Venison can be prepared in myriad ways

As hunters gear up for this deer season, consider less traditional dishes to make with deer meat

    The gun-deer season is almost upon us.
    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.
    Venison should be cooked to 130 to 140 degrees and no more. 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

Mini-Venison Burgers

1/2 pound ground venison
1/2 pound ground pork
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
1 cup chopped apple
2 ounces blue cheese
16 dinner-roll-sized potato rolls

    Mix venison, pork, salt, pepper, mushrooms and apple. Form into 16 small patties.
    Grill to medium doneness and crumble blue cheese on top. Serve on potato rolls.



Venison Stuffed Shrimp in Bacon Wrap

1/2 pound ground venison
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons freshly chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cloves shallots, finely chopped
2 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
16 extra-jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
8 slices bacon, cut in half

    Combine venison, pork, basil, parsley, garlic, shallots, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.
    Make an incision along back of each shrimp and stuff with pork mixture. Secure by wrapping a half slice of bacon around each shrimp.
    Broil until meat stuffing is cooked and bacon is golden brown, being careful not to overcook shrimp.


Medallions of Venison With Bramble Jelly or Blackberries

Bramble jelly or blackberries, red wine and sugar
Meat stock
Sour cream
Black pepper, freshly ground
Brussels sprouts, optional
Egg noodles with chestnuts, optional
Applesauce, optional
Unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into strips
Seasoned flour
2 to 3 venison medallions per person

    Fry bacon very gently to extract enough fat to fry the medallions. Remove bacon, but keep fat in skillet.
    Put flour into a plastic bag, then add venison and toss. Remove meat and lay on some greaseproof paper.
    Heat bacon fat and fry the meat over a medium heat for five to seven minutes, turning frequently. Place in a warm dish with a teaspoon of jelly on each medallion and keep warm while you make the sauce.
    If you are using blackberries instead of jelly, cook them lightly in a little red wine and sugar to taste. Spoon over the medallions.
    Depending on how many medallions you are making, place stock in the pan and boil briskly, stirring the juices together. When mixture starts to look syrupy, add enough sour cream to make a rich sauce. Adjust seasonings and pour over venison.
    Serve over egg noodles with chestnuts with applesauce and Brussels sprouts.



Venison Chili

1 cup peanut oil
3 pounds venison shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups diced red onion
3 celery stalks, diced
3 jalapenos, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground cayenne
2 tablespoons ground chipotle
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups veal stock
1 bottle beer
1 small can chipotles, pureed
2 cups cooked black beans
1 16-ounce can peeled and diced tomatoes
Grated manchego, for garnish
Chopped pickled jalapeno, for garnish

    Place 1/2 cup oil in a large saucepan and heat. Add venison in batches and brown, then set aside. Add pepper, onion, celery, jalapeno and garlic and saute over a low heat until tender.
    Add remaining oil, chili powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne, chipotle, cinnamon and venison and stir until incorporated. Add stock, beer, beans, tomatoes, and chipotle puree.
    Cover and simmer two to three hours, until venison is fork tender. Check for seasoning and serve with grated manchego and pickled jalapeno, if desired.


Venison Loin With Sweet Potato, Pearl Onions and Smoked Bacon

1 vanilla bean
2 ounces sugar
1-1/4 cups water
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 lemon, zested
2 large sweet potatoes, diced small
5 tablespoons butter
20 pearl onions, cleaned
1 ounce sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
8 ounces smoked bacon, diced small
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-ounce portions venison loin
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves only

    Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a small, heavy saucepan, then add the pod, sugar, water, ginger and zest and bring to a boil to make a syrup.
    Place sweet potatoes in a medium skillet, pour syrup over top and cook over medium heat five minutes, until just tender.  You may also place sweet potato in a casserole dish, drizzle syrup over the top and bake in a 350-degree oven for five minutes, until just tender. Set aside and keep warm.
    Melt four tablespoons butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sugar and cook very gently until onions are golden brown. Add chicken stock, a little at a time, to deglaze pan, then continue cooking until most of the liquid is evaporated and the onions are tender. Set aside and keep warm.
    In another nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until edges start to turn golden brown. Set aside and keep warm.
    In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add venison and sear on all sides until golden brown. Add one tablespoon butter and continue to cook until meat is medium-rare. Remove meat from heat and let rest five minutes. Cut each piece into three slices.
    Add the bacon, sweet potato and pearl onions to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. Scatter parsley over top.
    Place a small pile of potato mixture just off-center on each of four plates. Fan venison slices across plate and drizzle any leftover pan juices on top of the meat.


