A rich red meat that derives its deep, earthy flavour from the leaves, twigs, fruits and other foliage that deer feed on, venison works well as an alternative to beef in a wide range of dishes. It’s also a leaner option, so it’s great if you want to cut down on your fat intake. Venison pairs well with big flavours, from fruits to spices. Besides being lower in fat than beef, venison is high in protein, low in sodium and rich in minerals including zinc, iron, phosphorus and potassium, as well as vitamins B6, B12, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine.
Ways to enjoy venison
This is a great way to cook venison steaks. Remove the steaks half an hour before cooking so they approach room temperature. Heat oil and butter in a frying or sauté pan and cook the steaks for 2 minutes each side on a high heat, then turn the heat down low and cook, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature of each steak is 57°C/135°F – it should still be pink in the middle. This will take about 6-8 minutes for large steaks, less for tenderloin. Remove, set aside and rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Our diced venison is beautiful slow cooked. Brown in a Dutch oven or similar oven-proof pan, add your other ingredients such as onions, garlic, herbs, wine or beer, stock and/or tomatoes, bring to the boil then put the lid on and place in a low oven (gas mark 2, 150C/130 fan/300F) for 2 hours until tender.
Marinade if desired and cook as you would a beef steak. Marinating:
This is a great way to tenderise and flavour venison prior to cooking. A basic marinade can be made with 1 part vinegar, lemon juice or wine to 3 parts olive oil, some crushed garlic and herbs/spices of your choice. Add to the venison and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes to several hours before cooking.