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Recipe Requested Venison favorites?

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False_Cast

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I’ve got a few free long weekends for hunting trips this year. I butcher my own deer and would like to check in with you professionals (of which I am not) and see what your favorite recipes are. Whitetail deer, specifically, if that matters. Thanks!
 

AT5760

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One of my fondest memories as a child was helping my parents and grandpa butcher a deer and then my grandmother cooking fresh venison steaks immediately. She did them simply with salt & pepper and pan seared in butter in a cast iron skillet.

Another family favorite prep is to pan sear (perhaps a reverse sear/sous vide) loin served over a pan sauce of orange juice and rum.

I had a phenomenal venison dish at a restaurant in Vienna about a decade ago, best I can remember is that it was braised, topped with a thyme/red wine sauce, and served with a delicious compote that was something like lingonberries.

Venison also makes a fine pot roast, just remember that it's very lean and can dry out easily.
 

Bert2368

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I have done a neck roast (tons of bone and connective tissue!) 3 times now by: Sous vide with my usual dry beef rub, 140°F for 34 hours, followed by applying a bit more dry rub and 2 hours over apple wood in a charcoal fired water smoker. Then, I disassemble the bony mixture with a very sharp knife and recover the delicious meaty components. Trim any fat bodies or connective tissues which don't look tasty.

This combination produces a small bowl full of non dry, non stringy nuggets of very tasty venison. I suppose I could add it to some fancy made dish, but we usually just eat it straight up as finger food with a little more fresh ground black pepper, or a really decadent BBQ sandwich with thin sliced sweet yellow onions, dill pickle and my usual beef BBQ sauce.

I usually do the lions and backstraps sliced thin, quickly seared in a very hot pan with butter with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Too good to mess with further...

I need to explore other cuts with the sous vide, if it can makes neck roasts yummy with good texture, it should be applicable to any other cut.

I have de fated and pressure canned the "trim" usually used for burger, saussage and ground meat style jerky with onion, garlic, carrots and sometimes turnip/rutabaga, this tastes great but as noted in pot roast suggestion, it does tend towards stringyness.
 
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Taz575

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I am a fan of corned venison! Great with cabbage and potatoes and carrots and makes a good hash with eggs and cheese in the morning, too.

I've done the tenderloins wrapped in bacon before and I make a sauce with mushrooms, onions, peppers, butter, cream and red wine reduced down as well that has been very tasty.

Venison sausage is good, too. Steaks on the grill are always a hit. I use a lot of ground venison in chili's as well.
 

Evan Estern

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A few of my favorites:

#1 which I got (loosely) from Jacques Pepin's Table: Boned loin (not tenderloin) slice 1" thick and pound lightly, sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh thyme if you have. Brown in butter/EVOO 2 min per side and set aside in warm oven. Add chopped shallots to pan, saute, deglaze with splash of cider vinegar, add a little soy sauce, a little ketchup, dollop of berry preserves or jelly and a little water. Reduce, strain through sieve or blend (or leave as is) return loins to pan with sauce to reheat and if desired, cook 3-5 min to medium rare (I prefer them rare.). The trick is to balance the sweet and sour elements i.e. preserves and vinegar, and the savory, i.e the ketchup and soy.

#2 is for a boned out shoulder: Make a past of grated or minced garlic, finely chopped fresh herbs, kosher salt and ground blk pepper. Thickly coat inner side of shoulder roll into a roast, tie with bakers twine. Place in roasting pan add more salt and pepper, lay about 4 thick slices of bacon on top, bake at 350 for about an hour or until internal temp is around 130F. Remove from oven and let it rest for a bit. Slice thin. I usually make a sauce from the drippings in the roasting pan, by adding wine, fruit preserves, etc.

