Sweet Heart Jerky

It’s MARCH! That means Eat Like a Dinosaur is just around the corner! In honor of our book’s release, we are the Featured Chef this month over at US Wellness Meats. We’ll be sharing a brand new recipe every week this month featuring products from the preeminent online pastured meat distributor. We’ve tried a BUNCH of US Wellness Meat items and can tell you two things: (1) We’ve never been disappointed (2) Their customer service is phenomenal!

Sweet Heart Jerky, Paleo Parents

Heart. It’s not just for Captain Planet anymore! You’ve heard all the hype about how heart is high in iron and how healthy it is, but you probably have no idea how to use it. Well, here’s our secret: we use it to make jerky. It’s affordable, nutrient dense and super lean – perfect for dehydrating!

This recipe, from an idea generated by Cole, is called Sweet Heart Jerky. Or, alternatively, Don’t Call Your Sweetheart a Jerky. Created after a meal at our favorite Thai restaurant, we combine curry flavors with pineapple juice to make a fantastic sweet-savory marinade that not only neutralizes the iron-y heart flavor, but makes it tasty to boot!


Sweet Heart Jerky



  1. From frozen, remove heart from freezer to the fridge the night before and slice in the morning; this will ensure that the heart is just the right degree of frozen for easy slicing
  2. Slice heart into ¼ inch slices, discarding slices with thick, tough white tissue
  3. * In a sealable container, whisk together remaining ingredients
  4. * Microwave marinade for one minute
  5. * Place heart slices in marinade, pushing down to completely submerge
  6. * Seal and store in fridge for 4 hours or overnight
  7. * Dehydrate in dehydrator for 6 hours at medium high (alternatively, you can cook in oven at lowest temperature until jerky is dry, but still flexible); be sure to rotate trays and flip pieces when they begin to dry!


Steps marked with * are perfect for little sous chefs!



p.s. Today is Finian’s 4th birthday. He’s not being force fed organ meat… instead we’ve cooked up “Hanglers” with “Mock-a-Mole” per his request (those of you who know anything about us could’ve predicted that) and will soon be posting a recipe for his special request, Chocolate Chip Cake. Guess it’s time to update all the zillions of places we have him listed as a 3 year old… oh man, time flies!

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  • Carolyn Marotta

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing. I just made my first batch of grass-fed beef jerky with a simple marinade and it is delicious. Plus our toddler loves it, which I love even better!

  • holly

    Does it taste different?  My kids LOVE jerky, but they are pretty funny about texture and taste.  It looks good, but I still would love your input

    •  It’s slightly more metallic in taste and tougher in texture, but it certainly doesn’t scream organ meat.

      • holly

         I just turned on my dehydrator.  My dogs… are going nuts!  HAHA  My husband is so so excited, and he even cut up the meat for me.  We will have some before we ( the adults) go to bed, and the kids can try it in the AM.  On a side note, did your kids act like they felt bad when they first started to detox?  We just started and I am ready to go kill a chicken and deep fry it myself if it would make my son nicer.  He is so cranky.

        •  Well, the kids didn’t really, but I certainly did! It’s called the “carb flu” and it usually lasts a few weeks until the body gets used to running off of fat. Good luck!

  • Lindsey Gray

    What dehydrator do you use?

  • Kimberly

    Making this tomorrow, and feeling a bit squeamish about the fact that I’m using a cows heart – this is my first time using organ meat. And I feel that the heart is abnormally large. Seriously, its like the size of my torso – granted I only weigh about 100 lbs, but the thing is freaking HUGE. Excited!

  • Rachel

    Could I use this marinade for liver?

    • I’ve heard of liver jerky but never made it myself, but couldn’t say for sure – but the acid in the pineapple juice should work well. Not sure if the flavors will go together though. Let us know!

  • Robin

    Could i use a lean beef roast for this??

  • Denise

    Which dehydrator do you use? Pros, cons?