooked elk heart, delicious toppings, and the helpful tortilla advice, you’re ready to assemble the ultimate grilled elk heart tacos. Choose your favorite tortillas; the corn and wheat blend tortillas are highly recommended for their corn flavor and pliability. Warm up the tortillas, stuff them with the grilled heart, add a slice of pineapple, sprinkle some pickled jalapeños, drizzle the avocado crema, and squeeze fresh lime over the top. For an extra crunch, consider adding jicama mango salsa. Crack open your favorite cerveza, and revel in the delightful flavors!
Next time you find yourself wondering whether to bring that heart with you from the woods, remember this: Save hearts. Eat tacos. ✌
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- How to break down an elk heart
- How to cook elk heart
- How to make pickled jalapeños
- How to make avocado crema
- How to cut a pineapple for tacos
- Putting it all together
- Grilled Elk Heart Tacos