#3 Venison meatballs: 1.5 lbs ground venison. Add to big bowl with 2 eggs, olive oil, grated Parm, bread crumbs or panko, salt, pepper, a splash of milk. Optional things to add here: finely chopped onion, herbs, carrots. Mix well, form into 1.5" balls, arrange on sheet pan (use parchment if you have) bake at 350F for 20 min. Add to a simple tomato sauce, cover and simmer 15-20 min. Serve over buttered spaghetti with lots more grated parm. I sometimes mix the venison with ground pork 70/30. Meatballs hold together a little better from the added fat, and are maybe a bit tastier, totally not required though.

#4 Venison steaks: Make marinade from soy sauce, grated garlic, Madras curry powder, splash of olive oil, splash of sake or white wine. Marinate 8-24 hours or more. Fry, broil or best of all, grill.
 
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Bert2368

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As far as the ground venison, I seldom use it straight up but tend to use in a mix with ground beef or beef & pork. I have used ground venison as ground veal might be used in a 3 meat blend with ground pork & ground beef for meatballs or meatloaf many times- I don't follow any set recipe, just done it so many times I know what feels right.

Ground meat mix, adjust ratios depending on how fatty the ground beef is- The more fat in the beef, the higher the venison and lower beef %. Cut and mix the meat mixture like pie dough, with a couple of dinner knives or a pastry blender.

img28c.jpg


For the Italianate meat balls intended for a red sauce: Saute in olive oil minced onions, garlic and celery, whatever mushrooms you might have too. Lots of oregano, some basil and thyme, ground black pepper and a little red pepper, a pinch of white sugar, salt to your taste, but not much- The sauce will take care of that. Bread crumbs and whipped up whole eggs to bind. Maybe a bit of milk if the mix seems too dry, if you have grated parmesan or romano cheese to hand, perhaps add some of this too.

When the mixture consistency seems right to you, form by small handfuls into something the shape of a USA football (not perfectly spherical), roll in flour and fry in more olive oil, rolling balks to a new side as they brown. "Football" shape facilitates this handling process, I try for browning 4 sides-

When I make these, I usually make at least 5 lb. of meat worth and freeze a bunch for later.

Remove the balls and drain, transfer to a pan of you red sauce and simmer until done or freeze on trays lined with wax paper, when frozen, bag for freezer storage.
 

Noodle Soup

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Venison and juniper is a classic combo too. Stewed with juniper and red wine. Or Juniper cream sauce. Or berry sauces (add gin? :) )
My wife makes something out of a Danish cook book that would probably be the juniper cream sauce. Very good.
 
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False_Cast

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I'm really looking forward to deer season this year. Got all my gear ready and I'm just starting to scout the land I hunt on now. My season starts in 3 weeks.
Thanks for the recipes. Good luck and be safe. I’ll be up in a tree in three days.
 

Bert2368

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Deer season starts next Saturday here. I am finding deer go with squash and pumpkins...



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These squash are growing within 30' of a standing corn field, the deer are not starving but seem to want a little variety in their diet. A lot of deer are visiting daily, seeing some monster tracks. Big orange pumpkins are about 18" Dia., the deer treats should last a few more days.

It's illegal to put out food for deer such as shelled corn in this state but it's OK to plant things they like.

The local big box store and gas stations around here sell many pallets of 50 lb. bags of shelled corn to hunters each fall regardless of baiting being illegal, the Department of Natural Resources also has a large yearly auction of firearms and hunting equipment the game wardens took away from people who put out corn in front of their stands during deer season or within two weeks of the season beginning.

Local stores also sell these signs:

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Evan Estern

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That sign made me laugh out loud! My friend, who's a passionate deer hunter, puts out corn in his back yard so he can watch the deer feeding. They get pretty tame eventually and come running before he's even done putting the corn down. He doesn't hunt those deer, but once I was helping him dress out a deer he shot a mile or so away and it had a stomach full what looked like that same corn.
 

