Deer hunters often say that the hard work begins after the hunt is over—but with delicious wildgame recipes like these, the reward is well worth it.
The distinctive taste of venison is as much a part of American history as T-bone steaks, fried chicken, or apple pie—even more so, when you consider that it was around in this great land long before any of them!
Many of us can remember Grandma in the kitchen, pan-frying backstrap, slapping the little hands that reached up onto the counter to grab one before the Sunday dinner table was set. And the aromatic scent of a venison ham roasting in the crock pot in a stew of carrots, potatoes, and onions is just this side of heaven on a chilly winter's day. Venison meat is an incredibly versatile and delicious food—and here are a few of the best ways to prepare it.
A true American classic. Slice backstrap into 1/2" thick medallions, tenderize if necessary, dredge in your own flour or cornmeal batter, and pan-fry or deep-fry until golden brown. Best served with the most patriotic of condiments—ketchup!
Drying venison is one of the best ways to prepare it for storage, and makes it easy to carry on hunting or road trips as a snack—and it’s a great way to utilize cuts like skirt steak that may otherwise be wasted. Just slice into thin strips (1/4" thick or so), add seasoning (garlic and salt are always a good bet), place on racks in an oven or dehydrator, and heat on low until dried.
This staple of southwestern cuisine is an ideal medium for venison, but you’ve got to mix in at least 1/2 ground beef, due to venison’s lean nature. Otherwise, as long as you remember the chili basics of tomato, beans, onion, and chili powder, you’re free to improvise.
The ham is the cut to use, and the secret it to cook it slow. In a crock pot or a dutch oven, add potato, carrot, and onion with seasonings and butter to taste, and roast it low, slow, and long, frequently scooping the juices over the top to keep it moist.
VENISON DOG TREATS:
Don’t forget the family dog. The liver is ideal for this, though any other small cuts will work. Simply cut into thin strips, season with just a little garlic powder, and prepare as you would jerky. Fido will love it, and you may experience less begging at the table!
Chunk it, skewer it, season it, grill it. Brush with butter or bacon grease to keep them from drying out.