This chopped venison heart with chilli salad is perfect for Valentine's day, whether you are in a rush or have more time. Try Philippa Davis's recipe for a warming meal that packs a punch

This chopped venison heart with chilli salad is the perfect offering for those who like it hot.

Struggling for dessert ideas? Try our salted caramel chocolate mousse for a delicious end to your Valentine’s day feast.


Venison hearts are incredibly tasty and tender and can be either slow cooked or flash fried. When flash frying you need to remove all sinew, tubes and all the fat as it does not have time to render down.

Serves 6

  • 3 venison hearts, cleaned, tubes and fat removed, and cut into 1cm strips
  • 5 tsp cumin
  • Good pinch dried red chilli flakes plus some to serve
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1⁄2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (core removed)
  • 2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 red radishes, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 baby Cos, finely shredded
  • 15g parsley leaves
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

To serve

  • 6 small pitta breads, warmed
  • 6 scant tsps tahini

To make chopped venison heart with chilli salad, season the sliced heart with the cumin, chilli and some salt, mix well then add 2 tbs olive oil.

In a large bowl mix the sliced red onion with the vinegar and some salt, and leave for five minutes.

Heat a wide frying pan till almost smoking then add the heart, in batches, to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry till the strips are browned on the outside but still pink in the middle (about a minute) then squeeze over the lemon juice.

Take off the heat and leave to rest while you mix the radish, lettuce, parsley and extra-virgin olive oil in the bowl with the red onion and vinegar.

Tip the cooked heart on to a board, chop into small pieces and add this to the salad with any pan juices and toss well.

To serve the chopped venison heart with chilli salad, smear each piece of pitta with tahini then pile the chopped salad on top and add an extra sprinkling of chilli flakes if you like it hot.