I have a Venison question. Can you tell me how to cook it? My husband keeps getting it from his friend so we have an entire shelf of it in the freezer but I have no idea what to do with it.
Well Lara, one of the great things about venison is that you can use it in any recipe that calls for beef! There are a couple of differences that you do need to keep in mind when choosing how to prepare venison.
#1-Venison has more of a “wild” or “gamey” flavor than beef. I like the flavor myself, but some people are turned off by it. The amount of “gaminess” you taste varies from deer to deer and depends on the age and eating habits of the animal as well as how quickly it was field dressed. Until you try the meat you won’t have any way to tell how gamey it is. If the stronger flavor is unpleasant to you, counteract it by cooking it in something equally as strong, such as a tomato based sauce. I’ve also heard recommendations to soak the meat in milk overnight-but haven’t tried that method myself.
#2-Venison is extremely lean. For any type of “dry” cooking method (grilling, roasting, sauteeing) you will need to avoid overcooking and drying it out. Cook the venison until it is just done or add additional fat such as butter. For wet methods of cooking (stews, chili’s, braising, etc) this isn’t an issue.
Now on to the cooking itself. For a “newbie” with venison I’d suggest first getting your family used to the idea of eating it in a dish where the flavor won’t be as noticeable-such as chili.
Next try a very simple preparation that lets the natural flavor shine through-that way you’ll know if your family likes the taste. Simply sauteeing thin cut steaks in butter and serving with sauteed onions, mushrooms and perhaps brown gravy (I used packaged!) is easy and tasty.
If everyone likes the taste you are golden. If not, then reserve the venison for use in strong sauces & marinades.