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Someone gave us venison cutlets. Now what?

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  • vvv03 Jan 24, 2011 04:45 PM
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Any simple and delicious ways to prepare them? I've heard soaking in milk takes out the gamey taste. Is that true? To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of gamey meat, though my husband likes it.

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  1. I don't find venison as gamey as say, lamb or goat so I've never soaked it in milk. To me, it tastes a little like aged beef. Ironically, I'm thawing out part of a deer ham that I'd sliced off some cutlets from. I seared them in a skillet, added some red wine, beef stock and garlic. Delicious! I also like to slow cook the meat & add a gravy.

    1. I don't know what part of the animal your cutlets came from, but if it's a tender cut you can cook it like steak -- just coat it with oil and grill or pan-fry, but be careful not to overcook. Venison is very lean and cooks quickly. It will dry out if you go for anything over medium-rare.

      It should not be gamey if the meat was correctly handled. I find it tastes like beef but cleaner and less fatty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: visciole

        It may or may not taste gamey depending on a few factors (how quickly it died, sex, aging, etc). I've had venison that had no gaminess and tasted better than beef and I've had some that was very gamey.
        If the meat is indeed gamey, I don't think the milk trick would work.
        Give it a try, prepare it simply as others suggest, and you might be surprised (one way or another).
        If its really not to your liking, slice thin, marinate with soy, black pepper, salt, pepper flakes then dry for venison jerky. Gamey or not, this is delicious.

      2. Sear, or pan fry, on a skillet (cast iron preferred). Sear to medium-rare, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your cutlets.

        Then deglaze the pan with red wine and make a sauce by adding some shallots or onions, cinnamon, rosemary, honey and chicken stock.

        1. Depending on the cut, pan pear quickly and in a hot saute pan, remove, and make a pan sauce with shallots, red wine, stock, a bit of red wine or sherry vinegar and whole butter swirled in at the end.

          Venison goes very nicely with tart fruit, reconstituted dried cherries, black or red currants, or even fresh roasted, or not, red grapes. Good herbs for pairing with venison are thyme, rosemary and juniper.

          1. What great ideas. Love venison in all its incarnations. I agree it can taste very similar to well-aged beef. Much also depends on how the venison was prepared by the person who "dressed" it. Since it's cutlets, I assume they cut it into thin slices. If you want to know whether you have gamey venison, cut off a mouthful-sized piece and quickly fry it in oil and salt. Then you will know whether to marinate (but don't expect great flavor or tenderness in that bite). My favorite prep for venison is the old fashioned way. Brown the meat in a deep pan in oil, remove to hold, then add flour to the pot and stir to make a dark brick-red or even chocolate-bar roux. Add a tad more oil if the roux gets "grainy." Amounts of oil and flour depend on how much sauce you want and size of cutlets. Add chopped onion and celery and stir for a minute to quickly saute them (the roux will get even darker then, don't worry, it's not burnt). Whisk in water or stock, re-introduce the venison, turn down the heat, cover and braise until tender. One pot does it all.

            Whatever cooking method you choose, if you and your husband like it, be sure to tell the person who gave it to you. The fact that they cut venison into thin cutlets may indicate that they don't know how to braise thicker cuts to tenderness, and besides, all game lovers like to trade recipes.

            BTW, venison, bison and other wild meats have amino acids and enzymes which are diminished in our domesticated cattle. Don't know if it's true, but I've heard that these meats envigorate us and keep us young. I like to believe. ;-)

            3 Replies
            1. re: sancan

              "Don't know if it's true, but I've heard that these meats envigorate us and keep us young. I like to believe. "

              Add a dash of rhino horn and a smidgen of tiger paw and you have a super-food! {;-/)

              1. re: porker

                Aw, c'mon, Porker. We do know that grass fed beef has more "stuff" that's good for you (including a smidge of Omega 3), so I'm gunna keep on believing. That sound you hear is hands clapping ala Peter Pan.

                1. re: sancan

                  I know I know, I was just funning!

            2. The first time I ever ate venison as a boy my father had prepared it pizzaiola style- sauteed cutlets topped with a tangy, chunky marinara sauce, with red wine and lots of garlic. If I was given some venison cutlets today that is the first thing I would make.