You would think as an avid whitetail deer hunter and a whitetail deer outfitter that I would be a person that like venison or deer meat. Well quite the contrary. I had always hated the “gamey” taste of deer meat until I discovered some recipes for cooking venison in the correct manner.
Below are my favorite venison recipes which believe it or not turned my taste buds in a favorable direction regarding deer meat or venison recipes.
Prior to getting into the recipes I want the whitetail deer hunter to know that preparation of the whitetail deer you harvest is vital to the “gamey” taste one may encounter upon consumption.
Proper Field Dressing is Vital to Ridding Venison of a “Gamey Taste”
Field dressing whitetail deer. As soon as you harvest the deer you need to immediately field dress the animal. The longer you wait to field dress, skin, and freeze the meat themore “gamey” it will taste.
Here is the proper procedure to field dressingHow quickly the animal is field dressed and the meat property cooled determines the quality of the meat. However, far too many whitetail deer are wasted or make poor quality eating because hunters do not follow the simple, field dressing rules of good meat handling after the kill. These directions will help put good meat on your table.
Before the hunt, check to see that you have all the equipment needed for hunting and field dressing your whitetail deer after the kill. Important items include a sharp knife for field dressing, a light rope or nylon cord for dragging, a signed hide tag with attaching cord, a cloth to clean your hands, a plastic bag for the liver and heart, and a gallon jug of water for clean-up after words.
Approach a downed whitetail deer with caution, and be sure it is dead. Assuming a well-placed shot with modern ammunition, enough blood vessels will often be severed to bleed the whitetail deer without additional sticking in the neck. Many careful hunters do bleed their whitetail deer by sticking just above the breastbone.
The signed and properly punched tag must be torn from the permit and attached to the carcass as soon as the animal has been killed.
The whitetail deer head must remain unskinned and attached to the carcass until it has been checked through an official check station and a seal affixed to the carcass.
The carcass may be skinned except for the head prior to checking.
Field dress your whitetail deer immediately.
Admittedly, the field dressing chore is not the most enjoyable part of the hunt, but the extra time spent taking care of the meat will pay dividends at the table. Field dressing takes effort, so your heavy hunting coat should be removed and your sleeves rolled up so they wont be soiled. Disposable vinyl or latex gloves lessen the chances of passing infectious diseases and make hand cleaning easier.
Blood and digestive juices from organs possibly penetrated by the shot must be removed from the body cavity quickly, and the sooner the organs, which deteriorate rapidly, are removed, the faster the meat will cool. Field dressing also eliminates dragging unnecessary weight when moving the animal.
Before starting the field-dressing process, keep in mind that it is important to keep dirt and foreign objects away from the exposed body cavity. Removing the scent glands is not considered necessary, but is done with care by many hunters. Some archery hunters save the glands for use as scent while hunting. Removing the glands carelessly can taint the meat.
Roll the whitetail deer carcass over on its back with the rump lower than the shoulders and spread the hind legs. Make a cut along the centerline of belly from breastbone to base of tail. First cut through the hide, then through belly muscle. Avoid cutting into the paunch and intestines by holding them away from the knife with the free hand while guiding the knife with the other.
Unless the whitetail deer head will be mounted, the cut should pass through the sternum and extend up the neck to the chin to allow removal of as much of the windpipe as possible. The windpipe sours rapidly and is a leading cause of tainted meat.
With a small sharp knife, cut around the anus and draw it into the body cavity, so it comes free with the complete intestines. In doing this, avoid cutting or breaking the bladder. Loosen and roll out the stomach and intestines. Save liver. Split the pelvic or "aitch" bone to hasten cooling.
Cut around the edge of the diaphragm which separates the chest and stomach cavities, and split the breastbone. Then, reach forward to cut the windpipe and gullet ahead of the lungs. This should allow you to pull the lungs and heart from the chest cavity. Save heart. Drain excess blood from the body cavity by turning the body belly down or hanging animal head down. Prop the body cavity open with a stick to allow better air circulation and faster cooling.
A clean cloth may be useful to clean your hands. If you puncture the entrails with a bullet or your knife, wipe the body cavity as clean as possible or flush with water and dry with a cloth. Don't use water to wash out the body cavity unless the paunch or intestines are badly shot up.
Part of the satisfaction of the hunt comes with making a clean kill and in doing a neat job of field dressing your whitetail deer. Veteran hunters may have variations in the steps of field dressing. The important points are to remove the internal organs immediately after the kill without contaminating the body cavity with dirt, hair, or contents of the digestive tract and to drain all excess blood from the body cavity.
All parts damaged by gunshot should be trimmed away. If the weather is warm of if the deer is to be left in the field for a day or more, it may be skinned, except for the head, and washed clean of dirt and hair. It should be placed in a shroud sack or wrapped with porous cloth to cool (cheesecloth is ideal). The cloth covering should be porous enough to allow air circulation but firmly woven enough to give good protection from insects and dirt. Lacking porous cloth, hunters often coat the inside of the body cavity with black pepper to repel insects. Adequate cooling may take six hours or more, depending on weather conditions.