Bert2368

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That sign made me laugh out loud! My friend, who's a passionate deer hunter, puts out corn in his back yard so he can watch the deer feeding. They get pretty tame eventually and come running before he's even done putting the corn down. He doesn't hunt those deer, but once I was helping him dress out a deer he shot a mile or so away and it had a stomach full what looked like that same corn.
I know a lot of people feel deer who don't hunt them. It's not really a good idea, concentrating animals in such a way where they are feeding muzzle to muzzle prety much guarantees any disease they have will spread fast. One reason why I planted a BIG food plot, shaped like a long line. They can spread out while they eat, instead of all standing with their heads together. This and the spread of mad cow in deer herds is the main reason DNR forbids baiting, not because it's "unsporting". As far as I'm concerned it stopped being "sporting" the minute I picked up a rifle.

Also, if you feed deer, what are they going to do when you STOP, move away, get run over by a bus or something? Whole bunch of hungry deer in the neighborhood who think people = food.

I also am planting lots of perennials & trees which provide wildlife food for deer, turkey, squirrels and bear. Got several hundreds of 3 kinds of oak acorns, hickory nuts and North American native hazelnuts stratifying in my vegetable crisper right now in ziplock bags full of damp "Pearlite", will be planting them in areas where we removed a lot of invasive European buckthorn, poplars and such the last couple of years. Also doing some berry patches, researching for more native plants to add.
 

Evan Estern

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Yeah I could never get behind the idea of corn for a number of reasons. I've planted food plots in the past, but my local deer did not really go crazy over them. Possibly I used the wrong stuff, but also I have 10 acres of decent hay which gets cut 2x a year. They seeme to prefer that to the food plots. They don't even bother my vegatable garden much. There's also forest with oak, hickory and apple trees on my property. Basically no shortage of food until mid December or so. After that not much for them around until spring. But... It's not a big area, and the herd seems to come and go. I have not seen them around lately which is a bummer because I'm going to start hunting tomorrow.
 

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Simple chili:

Brown 2lbs of ground venison 90/10 or 1.5lbs of diced meat along with 4 chopped cloves garlic

Mix in 14oz tomato sauce, 1.5tsp cumin, 1.5tsp oregano, 1.5tbsp chili powder, 1/2tsp ground chili pepper, 1.5tsp salt

Reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 mins.

Mix 1/4 cup masa harina with 1/2 water, then add the meat.

Add 1 can of kidney beans
Add one can of black beans

Its a very meaty chili that is not very hot, add pepper to your taste. Top with fresh chopped onion, cheddar cheese and sour cream.

This is just the meat to give an idea of how I cut it.
20201101_171351.jpg
 
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Twigg

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I also like this jerky recipe. My kids love it too.

 

rickbern

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I bet that my tangia recipe that I just posted would work out great with some of the tougher parts of venison. It's often done with the kind of shanks you use for osso bucco, don't know if there's enough meat there on a deer.
 

Bert2368

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I bet that my tangia recipe that I just posted would work out great with some of the tougher parts of venison. It's often done with the kind of shanks you use for osso bucco, don't know if there's enough meat there on a deer.
I went back and forth on posting this recipe. First of all, sorry, it's not that photogenic. No picture. Secondly, and even more bizarrely it requires like not one thing to be cut. You don't even really have to peel the garlic.

Stupid, I know.

But it was so good, I felt I just had to share it with you all, so here you go.

A Tangia is a tall Moroccan pot. I used a clay pot for this, but if you have something like a 3 quart saucepan with a good heavy lid or a smallish dutch oven, that would be ideal. You want the meat really packed in there. By the way, this recipe is originally from Marrakesh. Moroccan cooking is pretty regional, just like everywhere else. If you don't have preserved lemons they're stupid easy to make, and they take about a week to turn acceptable.

3 pounds boneless veal shoulder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 quarters preserved lemon , rinsed
and quartered

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Cut the veal into large pieces, 2" cubes or so. Soak the saffron in ¼ cup warm water for 10 minutes.

2. Place all the ingredients in the pot; use a wooden spoon to mix them gently; then press them down to a compact mass. Cover with a round sheet of parchment (a cartouche!) and then a lid. Set in the oven and bake for 4 hours.

