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Venison Recipes

roast venison recipe

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Venison may or may not be the most popular game meat, but it is definitely the most abused. I can’t tell you how many people I have served venison to who have had to overcome some prior bad experience with it. “Ew, it’s so tough. It tastes like liver.” Yes, if you overcook it and handle the meat poorly when you kill the animal it will be poor fare at the table. Another secret is to avoid trophy hunters: They tend to kill big, testosterone-soaked bucks shot during the rut, which can be iffy as table fare. Go for a young buck or better yet, a doe.

Nevertheless, any deer, elk, caribou, etc. can be made into great table fare, if you know what to do with it. Below are some recipes, grouped by style of cooking or cut of meat. I have found that while the taste of elk or moose or whitetail deer or mule deer may differ slightly, the cooking methods and recipes are all interchangeable.

Basics

Photo by Hank Shaw

Demystifying Deer Fat

Not all venison fat is bad. Here’s some of the science behind what’s in venison fat and why it behaves the way it does, so you can make your own decision about whether to trim or keep it.

Recipes by Cut of Meat

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Medallions, Backstraps, Tenderloins

Recipes for the tenderest part of the deer.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Sausages, Burgers and Meatballs

What to do with all that venison “burger” the butcher gave you.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Large Roasts

These are usually from the back legs, and are good for long, slow cooking to make sure they’re tender.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Soups, Stews and Stock

Pretty self-explanatory, these are my wintertime dishes.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Flanks and Shanks

This is the venison equivalent of beef shanks, flank steak and skirt steak.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

The Wobbly Bits – Heart, Liver, Kidneys, Tongue

Offal. Innards. Variety Meats. In some cases, these are the best parts of the animal. Here’s how to cook them properly.

More Wild Game Recipes