Pan-Roasted Venison With Creamy Baked Potato and Celeriac

4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus a couple extra pats
2 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 small celeriac, peeled and halved
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pint heavy cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 of a small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked and roughly chopped
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
10 juniper berries, crushed
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
2.2 pounds venison loin, trimmed
Olive oil
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
1 glass of good-quality red wine

    Slice potatoes and celeriac into disks about one-inch thick. Place the slices in a large pan, cover with cold water, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer five minutes, then drain and allow vegetables to steam dry for a minute or so.
    Place potatoes and celeriac back into the pan along with the cream, chopped garlic, sage, half the Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together, then place in a large, shallow baking dish that’s been buttered and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
    Combine juniper berries and rosemary, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then sprinkle over a cutting board. Rub venison all over with olive oil, then roll merat across the board and press into flavorings.
    Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add some olive oil. Sear venison for a couple of minutes on all sides, then remove pan from the heat. Add smashed garlic bulb and any flavorings left on the cutting board. Mix, add a splash of water   and place in the oven. Cook about eight minutes for medium doneness.
    When the potatoes are cooked, remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
    Let venison rest on a plate covered loosely with foil. Pour away any excess fat. Squash garlic cloves with a fork and discard the skins. Mix garlic with the herbs in the pan, add red wine and simmer until it has reduced by half, then add the butter. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the fond from the bottom. When the sauce comes together, remove from the heat, adjust seasoning and stir in a pat of butter.
    Carve venison into desired-thickness. Pour any juices from the plate into the pan, then pour gravy through a sieve over the meat. Serve with potato and celeriac bake.



Venison Enchiladas

2 pounds cubed venison stew meat
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
1/2 cup reduced chicken stock
5 cups shredded colby-Jack cheese
12 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons canola oil
For red enchilada sauce:
1 red bell pepper
2 cups canola oil
1-1/2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
10 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into pieces
3/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

    To make sauce, flame-roast bell pepper until skin is blistered, place in a bowl and wrap with plastic. Allow to cool, then peel, seed and chop.
    In a heavy bottom skillet, heat oil. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until onions are lightly caramelized. Add tortilla pieces, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, pepper and salt and cook about one minute, being careful not to burn the spices.
    Add chicken stock, coffee and orange juice concentrate. Add chopped chocolate and bring to a boil, then simmer about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, cool for at least five minutes, then carefully blend in batches in a food processor or blender, taking care to keep one corner of the lid unsealed and covering blender with a towel, until smooth but thick. Adjust the consistency with additional chicken stock if necessary. Set aside.
    Heat oil in a large heavy skillet until almost smoking. Add venison, chopped onion and chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper and brown, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, brown sugar and cilantro. Deglaze pan with chicken stock. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in three cups shredded cheese.
    Wrap 12 corn tortillas in a damp cloth, then microwave for 10 to 20 seconds on high, until soft and pliable. Spoon two to three tablespoons venison mixture into center of tortilla and roll. Place rolled enchiladas into a lightly oiled baking dish, seam side down. Cover with enchilada sauce and sprinkle remaining colby-Jack cheese, to taste. Cover and bake in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes.



Deconstructed Venison Pot Roast

1 pound venison loin, cut into two 8-ounce portions
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces new potatoes, halved
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sprigs thyme
2 serrano chiles, slit lengthwise but left whole
1 finger ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
4 cups beef stock
1 pint cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 bunch Swiss chard, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock

    Sprinkle venison with coriander, cumin, salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
    Combine potatoes, garlic, thyme, serranos, ginger, lemon juice and beef stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Place the potatoes in a large saute pan, reserving the cooking liquid.
    Add cremini mushrooms, butter and salt and pepper to the pan. Saute over medium-high heat to brown potatoes, then add one tablespoon cooking liquid to create a glaze. Set aside.
    Combine Swiss chard and chicken stock in a medium saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 15 minutes, until chicken stock is reduced by half. Set aside.
    Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for high heat. Remove the venison from marinade and grill about four minutes per side for medium rare.
    Serve with potatoes and Swiss chard.



Venison Tenderloin With Berry Sauce and Creamy Potatoes

For potatoes:
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more if needed
Freshly ground white pepper
For venison:
2 venison tenderloins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
For sauce:
1 cup red wine
1 cup demi glace
1 small red onion, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup blueberries
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

    Peel potatoes and cut into one-inch chunks. Place in a large saucepan of cold, salted water, then bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, lower the heat to medium and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until fork tender.
    Season both sides of the venison tenderloins with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add tenderloins, reduce heat to medium and sear tenderloins on all sides for three to four minutes per side. Remove loins from the pan and let rest.
    Drain potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Mash until there are no lumps. Stir in butter, nutmeg, cream, salt and white pepper. Stir until creamy, adding more cream if needed. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
    In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients except for the blueberries and butter. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat, add blueberries and simmer eight to 10 minutes, until reduced a little and thickened. Remove from heat, then strain sauce back into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk in the butter. Hold warm until serving.
    Spoon potatoes onto the center of each plate. Slice venison loin into 1/2-inch thick slices on a bias and lay slices over potatoes. Top with sauce.




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