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Venison Heart Escabeche

This recipe is based on a dish prepared by Chef Rene Ortiz while we were filming a Bizarre Foods episode with Andrew Zimmern. I wish all my recipe stories were this awesome!

Escabeche is a variation on ceviche where the meat is marinated in an acidic juice to "cook" it. This is a very bright, clean tasting dish perfect as a first course or appetizer. It's also very easy to make.

Venison Heart Escabeche


1-2 venison hearts, trimmed
¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup lime juice, lemon juice, or a combination
Salt and pepper
1 cup small tomatoes, halved - mixed yellow and red if possible
½ cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped or loose leaves


Trim the heart of all connective tissue. Click here for instructions on how to trim a heart. Cut the heart into pieces about ½" in size.

In a bowl mix the heart, onion, olive oil, and lime/lemon juice. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Gently stir to ensure all pieces are evenly coated. Allow mixture to marinate for 10 - 20 minutes.

Gently stir in tomatoes and parsley. Serve with crostini or tortilla chips.

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