You can find some interesting venison recipes on the Internet.
The downing of a deer is an exciting moment every hunting season. Once the adrenaline wears off and you've transported the animal out of the filed, the only question is: what do you do with all this fresh wild game meat?
While that whitetail venison is still fresh in the freezer, you hit the Internet to try to find some fresh new venison recipes to try this year.
Here's some of what we found while searching the Internet for the best ways to prepare our favorite game animal.
Backstraps and tenderloins
With a fresh harvest, the first deer meat recipe most hunters are looking for is something for the backstraps or venison tenderloins. After all, they're both best fresh. Probably the most popular thing I found while searching are recipes that combine these tender pieces of meat with bacon. Because let's face it, bacon goes with almost everything!
One that caught my eye was the video above of how to stuff venison backstrap. Cooking is done by grilling in a smoker. This looks simple enough for anyone to do. It's probably not the healthiest way to prep venison, but it sure looks mouthwatering!
One interesting thing I found was multiple recipes for frying both backstraps and tenderloins. Most of these recipes are simple enough for even the worst cooks to pull off.
All you're doing is seasoning the meat and then rolling them in a batter mixture and frying them. The result is something that looks like fried chicken.
Just remember venison and many other forms of wild game meat are very lean and you need to be careful not to overcook them.
I also ran across a more time-consuming recipe for a teriyaki venison roast that sounded intriguing. It involves covering the roast with brown sugar and then roasting in a slow cooker for six hours.
Of course, if you want to be more traditional, you can always just pan sear it or cut small venison steaks out of the backstrap or tenderloin that you marinate with red wine and then cook, but why not think about trying something new this season?
Ground venison recipes
I'm a simple guy. I usually have most of my deer ground by a processor and use most of it to make either BBQ meatballs or burgers.
The great thing about ground venison is that there is almost no wrong way to cook it. But I learned that stroganoff, meatloaf and pasta dishes are all super popular right now.
But as I noted, I like simple things like a venison burger. I recommend checking out Brad Smith's venison burger recipe that uses one pound of ground venison and some onion soup mix, breadcrumbs and an egg to help cover some gamey taste.
The one downside to making burgers with venison is that you sometimes must to mix in a little bit of beef, or the burgers can crumble a bit. Just another downside of the meat being so lean. Some people might consider it weird, but I tend to like my beef burgers well-done. However, you lose some flavor if you do that with venison, so try to keep it medium-rare.
Another interesting thing to try is a lasagna recipe. Again, Brad Smith has a great recipe using diced onions, garlic cloves and ricotta cheese to prepare a simple, but tasty meal in just 30 minutes. It seems a lot of people are taking note of how well venison works with lasagna these days. Who would have thought that would be popular in 2019?
Personally, I'm not into tacos, but based on the searches I did for recipes, this is the next most popular way to use ground venison. It's quick and simple, all you need are some tortillas, seasoning, shredded cheese and your choice of avocado and other seasonings.
Just as popular as tacos are venison chili recipes. They're easy to prepare with onions, bell peppers, cloves, tomatoes, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika. It takes about 45 minutes in a crockpot to produce a chili your friends and family will love. Of course, you can tweak this recipe to make it even spicier if you choose. The cold months of winter are on their way soon after all.
Don't forget about venison stew and soups either. Again, super easy to prepare. Add your favorite seasonings and vegetables and you're almost ready to go. The only downside is the cook time, which is lengthy.
May we suggest heading to the woods while it's cooking in the pot? By the time you get home from the woods later in the day and you're cold and tired, a good stew will refuel you quickly.
Tradition. Not much more to say about that, but Google searches reveal venison steaks are still one of the most popular ways out there to prepare venison. As we noted earlier, a popular way of prepping venison, not just here in the United States, but the world over, is to marinade it in red wine before cooking.
One thing to keep in mind with steak is to get the pan or grill hot before you place your steak down and start cooking. And again, you must watch how long you cook these things.
Too much and you're going to cook all the flavor out of them. One simple recipe is to simply coat the steaks in olive oil, add seasoning and cook or grill for just a few minutes. It results in one tasty dinner!
The reason steaks are considered one of the best venison recipes is because of the tastiness and simplicity. I didn't really notice any new recipes in the cookbooks as far as steak as concerned during my search online, but that's not surprising. Sometimes you just don't need to re-invent the wheel you know?
Roasting a whole leg of venison
When you hear the words "roast leg of venison," it just conjures up an image of a bunch of knights having a feast in some drab medieval castle somewhere, doesn't it?
People don't generally do this anymore, but I found a few guides online showing that a few brave souls do try it every so often. Just make sure you've got enough guests to help you finish it first because this will go through your available meat in a hurry!
In the video above, deermeatfordinner roasts a whole front shoulder. After brining for several days, he heavily seasons and then sears it on high heat in a barrel before covering it and slow roasting it for hours. Potatoes, onions and mushrooms add to the meal. Perfect for the main course of any family get-together or annual football party.
Venison jerky and sausage
We love wild game meat of any kind for jerky. But venison jerky is perfect for it and making it is easier than you might think. One popular misconception about preparing jerky is that you need an expensive smoker or dehydrator to prepare it, but the truth of the matter is it can be done in a standard household oven. After all, you're just seasoning and then smoking the meat.
Personally, I prefer the "snack sticks" to jerky for venison. Speaking of which, we should mention how popular sausage and salami still are. I have processors that make both for me. In fact, my processor makes some especially juicy venison hotdogs.
They're huge, but extremely yummy. Unfortunately, making snack sticks, sausage or salami is more difficult than jerky because you do need specialized equipment like a sausage stuffer to make it.
If you live in a state where people like to take their deer to commercial processors, sometimes you can find some that will make these specialty meats on the cheap. It's even better if you've done all the other hard work of cutting and preparing the meat up until that point.
While jerky is still king, it really does seem like venison snack sticks are starting to grow on more people as far as snack meats go. The great thing about both is that you can make either in a variety of flavors and varying degrees of spiciness to suit your tastes.
Trends in using venison
Hunter numbers are falling all over the world. That is no secret and it really is a shame. Because of that, you'd think that the use of venison is declining, but that hardly seems to be the case.
If anything, MORE people are making use of venison than ever before. And many of them are experimenting with venison in ways we haven't seen before. I'm talking stuff like barbacoa, pepperoni snack sticks or rib roasts. Stuff like the lasagna we mentioned earlier.
While hunter numbers are shrinking, I also noticed that it seems more and more people are turning to venison and other forms of wild game meat as a healthier alternative to the steroid and hormone-injected beef that is common in every supermarket today. And, it's not just hunters! More venison is commercially available now than probably any other time in modern history.
Farms in New Zealand and other areas are now exporting venison worldwide. This means more chefs than ever have access and are experimenting with it.
You know what? We're thrilled with that. Venison has had a bad reputation for far too long as being too "gamey." I know many people who refuse to ever eat it. But the more venison is normalized, the more hunting is normalized.
The more people who experiment with venison, the more new and ground-breaking dishes we'll get from it. What's not to love about that? For instance, the video above shows someone making deer bacon. Talk about creativity!
We know there's a lot of traditional hunters out there who are just looking for their usual favorite dishes this year. That's fine. But we also believe you shouldn't be afraid to experiment, even if it's just for one meal this season. People are coming up with new and amazing ways to use venison and we should learn to just enjoy and embrace it.
All this talk about venison has me hungry now. And my freezer is empty right now. Excuse me while I go make some hunting preparations to make sure it doesn't stay that way this season!