3. Let cool down; then pour the stew into a bowl.

4. Put the stew in the fridge overnight. Skim off the fat and reheat before serving.

kudos, again to Paula Wolfert. Helluva cook, helluva anthropologist. I just bought almost every cookbook the woman ever wrote.

ps- here's a different recipe, using lamb, but she's got great pictures of the pot, if this sort of thing appeals to you

Sounds interesting, I even have some saffron on hand, plus a lot of venison "chunks", many of which really look too good for saussage.

"Ras el hanout" is new to me, as are preserved lemons. Any quick link to ingredients or instructions on making the lemons?

(Edit)

Before anyone can do a "let me Google that for you", yeah, I got this covered:


 
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rickbern

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Bert, you’re a google master!

I never find giant differences in spice mixtures, I use what’s at hand often. If you look into the tangia traditions a little they put all sorts of parts of the lamb in there.

This is from the headnote of the original recipe

In this case, tall amphora-shaped clay jars called tangias were nestled in the embers. Some of these tangias contained bony parts of veal or lamb such as shoulder, feet, and tails; others were filled with lamb and beef short ribs; and some with gazelle and camel meat.
 

blunt_cutter

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Swiss steak with the deboned legs. It helps if you debone them, freeze them and cut with a bandsaw. Also how we cut them to make jerky,

Another family favorite is backstraps sliced about the size of two stacked silver dollars, coated with finely blended or food processed saltines and deep fried leaving a little pink in the middle. Salt a little when removed from the oil.
 

Bodine

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I process a half dozen deer a year. I keep the backstrap and loins whole. Backstrap gets wrapped in bacon, seasoned with salt and pepper, or cajun seasoning, then baked and finished under the broiler, served rare. Tenderloins get sauteed in garlic butter, served rare.
I cut steaks out of the large ham muscles and cube them to fry later.
The rest I grind into burger, using bacon as the fat additive. Use the burger the same way as you would beef in your recipies.
Vacuum sealed, these cuts easily last 2 years in the freezer, although mine gets eaten in a year.
 

ryanjams

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I've done a stroganoff of sorts, would work with most any cut... I first made it to use up a lot of off cuts from portioning nice, uniform roasts. It came out super tasty and we ended up ordering whole loins to keep running it. Tried to do something a little more refined, not your usual heavy stroganoff with grey meat. Cut the venison down to steaks, seasoned with salt, white pepper, coriander, rosemary, hard seared in duck fat (butter works) basically black and blue, then pulled to cool. Hit the pan with your mushrooms of choice, lots of sliced shallot, minced garlic, thyme, deglaze with some white wine or madeira. Slice the cooled, very rare venison and reserve it. I pre sliced just enough for a service, then capped it with a bit of oil in a 9 pan to prevent oxidation while cooking portions to order.

Sauce was duck stock, creme fraiche, madeira, and dry vermouth with a couple tabs of butter. Plenty of your mushroom/shallot mix, pasta in, give everything a toss to emulsify, then add your sliced venison and some fresh parsley and chives just before plating so it can warm through but stay nice and rare. I made a mushroom pate, basically a super smooth, pureed duxelle for a base layer, to deepen the earthy, mushroom vibe. We had some nice morels that were poached in butter, shallot, garlic, thyme then finished with madeira to top it off, could omit as there's plenty of mushrooms in the dish, with a bit of shaved parm, more fresh herbs and -- we were mis shipped an entire case of dill, had to put it to use -- some vibrant green dill oil for a little extra herbaceous flavor, color, and aroma. Could do a quick scallion oil, or skip this altogether.

It was one of my favorite pastas I've done, hitting all the familiar comfort food notes but suitable for a fine dining setting.
 
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ryanjams

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It’s a lot of little steps compared to just throwing everything in to simmer away, and a couple ingredients one might not regularly stock, but everything’s really pretty simple from a technique standpoint and the end product is pretty awesome.
Not the tightest plate-up but the only shot I’ve got. Nettle pasta didn’t hurt, but I don’t suppose you have nettle juice in the freezer too? ;)
 

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