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Try these venison recipes

BY CAROLYN BIVINS

 

It is officially that time of year where many of your friends and loved ones go missing for several hours at a time. There is nothing wrong; they are just sitting in the woods waiting to bring home the best buck (venison) of the year.

      Venison is known to have more protein than any other red meat, which means that it satisfies the appetite really well. Three ounces of lean beef contain, 247 calories and 15 grams of total fat. Three ounces of venison contain 134 calories and only 3 grams of total fat.   It is rich in iron, which helps to prevent anemia and is good for energy levels. It’s also packed full of B vitamins too.  Most importantly, venison contains about one sixth the amount of saturated fat that beef does.  This leaner meat is better for you than meats with large amounts of fat.

Many of you will be looking for unique and different ways to cook this sudden supply of venison. These recipes are sure to provide tasty options for your family. Enjoy! Source: ACES’ Cooking Alabama’s Wild Game Cookbook (available at the Escambia County Extension Office – a great Christmas gift for the hunter in your family).

Deluxe Venison Stew

Ingredients

2 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes

1 clove garlic

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

4 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 large onion, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon paprika

Allspice, to taste

6 carrots, sliced

12 small white onions

3 potatoes cut into large cubes

Directions

Sauté the meant on all sides in hot oil until brown. Add remaining ingredients except vegetables. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves and garlic. Add carrots, onions and potatoes. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until vegetables are done. Thicken the liquid for gravy. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Venison Swiss Steak

Ingredients

½ cup flour

2 pounds venison steak

Bacon drippings

1 package dry onion soup mix

2 cups canned tomatoes

2 bay leaves

¼ cup chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

1 small jar mushrooms, drained   

Directions

Pound flour into meat. Cut meat into strips 1 inch thick. Brown meat quickly in a small amount of bacon drippings. Drain of excess fat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer slowly for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Salt and pepper are not needed because the onion soup has enough.

 

Venison Meatballs

Ingredients

3 slices soft bread

¼ cup water

1 ½ pounds ground venison

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup butter

1 tablespoon flour

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ to 1 cup milk

Directions

Soak bread in water for 5 minutes. Break into small pieces, pressing out as much water as possible. Combine bread, ground venison, salt, pepper and onion. Blend lightly but thoroughly. Shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes. Brown on all sides in butter, turning frequently. Cover pan and turn heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove meatballs to another pan and keep them hot. Add flour, salt and pepper to pan drippings and stir well. Add milk, stirring constantly until thickened; then simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Serve gravy hot over meatballs.

All of these recipes and many more can be found in Cooking Alabama’s Wild Game, a publication of Alabama Extension.  

 

Wild or farmed, venison is always a first-rate meat choice. Free-range and pasture-fed, it has a slightly finer grain than beef. If you have only ever tasted venison in the customary red wine marinade stew, you might have found it too robust – but don’t be put off. A well-butchered cut of fresh venison shouldn’t be tough or aggressively gamey; in fact, it’s often easy to confuse it with beef. Now is a great time to buy wild venison; the deer are in top form after a summer of abundant feeding. Farmed venison is a less variable, more consistent meat in terms of eating quality, making it a sound year-round choice. Venison is very lean, so either cook it fast and high, or add extra fat (belly pork, bacon, butter, duck fat) to keep it moist.

Why is venison good for me?
It has more protein than any other red meat, which means that it satisfies the appetite really well. It is also particularly rich in iron (more so than beef), which prevents anemia and is good for energy levels. It’s full of B vitamins: B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), which help regulate metabolism; and vitamin B6 and B12, which may lower homocysteine build-up in the blood, thus lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to all the wild and pasture food that deer eat, the small amount of fat in venison is likely to contain high levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which is thought to protect against heart disease and cancer.