About that venison heart
A friend of mine recently traveled to Chicago and, while dining out at The Publican restaurant, was surprised to see venison heart on the menu.
Sounds to me like a twofer movie sequel, in which the huntsman charged with doing in Snow White presents the Evil Queen with a deer's heart instead of a pig's, and it's so tasty, they all live happily ever after. Except for Bambi.
Giving nary a thought to Disney, my friend ordered the venison heart and thoroughly enjoyed it.
That got me wondering if anyone around here offers that sort of delicacy. I asked -- you guessed it -- Chef Patrick Morrow, partly because his restaurant Bluegrass will offer game, and partly because I already had him on the horn to discuss a couple of other, aforeblogged matters.
While venison hearts aren't on Morrow's menu, he has cooked hearts of geese and lamb for himself and friends.
"I have some friends who are hunters," he said. "They'll come back, and the next thing I know I'm cooking a six-course meal at their house."
Which the other night, included goose livers and hearts.
"I thought I wouldn't like heart and actually it's very good," he said. "It can be very tough so you have to slice it very thin. ... Lots of people are probably sous vide-ing it because it makes it more tender."
(Paging Prof. McIntyre: Sous vide-ing? Sous viding? Which is it? I'd hate to tick off the French.)
With more adventurous eaters out there, and more chefs buying whole animals straight from farmers, expect to see more "off cuts" of meat on menus, Morrow said.
"In the last year, I've paid more attention to the offal," he said. "More people are trying it."
(Photo of Bambi courtesy of The Walt Disney Company)