Editor’s Note: If you’ve already got venison in your freezer left from last year, start thinking now about thawing it to prepare. And, if you take a deer this season, don’t miss out on some of the most-delicious meals ever. Researchers have proved that venison, a heart-friendly meat, contains fewer calories than the same size serving of chicken or turkey and one-half the calories of ham or ground chuck. Venison also has more protein than freshwater or saltwater fish and one-tenth as many fat grams as ground chuck. A rich source of trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and iron, venison has a cholesterol content comparable to chicken and turkey. Through the past 50+ years, our family has eaten venison and found the best recipes. Many restaurants and exclusive clubs nationwide feature farm-raised venison on their menus.
How to Prepare Ground Venison:
The deer’s shoulders and neck contain delicious meat that can be ground-up.
1) Mix cooled deer meat (partially frozen works well) with beef trimmings available at the butcher’s, and grind together in the following proportions:
- 50 pounds of venison – cut into pieces;
- 40 pounds of beef trimmings;
- 10 pounds of pork trimmings;
2) Grind the mixture at least twice for a finer texture. Be sure to mix the ground meat and trimmings thoroughly with your hands.
3) Treat this ground meat in the same way you do ground beef. Substitute this ground venison in any of your recipes calling for ground beef.
How to Prepare Ground Venison Sausage (not in casings):
1) Mix cooled or partially-frozen deer meat with trimmings available at the butcher’s, and grind together in the following proportions:
- 50 pounds of venison – cut into pieces;
- 40 pounds of pork trimmings;
- 10 pounds of beef trimmings;
2) Grind the mixture at least twice for a finer texture. Be certain to mix the ground meat and trimmings thoroughly with your hands.
3) Add a mixture of sausage-seasoning mix to the ground mixture, being sure to mix well. Read the package for instructions, as the amount you add depends on your personal taste. You can substitute this venison sausage in any recipes made with sausage, or use as a breakfast food.
Foolproof Venison Gravy
Use this recipe for venison gravy that never fails.
Drippings from cooking venison steaks or a roast
1/2- to 1 cup beef broth
1/4-cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2-cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/4-teaspoon white pepper
Pour drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup. Skim and discard fat. Add enough broth to the drippings to measure 2-cups; transfer to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. Gradually stir into the drippings mixture. Stir in the bouillon granules, salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil; cook, and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Italian Venison Pie
These pies actually taste better if you cook them and then heat them up later to eat. Often we’ll make four to six of these pies at a time and freeze some of them.
1 pound ground venison
1/3-cup green pepper, chopped
1/2-cup onion, chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1-1/2-ounce package dry spaghetti sauce mix
1/3-cup Parmesan cheese
1-1/2-cups mozzarella cheese
1 deep-dish pie crust or 2 smaller pie crusts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown the venison in large skillet and drain. Add green pepper and onion, and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste and dry spaghetti sauce mix. Pierce the pie shell with a fork in several places. Sprinkle half of Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the pie shell, and spread half of the meat mixture over the cheese. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over meat. Add rest of meat, and sprinkle rest of Parmesan cheese on top. Bake on cookie sheet 15 minutes, or until crust browns. Put remainder of mozzarella cheese on top, and return to the oven until the cheese melts. Makes 1 pie. Freezes well.
Jenna’s Venison Tips
Our daughter’s roommate from college, Jenna, gave us this recipe, and we’ve enjoyed its ease of preparation and tasty flavor through the years. This recipe doubles and triples well.
1 can mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 chopped bell pepper
1 chopped onion
2 pounds of venison stew meat cut into 1-inch pieces, with all the membranes cut off that has been soaked overnight in salty water and rinsed thoroughly
1 can beef broth
1/2-cup ginger ale
Combine all ingredients, and place in a crockpot. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low heat for 4-5 hours. Check the venison to be sure it’s done. You may have to cook it in the crockpot for another hour. If the broth’s too thin, mix in a tablespoon of cornstarch. Serve over noodles or rice.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” http://amzn.to/11dJRu8 and “13 Stew Recipes You Can’t Live Without,” available in Kindle at http://amzn.to/10Zoqgx. You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can listen to 10% for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book. To see more of John’s deer books, visit: http://www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
Tomorrow: Seasonings, Jerky, Dehydrators, Vacuum Sealers & Recipes