Age the whitetail deer carcass in a cool, dry place. Aging of well cared for carcasses at correct temperatures yields better flavored, more tender meat. Best results are obtained in a near-constant temperature, preferably from 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Aging for one to two weeks is about right for the best quality venison, depending on the age and condition of the animal.
If the whitetail deer carcass is to be placed in freezer or locker plant storage, it may be more convenient to use the services of an experienced butcher for the cutting and wrapping. If the intent is to gain experience by doing the job yourself, cut according to the diagram shown at the bottom of the page.
The first step is to saw the carcass down the center of the backbone, dividing it into two sides. If the neck is to be used for a pot roast, it should be removed before the carcass is split. Place the sides of venison inside down on a table and cut according to the chart. Trim excess bone and gristle and further cut meat into family-size packages.
Yes! Marinating your venison is one key deer hunting tips that many deer hunters live by when it comes to cooking a tasty and delicious meal with venison. By marinating your venison you will be amazed at how tasty and tender the venison is even after you cook it. You can even add a little extra flavor by using either pork or beef fat while marinating and cooking your venison. Adding a little lemon juice helps to break down the fibers. I recommend tenderizing and marinating your venison before placing it in your vacuum sealed bag. Allow at least 24 hours for the marinade to work its way into the meat before freezing. Trust me, this is one my best deer hunting tips regarding venison preparation. I use soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a little lemon juice. Then I sprinkle Adolf’s meat tenderizer, lemon pepper and either beef or pork seasoning on top.
If you look around you will find both easy and complex recipes for making a venison marinade after defrosting your venison. Keeping it simple is the best way to go, especially if you are new to cooking venison. One great marinade that is not only super easy but also make the meat taste good is done like this. Take a small venison roast, about 2 to 3 pounds will do depending on how many people you are having over for the meal. Put the roast in a plastic bag, depending on the size you can go from a large freezer size ziplock to a big trash bag. Put in one 12 ounce can of your choice of beer per 3 pounds of meat. Then add one regular cup of vinegar per 3 pounds of meat and one can of coke per three pounds of meat. Then add a half cup of the steak sauce of your choice for every three pounds of meat. Then place your venison roast into the refrigerator over night so it has time to marinade and absorb all of the flavors in the bag.
Another great marinade to use for your venison roast is good old ginger ale. This is a marinade that not only works great on ham but also on venison. Before you pour the ginger ale over the roast make sure to cut and trim all of the fat off the roast. Let your roast sit in the refrigerator over night and then cook it in the broiler at about 175 degrees and your roast will come out looking, tasting and smelling amazing…all from a little ginger ale. But you are not done cooling it yet. Keep reading for more deer hunting tips when it comes to ways to make your venison roast amazing!
My Favorite Venison Recipes
Cut meat 1/4' thick and 3/4' wide.
3# Lean Venison (No Fat!)
1 T Salt
1 T Insta Cure or a cure of your choice
1 T Onion powder
1 T Garlic powder
1 T black Pepper
1/4 cup of Soy or Teriyaki Sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
Marinate with all Ingredients for 24 hours. Covered.
Dry in Smoker or oven about 10 hours at 100 Deg. F. on Racks sprayed with Pam (or similar) to prevent sticking.
Dry meat longer if you want it real hard.
Pack in Jars with perforated lids to prevent molding.
NOTE: To prevent meat from falling thru oven racks cut hardware cloth (metal 1/4" mesh) and place on top of oven racks.
Venison Steaks Basic Recipes
Thaw in original, unopened plastic packaging. When ready to cook, remove plastic, rinse venison quickly under cool water, and pat dry with a paper towel. If desired, cut Round Steak into 3.5-4 ounce serving portions.
In skillet put 1-2 Tablespoons of virgin olive oil. Get pan very hot over high flame. Fry steak 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes per side, turning only once. Serve hot and juicy. Steak will have pink to barely pink center. Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Season steak in pan with sausage seasoning on each side. Steak will taste similar to a pork chop and is super in a biscuit sandwich, with eggs, with candied yam, with a baked sweet potato, with applesauce, or with long grain and wild rice.
2. As virgin olive oil heats for basic recipe, toss in a pinch of rosemary. In a short time, the olive oil will absorb the rosemary oil and flavor. Remove rosemary and fry steaks as in basic recipe.
3. Serve hot steaks with a pat of garlic butter on top, or butter seasoned with favorite herbs. Or put a dollop of warm sour cream and fresh chopped chives. Or even a dollop of warm Red Current Jelly on top, or on the side.
4. Marinate steaks for 30 minutes in Worcestershire Sauce with a splash of Liquid Smoke. Salt and pepper. Fry as in Basic Recipe or fry in butter. Add onions and green peppers for stir fry, if desired.
