5 of Our Favorite Venison Recipes
Deer season has ended, and all that’s left is to cook and enjoy the ton of venison meat you have tucked safely away in your deep freezer. Don’t wait around until you pull a pack of this succulent meat out of the freezer to figure out the best way to cook it. Instead, start planning your meals ahead of time. Whether it’s venison stew, a venison roast simmered all day in the crock pot, or a pot of venison soup made with mouthwatering veggies from your garden, you want to make sure that you’re cooking it the right way so it will be tender and melt in your mouth pleasing.
There are also quite a few things you should know about cooking venison before you dig a pack of it out of the freezer and just start cooking. There are mistakes to avoid, things you should know, and, of course, the best way to cook it as well. In this blog, we will go into all of those things, so that the venison meat you pull out of your freezer can be cooked to perfection for the family you love.
Deer season is more than just a sport for most people. The meat from a kill of a deer can last through the winter and beyond. However, if you don’t know how to cook that meat, then the whole thing can go to waste. From it being too tough to not being done all the way, there are many things you should know about venison, from tips and tricks to the best ways to cook it. If you’re ready to get started on our journey into deer meat, follow us, now.
Things You Should Know Before Trying to Cook Venison Meat
There are quite a few things you should know before trying to cook venison meat. It’s important to note that when cooked the right way deer meat is healthier for you, has a better texture, and is more flavorful than any of the other red meats out there. Below, we will go into a few of the things you should know before ever pulling the meat out of your freezer and trying to prepare it.
Try to Never Overcook It
If you overcook venison, it ends up with a rubbery texture that you almost break your teeth on trying to chew. Instead, make sure to serve it rare or medium rare so that it’s tender and juicy. The exception is if you’re braising the meat by mixing it with pork in order to make more fat. Then and only then should you cook it anyway but rare or medium rare if you want the best results.
Using it Like Corn-Fed Beef
Never substitute venison for beef in recipes that call for beef to be used. Deer are not corn-fed, therefore the meal will not taste the same. The fact that deer graze on herbs, acorns, and other natural plant life is one of the reasons that the meat is so expensive in restaurants. However, since they are not corn-fed the meat is actually healthier for you as well.
Use Marinades and Dry Rubs
To tenderize your venison, it’s best to use marinades and dry rubs, if you don’t want the meat to turn out mushy. The salt in these things helps to break down the enzymes in the meat making it melt in your mouth tender, and something your family will ask for time and time again.
Now that we know a little about what you should know to prepare that meat you have in the freezer, let’s move into a few of the mistakes that you’re going to want to avoid when preparing the meat for your family and friends.
Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Venison Meat
Hopefully, you had a super-successful hunting season and brought home not only those huge trophy antlers you were shooting for, but plenty of meat to feed the family until next season begins. Now, that you have that venison in the freezer, the last thing you want to do is ruin it by cooking it the wrong way. Keeping that in mind, we will go into a few of the mistakes you need to avoid when preparing venison meat below.
Cooking the Meat Like Beef
Since venison doesn’t have the same fine marbling that beef does, you can’t cook it like beef, because it lacks the marbling to keep it succulent and juicy. The moisture from venison rises up and dissipates into the air, instead of melting off into the pan as beef does, allowing the beef to cook in its own juices. Marinading the meat before cooking will help you to seal the juices from your venison in. Some of the best marinades to use are listed below.
- Italian dressing
- Red wine
- There are also plenty of other marinades and dry rubs out there that work well with venison as well.
It is best to marinate your venison meat for at least six hours for the moistest meat and for the greatest flavor.
Keeping the Fat, Instead of Trimming it Off
If you think that you’ve solved the problem of dry venison meat by keeping the fat on, then think again. While the fat off of beef tastes great, the fat off venison meat does not. This is one of the main reasons that many people say that venison meat is gamey. Do yourself a favor and trim off the fat and the silver skin, prepare your venison in one of the ways we will go into further along in our blog and let your family enjoy the meat without the gamey taste.
Adding Salt to the Meat
Once again, a venison steak is not the same as a steak that comes from a cow. You don’t have to salt it before putting it on the grill unless you’re looking to eat deer jerky instead of venison steak. This isn’t saying that you can’t salt venison at all. It’s just saying that you need to salt it lightly or let the salt from the marinade take care of it for you. Other than that, it’s best to cook the venison steak on the grill, then let your guests add salt as they like.
