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Nov 26, 2008 06:08 AM

Venison Recipes for a Picky Eater

Ok, I would like ideas for all of the meat in my chest freezer. My FIL and BIL hunt, and always give me meat this time of year. I love it, but whenever I prepare it, my wife objects, since she has only eaten deer trail bologna. I have ground venison, shoulder, round, roasts, and tenderloin. What can I do to make it more familiar for her? She loves beef. Is there a way to make it more beef-like? Should I brine it or soak it in some liquid? I'm definitely making jerkey (ideas welcome), and would appreciate a recipe for trail bologna as well.

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  1. Brining might be an interesting way to go. Take tenderloin rounds and wrap them with a strip of bacon - like a filet mignon. She might appreciate that.

    You know, of course that most of the fat and silver connecting tissue on the meat has to go. The fat has a very high 'gel' temperature and turns into nasty candlewax flavored congealed yuck, very quickly. Getting rid of the fat and connective tissue will go a long way to making your wife appreciate venison.

    Cook it in stews, make venison/pork sausage. Since you remove the fat, you have to add it back during the cooking process. Check out Sausage Making sites for "trail bologna" recipes. I don't do flavored jerkies, just salted dried meat.

    1. I make a ragout of venison with chestnuts and mushrooms that’s excellent. It's from "Jean Anderson Cooks." Can't imagine your wife wouldn't like this.

      3 pounds of shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
      1½ sticks of unsalted butter (about)
      1 tablespoon of minced shallots
      3 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
      1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
      ½ teaspoon chopped thyme
      ¼ teaspoon chopped rosemary
      1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      ½ pound slab bacon, cut into ½-inch cubes, blanched for 15 minutes and well drained
      1½ cups of beef broth
      2 cups dry red wine
      ¼ ounce dried minced chanterelle mushrooms
      ¼ ounce dried minced Black Forest mushrooms
      ½ pound shelled and peeled chestnuts
      1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
      1 cup heavy cream
      S&P to taste

      In a large Dutch oven, brown venison cubes in butter in batches and set aside. Saute shallots and onions in 2 tablespoons of butter for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned and add to meat. Saute fresh mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until limp (about 10 minutes). Dump the meat, shallots, and onions back into the Dutch oven; add thyme, rosemary and nutmeg; and cook 3 to 4 minutes over low heat. Add bacon, broth, wine, and dried mushrooms, cover and simmer slowly 2 to 3 hours. Add chestnuts and cranberry sauce, cover again, and simmer another 1 to 2 hours until meat is fork tender. Stir in cream. Add S&P to taste, and simmer uncovered about ½ hour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        DING, DING, DING *We have a winnah*

        ...seriously though, this looks amazing.

      2. The ground will be the easiest to 'disguise'. I like to make a chili. Just use your favorite recipe for beef chili and substitute the deer meat. I also like meatballs, sometimes with a 1 to 1 red wine and ketchup sauce, or in a traditional spaghetti and meatball recipe.

        As a starting point I often use the recipes at Eating Elk ( ) to give me ideas for deer cooking. Elk is also venison.