Grill Recipe 1
Season with garlic salt and black pepper. Grill over mature coals, turning and basting with butter every minute till you achieve desired doneness. Ballpark would be five to six minutes, depends on fire, distance of meat from fire, etc.
Grill Recipe 2
Coarse, Ground Black Pepper
Green Onion Tops or Dried Chives
Worcestershire Sauce to cover
1 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice-more for a stronger lemon flavor
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 Diced Jalapeno Peppers
Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours to absorb flavor. The longer the time, the stronger the flavor. Remove Venison World® Steaks from Marinade. Apply sauce to marinated steaks before grilling on low coals till centers are hot and pink to taste. Baste with sauce during grilling and after removing from fire.
Marinated Roast Venison
Yield: 1 servings
1 Haunch of venison
1 Bottle port wine
1 lg Jar crabapple jelly
coarse ground black pepper
salt; to taste
Hang venison for 6 to 7 days or refrigerate for 10 days. Cook as for rare roast beef. Season with salt and pepper. Baste while cooking with sauce made of wine and melted jelly. Serve with wine sauce over venison.
Crock Pot Venison BBQ
Yield: 7 servings
3 lb Venison stew meat
1 c Onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 c Red wine vinegar
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
2 ts Lawrey's Natural Choice
Seasoning for meat
2 ts Seasoned salt
1 lb Seasoned bacon
2 c Catsup
1/2 c Molasses
1/2 c Brown sugar
Place venison, onion, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning in crock pot. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours until meat is cooked. Cook bacon and crumble or chop. Add bacon, catsup, molasses and brown sugar. Turn crock pot on low and heat for the rest of the day. Serve over rice potatoes or toast.
Yield: 12 servings
2 lb Venison; cubed
1 c Onion; diced
12 Potatoes; diced
6 Carrots; diced
1 pk Mixed Veggies; frozen
1 c Celery; diced
1/4 c Barley
8 c Water
1 ts Seasoning salt
1 Garlic clove; minced
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
2 tb Parsley, dry
1 tb Beef Soup Base
1 pk Gravy Mix
1 Bay leaf
Sear venison until brown on all sides. Add water. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, and all other ingredients except frozen veggies. Cook on medium until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked through. Add frozen veggies and cook until hot. Remove bay leaf. Serve with hard rolls. May need to add additional broth.
Yield: 24 servings
5 lb Cubed venison
1 lb Cubed suet
3 tb Salt
1 tb Black pepper
1 ts Red or cayenne pepper
1 ts Paprika
1 ts Sage
2 ts Garlic powder
after grinding & mixing the venison & suet with the seasonings, fry a small patty to check for taste. If it's too mild, add small amount of red pepper until proper taste is reached; if it's too hot, add more venison. Stuff in casings & smoke 28 to 30 hours.
BBQ Venison Chops
Yield: 4 servings
20 Venison chops
1 lg Onion, chopped
4 Pats of butter
2 oz Garlic
Place aluminum foil on hot grill with sides folded up, so there is no runoff of juices. Place chops on foil. Add beer, chopped onion and butter. Sprinkle garlic salt on chops each time you turn them. When chops are done, remove foil from grill. Place chops back on grill and sprinkle with garlic salt each time you turn them until charcoal black.
• 4 strips bacon, diced
• 2 1/2 pounds leg or shoulder of venison, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
• 2 garlic cloves crushed
• 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
• 1 cup beef stock
• Salt and pepper
• 1 cup grated Sonoma Jack cheese
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to paper-lined plate to drain. Add the venison to the hot oil in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally and in batches if necessary, until well seared. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic and saute over medium-low heat until tender. Stir in the wine and the tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the dry spices, chopped tomatoes and the beef stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce is very thick and flavorful. Add the venison to the pot and cook, stirring, until just cooked through and hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve with the grated cheese.
• 1 1/2 lbs lean ground venison (preferably from a doe)
• 1/2 cup egg substitute
• 3 tablespoons non-fat powdered milk
• 3 tablespoons water
• 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumb
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
In bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Add venison and mix well.
Add liquid ingredients and mix well with a fork, until bread crumbs are barely noticeable.
On plastic wrap, form into 8 (4 ounce) patties, making them round and very flat-- like a fast-food burger.
They can be cooked immediately, but I prefer to freeze them first.
Place them on a large cookie sheet and freeze them several hours.
Remove from freezer and place waxed paper between each burger as you stack them.
I stack them in 2 1-quart freezer zip-lock bags.
Preheat cast iron skillet to very hot.
Cook frozen burgers until they are slightly charred on one side (about 3-4 minutes) and then turn and cook until the other side is slightly charred and burgers are medium-well.
Do not overcook.
Turn burner off and leave burgers in the pan while you put condiments on your hamburger bun.
If cooking thawed burgers, cook about 2-3 minutes per side.