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Turkey is Lame: 3 Ways to Serve Venison for Thanksgiving

how to serve venison for thanksgiving

Forget all about turkey with these three ways to have venison for Thanksgiving.

Turkey on Thanksgiving is boring; you should be using venison.

If you’ve grown tired of turkey, then you’ll love these three venison recipes that will tantalize your taste buds, gobsmack your guests, and make you hungry for more.

1. Vergessen Der Bird Mit Venison Sauerbraten


Venison sauerbraten is delicious, and it’s far more authentic than anything you’re likely to find at the nearest German restaurant. (Except for the beer. Oh, the beer. You just don’t know how good it is if all you can find is Heineken).

For those unaware, sauerbraten is a German pot roast. It uses cheap cuts, so a shoulder roast or other piece of venison that isn’t steak-worthy is perfect. Granted, just about any non-poultry or fish can be used (pork and lamb are also common) but the point is that it uses a tough cut.

You build a marinade for the meat using vinegar, herbs, spices and red wine. This makes for a savory but slightly sour meal that is epic. The acids tenderize the meat as it marinades – you want to give it a few days.

Sear the meat prior to roasting, then roast low and slow in the marinade. After roasting, rest the meat while straining the liquid of any solid bits to make gravy. Serve both with traditional German sides if desired (red cabbage, potatoes or spaetzle) or whatever sides you want.

2. You’ll Never Go Wrong With Backstrap Steaks

It’s backstrap steaks. They’re delicious. Do I REALLY need to say more?

If you can’t cook a good steak…here, I’ll let Gordon Ramsay teach you.

I know, I know; Gordon Ramsay. However, this video is regrettably SFW.

3. City Slickers Can’t Get Venison Pastrami

Arnold Gatilao/CC-BY
Arnold Gatilao/CC-BY

Pastrami is a misunderstood meat. Basically, it’s a cheap cut that’s been brined (or pickled) and then smoked. The brine tenderizes the meat, then low and slow smoking makes it tender, moist, and full of flavor.

The traditional cut is beef brisket. Essentially the difference between pastrami and corned beef is the former is smoked after brining. Obviously, people love it on a sandwich but if you brine and then smoke a big cut, you can serve generous slices.

Like barbecued brisket? Then you’ll love a pastrami roast. If you want some for sandwich meat, carve off slices as people dine. Slice the leftovers thin, and pile high on rye for a pastrami sandwich better than any New Yorker can get. It would make for a fantastic Thanksgiving main course.

If your friends and family still whine about not getting turkey after eating these dishes, you need to get new friends and family because the ones you have are awful.


NEXT: 6 Offbeat Venison Recipes

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Turkey is Lame: 3 Ways to Serve Venison for Thanksgiving