Beasley Family Heart Recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Spruce Root Hearts Photo Credit and Creator: Caity Potter

The first fall Morgan and I were dating, he went on a caribou hunt with friend Evan of Talkeetna 4×4 Adventures check them out. He is an awesome guide and all around great guy. That epic hunt is a story worth telling over and over again…. But that is not my story to tell.

When Morgan called to say he had had a successful hunt, I was excited to experiment with cooking caribou. Never before had I tasted this kind of wild game and wanted to try it all. For a first introduction, he said he was going to make a Beasley specialty.

Never having eaten organ meats before, I was a little skeptical. But now, heart is the meal most looked forward to after a hunt. Rich, delicious, and a delicacy.  Morgan’s dad had taught him the recipe, and now he shares it with others.

Experiment with eating all parts of the animal! The heart is the tip of the iceberg.

Caribou Heart from the field. Photo Credit: Makiko Yoshida

Beasley Family Heart Recipe:

  1. Prepare the heart: If the heart was damaged, trim off ragged areas.
  2. Soak heart in a saltwater overnight– extremely important!
  3. Squeeze out the liquid
  4. Simmer/lightly boil in brine with 1/2 cup pickling spices. Water to cover at least an inch.
  5. Boil the heart until it shrinks in size and is cooked through
  6. Chill & Slice thin
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Morgan prefers the heart sliced thin for sandwiches. As a Texan, I prefer it fried for taco meat. Enjoy however you like.

This recipe is for Caribou heart, so adjust for Moose, Deer, Dall Sheep, Elk, Mountain Goat… Whatever you have on hand.


Seasons at the homestead contrast sharply from one another. This is not due solely to the weather swings of -55 to 90 degrees from winter to summer, but because of the nature of work and activity that each season brings. Most different are the times spent alone in the winter contrasted with the flurry of guests, volunteers, and friends that summer brings. In the summer, it is not unusual to have up to 5 people at a time visiting the homestead. Winter, it is common to spend a few weeks apart running errands, visiting family, and visiting friends in town.

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After years of planning, a water pump was installed in our new addition during November. This marks a huge improvement in our year-round Water System.

In Summer, water requires much less forethought and labor to access. We have a small, energy efficient, pump that draws water from our creek for drinking, wash water and into the hoses and sprinklers that irrigate our 6,000 square foot garden.  A camp hot water heater provides incredible outdoor showers, or choose to embrace the wild and bathe in the creek. Summer is a time of ease of access to that stuff of life.

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Well-Fed: Food on the Homestead

Where does it come from? How is it stored?

Nothing like fresh salad! Photo Credit: Makiko Yoshida

To us, self-sufficiency means providing most of our own food. In most cases, food sourced by your own hand is affordable, healthy, and more delicious. Once you have tasted fresh lettuce out of the garden or a perfectly ripe strawberry, any other will pale in comparison. You are serving up great rewards when you eat a meal composed solely of ingredients you harvested from your garden.

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