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.
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 ( www.eatingelk.com/recipeindex.html ) to give me ideas for deer cooking. Elk is also venison.
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.
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.