The health benefits of wild game has never been disputed with wild whitetail venison crowned as the pinnacle of all game meats. White-tailed deer is characteristically low in fat and cholesterol, high in protein without any growth hormones or other unwanted additives. Organic and pristine like a cold mountain stream, with a unique flavor and texture. Venison truly is nature’s most perfect food!
In my 40-plus years as a passionate and responsible whitetail hunter, I learned first-hand the benefits of deer meat and some terrific ways to prepare it, from the field to the table. The beautiful whitetail buck (photo above) I harvested this fall will translate into many wonderful meals for me and my hunt gang.
Please enjoy four of my favorite venison recipes:
Marinated Venison Tenderloin
Venison tenderloin, cut 1 inch thick
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, including 1 tbsp of olive oil, and then add tenderloin. Make sure venison is covered completely in marinade. Place in refrigerator over night. Prepare grill to medium heat and no higher.
Remove tenderloin strips from the marinade. Brush 2 Tbsp of olive oil over meat. Preheat grill to medium and place tenderloin on grid. Cook slowly making sure to turn every couple of minutes. Venison is done when firm on the outside and slightly pink in centre. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with rice or potatoes.
Old Veni Stew
Perhaps the single greatest wild game dish for non wild-game enthusiasts is the old fashioned veni stew. Although deer meet is perhaps the best wild protein out there, it does have a characteristically bold and gamey flavour, some people have not acquired the taste for. Time to serve up a big batch of old ‘veni stew’, I say! For whatever reason, perhaps it’s in the seasoning or the simmering time, deer meat prepared with this recipe has virtually no gamey flavour . It is a hearty and tasty dish ready and willing to convince any non-believer.
2 lbs venison stewing meat
3 tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Season venison with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge meat in flour mixed. Then in a medium skillet over medium heat add butter, onions and sugar. Cook until onions soften then add meat and sauté for 5 minutes. Put into stew pot, place tomatoes and mushrooms over top and simmer until slight reduced.
Venison Swiss steak
Creating traditional Swiss steak from the less tender cuts of venison is a great way to make use of that delectable wild game meat. The inside/outside round cut of venison is typically a tougher piece of meat than say; the strip loin, sirloin or rib steak. Using this Swiss steak recipe, you can create a tasty meal for the entire family, or entertain guests at the cottage. When cooked using these directions, the final product should be rich, flavourful and easy to slice with a steak knife.
1 ½ lbs deer (inside round) steak (< ½ inch thick)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 red onions, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 cup tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp each salt & black pepper
¼ cup flour
Season venison with salt and pepper. Pour flour in a bowl and dredge venison steaks in flour. Heat vegetable oil in cast-iron skillet. Place steaks in cast-iron skillet and sear slightly on both sides. Then toss in onions, celery and tomatoes. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked.
Deer jerky, for those who enjoy salt meat or jerky meat, is another great way to make use of that venison in your freezer. I love making up a big batch of deer jerky and having enough for the entire year. Jerky will lasts a long time and makes a fabulous snack while camping, hunting or fishing. This protein rich food is simple to store and comes in handy when there is no time for preparing a large meal. I like to keep a few strips of deer jerky in my fanny pack each fall during the hunting season.
2 lbs venison, cut into ¼” strips
2 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp each salt & ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Cayenne powder
2 tbsp Molasses
1 cup water
Heat oil in a skillet and place venison in to brown. Season with salt & black pepper. In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Once venison is cooked, let cool and then add to bowl. Place in refrigerator to marinate over night. Remove venison strips from marinade with thongs, shaky dry.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. Lay venison jerky strips out on large baking sheet and place in oven for 2.5 hours. Turn strips over and place back in the oven with the door propped open 2-3”. Note: The low temperature and door propped open is to keep the meat from cooking. It is simply suppose to dry out and cure.
If you enjoy wild fish cooking, please read my feature on cooking wonderful walleye:
All these wonderful recipes and more are featured in my award-winning book, The Canadian Wild Game Cookbook, currently available on Amazon.