Slicing the Meat To Thin Before You Cook It
Cut thick, cook short, and cut thin after cooking and you will have the best venison steaks out there. It’s important to note that this isn’t like any other cut of meat. If you cut it thin, then it’s going to cook very quickly, when venison already cooks quickly as it is. Unless you want your venison steak to be tough and taste like leather, following the cut thick, cook short, and cut thin after cooking is the best way to go.
Cooking the Meat Well Done
Again, unlike beef, you really need to keep some of the pink in your venison steak. Cooking it well-done is going to result in a steak that is too tough and hard to eat, with very little flavor to speak of. Once the meat is done, it should have a tiny touch of pink on the inside, which means it’s full of flavor and moist. Cooking it until it’s white on the inside like you do pork, is a bad idea because you will be ruining a great cut of meat.
Getting too Fancy
In reality, there is no big secret method of cooking venison. You simply treat it as a slice of very lean meat and cook accordingly. The big trick is not to get to fancy with your cooking. Just plan to cook dinner, not treat it as a wild game night in your house and you will be fine, and your venison, whether it’s tacos, soups, steaks, chili or whatever will taste amazing, as it should.
These are just a few of the mistakes that you want to avoid when cooking the venison meat you have in the freezer. It can be used for just about anything, can be paired with everything and will be loved by everyone in your family. On top of that, it’s much healthier than other forms of meat out there as well.
Now that we know the mistakes not to make when cooking venison meat, let’s move into the purpose of this blog, to begin with, five of the best ways to cook venison and the different parts to cook. Ready? Then let’s head even further into our adventure, shall we?
The Best Ways to Cook Venison Revealed
There are many, many questions associated with how to cook the different cuts of venison. In this part of our blog, we will talk about a few of the ways that you can cook a few of those cuts, so that they are succulent, juicy, and have your family always asking for seconds. Ready to learn how to cook different cuts with ease? Let’s go then!
The neck is one of the hardest parts of the deer to cook and get it right. With a lot of practice, you might be able to debone it and make a very nice neck roast, but that is going to take a lot of practice to perfect. Once deboned, slowly cooking the neck roast for a number of hours can result in a delicious meal for your family.
The Front Shoulders
The front shoulders of the deer are perfect for deer sausage or ground venison. The ground venison can be used in a substitute for ground beef in just about everything from lasagna to chili and from burgers to shepherds pie. Just make sure to remember that venison doesn’t have the fat content of other domestic meats and you’ll be fine.
From stews to Osso Bucco, the shanks of the deer are delicious, if you know how to use them. Many people throw away this meat because it’s sinewy and thready and doesn’t cook up well if you don’t know what you’re doing. The key to this is to treat them with liquid and low heat before you put them in a stew or other dish. Doing this the right way will result in the shank being the best dish you’ve ever tasted and it might just become your favorite part of the venison meat in your freezer this season.
It’s safe to say that the backstrap is most people’s favorite venison meat. It’s easy to cook, can be used quickly and prepared in dishes, crock pot, grill, or fried up in a pan. There are many, many methods out there to cook the backstrap of venison meat, and all of them are just as delicious as the last. Just make sure that you don’t cut the backstrap to thin, especially when it comes to frying or grilling chops are they might cook up too quickly and become tough.
Tenderloins and Ribs
To of the best cuts of venison are the tenderloins and ribs. There are many venison rib recipes out there that you can try and the tenderloins are great just cut up and fried in a pan with some butter, a little salt, and pepper, for a one-person treat. They are usually a little small for a whole family dinner but make an awesome snack for one person.
There are other parts of the deer that are amazing when cooked the right way, including the hindquarters as a succulent roast and many, many recipes online to help you figure out the best way to cook yours. Deer meat isn’t hard to cook, you just have to avoid the mistakes, know a few things, and don’t get in a hurry.
This concludes our blog on the five best ways to cook venison and a few other things you need to know. Until next time, enjoy that venison meat, everyone!
- Outdoor Life: The Best Way to Cook Every Cut of Venison
- Living Legendary: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Cooking Venison
- Southern Living: The Five Things You Should Know About Cooking Venison