Are you tired of going to the grocery store and paying premium prices for organic meat? Consider venison – an all-natural, low-fat meat source. With lower cholesterol levels than turkey and chicken and nearly a quarter of the fat of beef, venison offers a delicious and healthy alternative to the meat you’ll find at your local grocery store. One ounce of raw venison contains 34 calories, only 0.7 grams of total fat (0.3 grams of which is saturated), 24 mg of cholesterol and 7 grams of protein. Venison is also high in potassium and iron.

It seems like every hunter has a favorite recipe for cooking their harvest. If you are steering toward the healthy side of venison, there are all kinds of recipes full of flavor and low in fat.

young woman with a crossbow buck

You can make simple deer steaks out of the back straps. This is a fan favorite and probably the most highly-recommended way of eating deer. Cut a cross section out of the tenderloin, separate from the silver skin and season like you would a regular steak. You can use a marinade or a dry seasoning. Either will produce a juicy, tender meat that provides all the protein with a fraction of the fat and cholesterol of a conventional beef steak. One rule of thumb to follow: Do not overcook!  Deer steaks are best when cooked no more than medium doneness.

Another healthy option is kabobs. Alternate hunks of deer meat with pieces of green peppers, Vidalia onions, jalapenos and mushrooms. Brush with a mixture of olive oil and garlic powder, then grill over an open flame. Yum!

young man poses with a great deer

What about the gamey flavor? What about when it’s harder to chew than old boot leather? These are both problems new venison eaters face when cooking and eating their harvest. Every avid hunter and deer eater has had great deer and has had not-so-great deer. There are a few ways you can reduce the gaminess and keep the meat tender and juicy. Before you process your deer meat, allow it to sit on ice in a cooler with the plug pulled for a few days. As long as you make sure to keep the ice stocked, this will allow the meat time to rest and a lot of the blood will be drawn out. You can also take whatever deer you are going to cook the next day and let it soak overnight in the fridge in buttermilk or a brine.

As for the meat being chewy and tough, you’ll need to remove the sinew, also known as the silver skins, between the layers of meat. Cutting this off of the meat before cooking will make eating your deer much more enjoyable and tasty.

Venison is a healthy, tasty, and all natural meat that can be grilled, smoked, slow-roasted, or ground.  Outdoorsmen love to share their knowledge and passion for wildlife and game. Recipes and methods have never been more accessible, with the world at your fingertips. Just hop on that smartphone to find something that looks good and get cooking!

mother and youngin pose with a first deer

 

 

Here are a few easy recipes to get you started!

Chicken-fried Deer Steaks

All you need for this recipe is a few venison cubed steaks, flour, salt, pepper, a little bit of olive oil and an egg. If you process the deer yourself, just take a cut of the shoulder or ham. Remove any of the silver skin, because that makes it chewy and adds a gamey bite, and beat it with a meat tenderizer until it is the desired thickness. This recipe is simple and delicious.

  • Start by heating some oil in a pan.
  • Mix some salt, pepper, and flour and dredge the cubed steaks. Dredge it good!
  • Wisk the egg up into an egg wash and dunk the steak. After the egg wash, go back to the flour and coat again. You do not want any meat showing.
  • Lay the steaks into the pan with the hot oil and let cook. Venison is a very lean meat so it does not take long to cook. Make sure the breading is nice and crispy, and you are ready to go.

Youcan add all kinds of razzle-dazzle to this simple recipe by marinating the steaks, using the extras in the pan to make gravy, or layering between two burger buns and making a sandwich. Make it your own and have fun with it.

 

Venison BBQ Bombs

For this recipe you will need ground venison, one or two medium-large onions (they can be white, sweet, or Vidalia onions, depending on your preference), some thick-cut bacon, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, panko bread crumbs, and some of your favorite BBQ sauce.

  • Cut the onions in half, remove the outer skin, and then peel back the layers (being careful not to tear them).
  • Mix the venison, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and panko in a bowl. (I like to chop up some fresh jalapenos and the extra onion to throw into the mix.)
  • Mold the venison mixture into balls and wrap the onion layers around them so they form a shell around the meat.
  • Wrap the onion bombs in bacon and use toothpicks to secure it in place
  • Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, take the bombs out and lather them up with your favorite BBQ sauce. Let it cook for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until the bacon is at the desired crispiness.

 

Venison Fajitas

This is a great recipe for that you can personalize and always tastes great, because who doesn’t like fajitas? You will need some venison cut up into strips, all relatively the same size to they cook the same. Some lime juice, red onion, green and red bell peppers, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper, tortillas and whatever you like to top your tacos with.

  • Season the venison with the cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then put it in a bag or dish and douse with the lime juice. Marinate for at least 4 hours. 8 hours is preferred.
  • Cut up the red onion and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper and mix with a little bit of olive oil.
  • That’s pretty much all the prep you need! Now you are ready to grill or cook over a stove top. Cast iron skillets work great for fajitas. Cook the veggies till they are tender, and cook the meat until it is done all the way through. (Remember that venison cooks very quickly!)
  • You can warm up or toast your tortillas, and then fill them with the fajita mixture. Top with sour cream, cilantro and fresh jalapeno and you are good to go!

 

pork butt and deer ham
BBQ pork but cooking over a venison ham. This allows the juices to fall on the venison adding even more delicious flavor.
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