help with cooking venison - all cuts
My SO has finally had success in getting us a mule deer. Our freezer will be stocked with Venison now. I have never eaten, nor prepared it. Besides the tenderloin, I really don't know what recipes to use, or how to cook it. Any help is, as always, appreciated.
Venison is one of my favorite meats to eat, but I almost never cook it. Like many gamey meats, it's happy with juniper berries & of course with red wine. Many people overcook it, which is a pity.
Easy to over cook because it is lean. I wrap the loin in bacon and roast. Stews and curries are wonderful.
If you get ground meat, make bacon-wrapped appetizer meatballs. They go over well.
Also, instead of doing a usual steak or roast, I've cut the steaks into strips, velveted them, and cooked them in a cognac sauce.
Wrapping venison in things like bacon will work to help prevent it from drying out but it also imparts a flavor to the venison that isn't always desirable. See if you can find a source for caul fat and (especially when working with the loin) brown the meat on all sides before continuing with your braise or other final cooking method. Venison dries out very quickly; it's incredibly lean. Be especially careful not to overcook it or you'll find it tough, chewy and unpalatable. If you discover that you've overcooked it, don't fret. You can usually rescue the meat by cooking it longer in a braise. It just means dinner won't be ready when you had originally planned.
You won't find any single method that works with every cut of venison. Some of the animal's muscles get a lot of use and are therefore dense and will tend to be tough. Other muscles are used less and will cook up tender. The flavor of your venison is influenced by it's diet of course, but it's more importantly influenced by the way the animal was handled immediately after harvesting. Did the animal die instantly or was it fatally wounded and ran some distance before falling? Was there any delay in the field dressing process? Was it skinned and cooled quickly? Was it kept cool until it was butchered and wrapped? All of those factors will have a dramatic influence on its flavor and "gaminess".
We ate the tenderloin the day the deer was shot, it was lovely, perfect medium rare seared in the pan. Definitely a different texture from Beef, but not gamey at all, not sure if that is a reflection of the rest of the deer (flavour wise) or not.
the deer was a clean hit to the head, dropped immediately, field dressed quickly. cooled right away as it was -15C outside, skinned within 1 hr. kept cold (outiside in shed) until it hit the butcher yesterday. Sounds like it was handled correctly.
We will be getting ground, stew, sirloin roast, round roast, and steaks.
I guess I will just treat it like beef, wrt the recipes, but be sure to braise or not cook as long, depending on cut. thanks!