Known as the poor man's steak, beef hearts are a healthy choice when it comes to your dog. Beef heart is a dense muscle with a higher nutrient content and additional protein. It contains high levels of iron, B vitamins, essential amino acids, zinc, selenium and phosphorus, more than double the elastin and collagen than other cuts of meat and a highly concentrated source of coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10. There is a little more work involved than just slicing and dehydrating but at less than $3 for a beef heart this is the cheapest jerky you'll ever make.
I've heard there are some places you can purchase beef hearts already prepared. That's not the case for me. So to prepare the beef heart cut away the tough, fatty top of the heart containing valves and tendons. Next soak it in cold, salted water for 1 to 2 hours so that excess blood will be rinsed away. You can add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar for more tender meat and to remove the strong odor. Next carefully cut away the membrane and fat from the meat getting as close as possible. Finally cut the meat into thin strips.
My Sweetheart Jerky
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Nutrition facts: 16 calories, 3 from fat
- 1 beef heart
- 2 – 6 oz cans pine-orange-banana juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- Slice the heart into 1/4 inch slices and place in container with a snap on lid. It's easiest to slice if the meat is cold or frozen.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients and microwave for one minute to warm up.
- Pour marinade over the beef heart, close lid, and turn over several times to coat all the pieces.
- Place in the refrigerator overnight. Turn container over now and then to let the marinade seep into every piece.
- Drain the excess marinade. Place the strips on the dehydrator an dehydrate for 6 to 8 hours until the jerky is dry but still flexible. Flip pieces over as they become dry on one side.
These can be stored in an airtight container for a week or frozen for up to three months. Don't keep in the refrigerator which will add moisture causing mold.