I received the following from one of my readers:
Hi, Malia! I saw on your cooking day that you used ground venison in your
taco filling. Would you mind sharing any other creative (good) venison
recipes that you have? My husband brings us home deer all of the time and
so far, he is the only one who really enjoys it. Also, do you process it
yourselves or have it done? What do you add, if anything, to the ground
venison? I would love to be able to use what we have more often, instead of
everybody else feeling like they have to choke it down!! LOL! Any help you
could offer would be greatly appreciated! –Kelly
That is a great question. When we were first given Venison, I was not sure what to do with it, so we started out making Venison Jerky in the dehydrator, using ground venison, mashed flat, cut into strips. These were a HUGE hit. We added a small amount of the venison jerky to our “goodies gift baskets” at Christmas and folks loved it.
Since then we have received it and I was often sceptical or worried about trying it because I heard it was hard to prepare, dry, gamey, or whatever. So, here is the answer I shared with Kelly:
Here is the deal with venison. It is very lean, so when you prepare it, you need to add liquid or fat. I usually just mix it half and half with beef. If you do this, you can use it in any beef recipe where the meat is just mixed in, like tacos, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes (use it with a can of manwich), hamburger helper or casserole types of dishes. I do not know how it would hold together for meatloaf or burgers. I have not tried it.
If you use Venison steaks, you MUST marinade them, or they will be hard or stringy. You can marinade them for 48 hours in the fridge. If you need some meat marinades, let me know and I can type some up for you. I use the beef marinade from the 30 Day Gourmet cookbook, but you really want to let them marinade for 48 hours.
If you use venison roasts, this will be super easy. Get a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Put the roast in your crock pot. If is it a small one, you can even put it in there frozen. Cover it in your favorite barbecue sauce. Let it cook on low all day. At dinnertime, shred it apart with a fork, or cut it in small chunks to make a yummy barbecue. If you see any of the “Silver” in your meat, you may want to slice that off. It can be a little unpleasant.
Those are the only way I have prepared Venison. A friend of mine has a terrific stroganoff recipe that she absolutely loves, but it calls for some sherry or dry wine or some ingredient like that which I do not usually have here, so I never got around to trying it. I can send that recipe to you if you would like.
To use it up quickly, make a huge batch of Chili and use half beef, half venison and freeze it for future meals. Be sure you freeze it in family sized portions. You can also just brown a whole big batch of ground venison, cool it, then put it in a freezer bag. Every time you use beef, add a scoop of the ground venison to it. That will stretch your beef further and you will not waste all that good healthy meat!
One more thing I should have added is this: If your husband is hunter, he is doing exactly what God designed our husbands to do. He is providing real, valuable meat for your family’s table. Make sure your children (and you) honor and respect him for it. Teach them to be truly appreciative of Dad’s efforts in this area. Healthy, grass fed, hormone free, antibiotic free, processing free meat costs TONS these days at the grocery, and learning to use this cut of meat creatively will truly bless your family. GO ahead and use sauces and things if necessary to make it useful and palatable to your family, and work on every one’s hearts in the meantime to be sure you are showing your husband the utmost respect for his contributions to your freezer.
Do you use Venison or other exotic meats (Elk, etc) in your cooking? What are your favorite recipes?