How to cook venison

Tis the season for deer hunting. What is the best way to prepare the venison the hunter brings home? Learn the cuts of meat and the best way to cook them for the ultimate venison meal.

This time of year hunters are taking to the woods in the search of their buck. Not only are they working to get the trophy rack but also a nice supply of meat for their freezers. Venison as a protein source is relatively low in fat, saturate fat and cholesterol. In comparison to beef, venison is lower in calories per three ounce serving. Venison is also lower in fat at 19 percent where beef has 29 percent fat per calories. Venison is also lower in saturated fat at 1.1 grams and beef at 1.8 grams and is slightly higher than beef, pork and chicken in cholesterol content according to Michigan State University Exension.

Venison is a dry meat. To avoid the gamey taste of venison, one should trim away as much of the fat as possible. If the fat remains, the tallow tends to cling to your teeth and stick to the roof of your mouth. Because venison is a dry meat, only certain cuts of the meat should be cooked using dry heat methods like broiling, frying, roasting and grilling. The tenderloins, round, and loin steaks can be cooked in this manner. All other cuts of meat should be cooked using a moist heat such as in pot roasting, stewing, soups or chili. Adding another fat source during cooking can also increase the moisture of the venison, but then adds to the fat content of the dish.

The following are some suggestions for using your venison cuts given by the Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E-657.

  • Hind and fore shanks can be de-boned and cut into cubes for stew or ground into hamburger.
  • Round cuts are usually cut into steaks and can be prepared using Swiss steak recipes.
  • Small tender legs can be kept whole and roasted like a leg of lamb.
  • The meat can also be cubed for stew or ground into hamburger.
  • The loin and rib chops are the source of sirloin and porterhouse steaks. These cuts are generally best for frying, broiling, roasting, or grilling.
  • The shoulder is a source of pot roasts where you use moist heat to help tenderize the meat. The rump is used for pot roasts as well. It can also be cubed for stew or ground for hamburger.
  • The neck is best for pot roasts, stew meat, or ground meat.
  • The flank and breast contain a lot of meat which is best used in stews, soups, ground meat, or chili.

Venison pot roast is very easy to make. Take your cut of meat and season the side of the meat that will be on the inside of the rolled roast. Use a vegetable soup mix for seasoning as an easy way to get excellent flavor. Roll the cut of meat into a cylinder and tie with string. Cut the roast into the size you wish to prepare for a meal. When ready to cook, salt, pepper, and flour the outside of your roast and brown it in cooking oil. A pressure cooker is recommended for cooking this type of venison. Place the cooking rack into the pressure cooker and add water as recommended. A one pound venison roast will usually cook in 10-15 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. If you use a roasting pan, place the roast in the pan, cover and cook on low heat for one to two hours. This will help to tenderize the meat in the cooking process. For more venison recipes contact your local MSU Extension office.

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