If you haven't tried venison parmesan, you really don't know what you are missing.
Every now and then I hear grumblings from venison lovers that they get tired of this great game meat. Common complaints I hear are that there are only so many good ways that venison can be cooked. I for one, beg to differ. This venison parmesan recipe takes that common misbelief and turns it right on it's head. So if you are feeling in a venison rut, you will be glad you found this.
The following slideshow shows step by step instructions on how to prepare the best venison parmesan recipe that you may have ever, or never tried. The tomato sauce is one you can use for other recipes and the venison turns out fantastic. Even non-venison lovers will enjoy this meal and you will enjoy the tips that your family leaves on the table after they clean their plates.
View the slideshow for a list of ingredients as well the step-by-step recipe for the best venison parmesan you will ever make.
All photos by Brad Smith.
Prepare The Ingredients
Venison - I actually used elk back straps for this recipe
Several cups of flour
Enough eggs to get the job done
Panko bread crumbs - Your favorite kind
Grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Large can of crushed tomatoes
Large can of diced tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
Sugar to taste
Several cloves of diced garlic
Angel hair pasta
Turn Up The Heat
To start things off, heat enough vegetable oil in a pan so that it will only cover half of the thickness of the venison when placed in the pan. Next, heat several tablespoons of olive oil in another pan and add in sliced mushrooms once the oil is shimmering. When the mushrooms begin to release their moisture, add in the diced garlic.
As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, pour in the cans of diced and crushed tomatoes. It's important to not burn the garlic or it can ruin the taste of the sauce. From here, turn the sauce to a temperature that it can simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. As the sauce simmers, water will be evaporating creating a thicker sauce.
Time To Fry!
As the sauce is simmering, the vegetable oil for the venison should be about right. The oil needs to be very hot to create a good crispness to the venison.
First, make sure the venison tenderloins are dry to the touch. Use a paper towel and pat them a few times. Next, cover both sides in flour, dip in the eggs, then finally, cover all sides of the tenderloins in the bread crumbs. To make the bread crumb mixture, dump the bag of crumbs in a bowl and mix in several tablespoons of parmesan cheese as well as half a handful of the mozzarella. Allow these coated tenderloins to sit on a rack or cookie sheet for several minutes to give the egg mixture time to thicken on the venison.
After a few minutes of rest, use tongs and place a few pieces of venison at a time in the oil. If you add too many all at once, the oil cools and you will loose that flash-fry needed for crispness. After about one minute, flip the pieces and cook for about 30 more seconds.
Once they are done, place them back on the cookie sheet and allow them to rest in the oven at 200 degrees while the sauce cooks.
At this time, add your spaghetti noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook to the directions on the box.
Let's Get Saucy
By now, the venison should be done and staying warm in the oven. The sauce should be thickening up since the water has been evaporating for a good while now.
Finally, turn the heat down to low and toss in several handfuls of fresh chopped basil along with sugar to taste. The sugar helps even out some of the acidity of the tomatoes. Be careful with the heat of the sauce as well. Too much heat can destroy the flavor of basil fairly quickly. As a rule of thumb, I don't add the basil until it is no longer simmering- once the heat has been turned down to low, or off.
Time To Eat!
All that is left to do now is to remove the cooked venison from the oven, mix with the noodles and sauce, and enjoy!