Try some new venison dishes this season

As hunters gear up for this year’s hunt, consider less traditional entrees to make with the meat

    It feels like fall outside, and hunters are beginning to take stock of what they need for their annual hunt.
    While hunters generally have their favorite recipes to prepare venison, there are a multitude of ways to prepare the deer meat.
    There are a few tips from to keep in mind when preparing venison.
    Since the meat is low in fat, take care to avoid overcooking it. Preheat the oven, grill or pan before cooking. Don’t add salt because it will draw out the meat juices, preventing browning and resulting in dry meat. Brush venison with oil to seal in the flavor and prevent the meat from drying out.
    After cooking, let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
    Stews and pot roasts should be cooked very slowly and at low temperature settings. Crock pots are ideal for preparing these dishes.
    If roasting, remember to baste the meat frequently.
    Some people add beef suet or pork lard to ground venison to add moisture. This will change the taste and add unnecessary fat to the meat. Instead, consider adding quick oatmeal, rice crispy cereal or steel-cut barley or oats. This will help retain the flavor and moisture but won’t change the quality or taste.
    To prevent a gamey taste, trim the fat or soak the meat in salted water, milk, buttermilk or vinegar. Age the meat under refrigeration for three to seven days to enhance tenderness.
    You can also serve the meat with sweet or spicy sauces as condiments to temper the wild taste.
    Following are a few venison dishes from

Bacon and Venison Burgers

1 pound peppercorn bacon, diced
5 pounds ground venison
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup evaporated milk
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

    Place bacon in a stainless steel bowl, then add venison, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, milk, garlic and cayenne pepper. Mix using your hands and form into five-ounce balls. Press balls with the back of a side dish to form patties.
    Grill patties on the a lightly oiled grill that’s been heated to medium-high about five minutes per side, until desired doneness is reached. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees.
    Makes five burgers.


Slow Cooked Teriyaki Venison

2-pound venison roast
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

    Cut roast in half and rub with brown sugar. Place in a slow cooker and add apple juice, soy sauce and salt. Cover and cook on low for six hours, until meat is tender. Remove meat from slow cooker, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
    Pour drippings through a strainer into medium sized bowl. Return juices to slow cooker and discard material in strainer.
    In a small bowl, combine water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into cooking juices until well combined. Cover and cook on high about 15 minutes, until thickened. Slice meat and serve with gravy.
    Makes eight servings.


Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin With Garlic Cream Sauce

6 thick slices bacon
2 3/4-pound venison tenderloin roasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

    Place bacon on a slotted baking pan and bake in a 375-degree oven for six to eight minutes, until partially cooked but still flexible.
    Brush venison with olive oil and season with onion powder, salt and black pepper. Place tenderloin roasts side by side and wrap together in strips of partially cooked bacon. Place into a roasting pan.
    Roast about one hour, until bacon is browned and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a tenderloin reads at least 145 degrees.
    Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and garlic in hot butter for eight to 10 minutes, stirring, until mushrooms are soft. Stir green onion into mushroom mixture and pour in cream. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is heated through. Serve sauce with tenderloins.
    Makes six servings.


Venison Stroganoff

1 pound venison, cut into cubes
Garlic powder
1 onion, chopped
2 10.75-ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 16-ounce package uncooked egg noodles
8 ounces sour cream

    Season venison with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Saute onion in a large skillet. When soft, add venison and brown. Drain when venison is no longer pink and add soup. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook eight to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
    When noodles are almost done cooking, stir sour cream into meat mixture. Pour meat mixture over hot cooked noodles and serve.
    Makes four servings.


Braised Venison With Rosemary and Shiitake

2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1-1/2 pounds venison, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy, optional
2 cups dry red wine
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 -1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 8-ounce package baby carrots, optional
1 tablespoon cornstarch, optional
2 tablespoons water, optional

    Melt bacon drippings in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear venison in the drippings in two batches until nicely browned, then remove. Stir in shiitake, onions and garlic and cook one to two minutes, until softened. Pour in the cognac, wine, and bouillon cube and simmer 30 seconds to dissolve the bouillon.
    Stir in venison, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently about two hours, until venison is tender, adding water as needed.
    If using baby carrots, add them during the last half hour of cooking. When the venison is tender, you may thicken the sauce by dissolving the cornstarch in two tablespoons water and stirring it into the sauce.
    Makes four servings.


Italian Wedding Soup With Venison Meatballs

1/2 pound ground venison
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
For soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
64 ounces chicken broth
1 cup acini di pepe pasta
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

    Combine venison, sausage, breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley and egg in a large bowl. Mix until evenly combined. Form mixture into 50 one-inch meatballs.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook four minutes, flipping halfway, to get an even brown on all sides. Transfer with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate.
    Heat oil for soup in a large pot. Add celery, carrot, and onion and cook about five minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook about one minute, until fragrant. Add broth and bring to a boil.
    Stir in pasta, oregano and meatballs. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
    Turn heat off and let soup sit for five minutes. Stir in spinach and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls, season with salt and pepper and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
    Makes eight servings.


Venison Fajitas

2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 pounds venison, cut into 2-inch strips
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
12 fajita size flour tortillas, warmed

    Combine seasoned salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and oregano to make the fajita seasoning. Sprinkle two teaspoons of the seasoning over the sliced venison. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    Heat two tablespoons oil in a heavy frying pan. Cook bell peppers and onion until starting to soften, then remove. Pour in remaining oil, then cook venison until browned. Return pepper mixture to the pan, season with remaining fajita seasoning and reheat. Served with the warmed tortillas.
    Makes six servings.


Drunk Deer Chili

1/4 cup butter
1 pound ground venison
1 pound cubed beef stew meat
1 pound cubed pork stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 14-ounce cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
2 12-ounce cans pilsner-style beer
2 cups water

    Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook venison, beef, and pork in the melted butter until completely browned. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until tender. Season with chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin.
    Stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and beef bouillon. Pour bourbon, beer and water into the mixture and stir. Bring chili to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about one hour, stirring frequently.
    Makes 10 servings.











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