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Have you ever tried venison?

September 26, 2018

Global Reactions from Macau/Wikimedia Commons.
A pot of homemade venison chili, with or without beans, and a stack of tortillas make for a fine meal this fall.

Having grown up in a family of hunters, venison meat, to me, was common in our cooking. Nowadays, many meat markets sell farm-raised venison, which may suit most palates better than meat from wild deer (apologies to those who do not eat meat).


Venison is a lot leaner than beef, so you want to keep that in mind when cooking it. Nobody likes dry meat, except for jerky, that is. My dad and grandfather used to make a lot of that and it was a delicious treat. There never seemed to be enough, as everyone loved it so much.


I went through my files to locate these venison recipes and if you find yourself wondering what to do with the venison you were given or from family hunting trips, I hope something here looks good to you.

Venison stew


Canned tomatoes make a nice addition to this recipe, if you like them.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


2 pounds venison, cubed in medium-large chunks


3 large onions, coarsely chopped


2 garlic cloves, crushed


1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


1 bay leaf


1 teaspoon dried oregano


1 tablespoon salt (you can cut this to your taste)


1 teaspoon pepper


7 potatoes, peeled and quartered


1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces


1/4 cup flour


1/4 cup cold water


Bottled browning sauce such as Kitchen Bouquet, optional

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil. Brown meat. Add onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes and carrots. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.


2. Mix flour and water; stir into stew. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. For additional color, add browning sauce to gravy, if desired. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve in bowls.

Venison chili


This is an easy recipe, but if you already have a favorite chili recipe, just use venison or elk in place of beef. Also, add desired amount of prepared chili powder if you wish. Oh, and some cooked bacon would be good.

1 pound boneless venison steak, cubed in small chunks


1/2 cup chopped onion


1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1 can (15-oz.) chili, with or without beans


1/2 cup water


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1. In a large saucepan, cook venison and onion in oil until meat is browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.


2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.

Cat’s easy burritos


My brother-in-law used to share some of the deer meat he hunted for, and I would repay him with burritos, which he loved. This is so simple it barely qualifies as a recipe.


All you do is cut up some venison into chunks that will fit into a pressure cooker. Throw some onion slices into the pot, tucking them in between pieces of meat. Add a bit of salt and pepper and maybe a bit of granulated garlic if you like.


Cook the meat until it is falling-apart tender. Pull the meat apart with two forks, then mix it with enough of your favorite salsa to make it nice and moist. Roll into large tortillas and serve warm.


See how easy it is?

Country-fried venison


1 1/2 pounds (3/4-inch thick) venison


1 cup flour


Salt and pepper


1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt


1/4 cup bacon drippings


2 cloves garlic, minced


3 to 4 cups water


1/3 cup flour


1 1/2 teaspoons bottled browning sauce


1 medium onion, thinly sliced


1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced


Hot cooked rice

1. Prepare venison by trimming all fat and removing connective tissues. Cut meat into serving-size pieces, and pound each piece to 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness. Combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and seasoned salt; dredge the venison in flour mixture.


2. Heat 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in a large, heavy skillet; add garlic, and saute until golden, being very careful not to let it burn. Remove garlic and set aside. Add remaining bacon drippings to skillet; cook venison until it is lightly browned on both sides. Remove from skillet, and set aside.


3. Gradually stir about 1/2 cup water into 1/3 cup flour; mix until smooth, and add the remaining water. Stir flour mixture into pan drippings; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in browning sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.


4. Return venison and garlic to skillet; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add onion; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add mushrooms; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Venison stuffed baked potato


Increase recipe for as many servings as you wish.

1 large baking potato


1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced


1 cup sliced green peppers


1 cup sliced onions


6 ounces grilled or sauteed venison loin (backstrap)


1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and bake potato until soft. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms, green peppers and onions. Add grilled or sauteed venison to vegetables and combine.


2. When potato is done, cut a slit through the skin lengthwise and break open. Scoop out some of the middle with a spoon.


3. Stuff the cavity with venison and vegetable mixture. Top with cheese, sprinkle with salt, pepper and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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