Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
August 2006

Fried Sitka Black-tail Deer Liver and Heart

By Nancy Long
caption follows
Hunting season for Sitka black-tail deer opens in August in most of Alaska where deer are found.

Fresh deer heart and liver
1 or 2 sweet onions
1 cup unbleached white four
freshly ground pepper, plenty
2 tbsp each of olive oil and butter

There’s no other liver in the world that I can even choke down, but fresh Sitka black-tail deer liver is something not to be missed. It’s delicious, as is the heart. This has become my celebration dinner for a successful hunt that always begins with a toast in honor of the deer.

Take a spare gallon sized zip-lock bag or two with you when you go hunting, just for the liver and heart. Place your bagged liver and heart in the top of your pack or in a separate compartment so that it doesn’t get smashed or bruised.

When you get home, place the liver and heart in a large bowl and let cold water run over it gently while you prepare the other ingredients. Slice at least one to two sweet onions into ¼ inch rings. Combine in a medium sized bowl, one cup of flour and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Then, simply pat the liver and heart dry and make ½ inch slices/steaks. Roll the small steaks in the flour and pepper.

Heat a skillet (I like a well seasoned cast iron skillet), olive oil and butter, and place the meat and onions (some like to cook these separately but I cook them together) in the skillet on medium high and cook until the meat is cooked through, about eight to 10 minutes.

Liver note: Most liver recipes recommend rinsing or soaking the liver before cooking. Although some folks simply rinse the liver off, others prefer soaking it for up to two hours in cold water. Some cooks add two or three tablespoons of vinegar to the water; this tends to cut the gamy flavor of the liver. This is a flavor that some people like, so experiment to determine your own preference.

Subscribe to be notified about new issues

Receive a monthly notice about new issues and articles.