Deer season ended in early January, and thanks to the hunting skills of my good looking husband, Kurt, we’ve got a freezer full of venison: ground and stew meat, cubed steak and sausage. I’ve only recently begun cooking with venison, and up until about two years ago, I hadn’t eaten much of it in my lifetime. When Kurt got his first deer around Thanksgiving in 2016, I suddenly found myself with 40 pounds of Middle Georgia doe, and it was time to learn how to cook it. Good thing I did, because this season brought two more deer: a 6-point buck on Veteran’s Day and another doe on the last weekend of hunting season. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I’d heard folks say it tasted “gamey,” and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Well, I’m here to tell you: When a deer is handled properly, there is nothing gamey about the taste.
Good tasting deer meat has to do with several factors. One of the most primary being, you must let it bleed out for a couple of days before taking it to the processor. Good venison needs to age. After the deer has been cleaned and skinned, place a layer of ice on the bottom of your cooler, then place the meat on top of that and top it with more ice. Place the cooler outdoors in a shady spot, pointed downhill with the drain plug open. This purges the blood from the meat and keeps it cool.
Cooking with ground venison is much like cooking with ground beef. It can be substituted for most any ground beef recipe. The same goes for the other cuts of meat. If you know how to make country fried steak, you can just as easily make country fried venison. If you know how to make beef stew, you can just as easily make venison stew. You get the idea. When it comes to grilling steaks or the backstrap portion of a deer, do not overcook it. Deer is most flavorful and juicy when cooked medium rare.
The other day on my Instagram account, @SKGFoodBlog, I posted a mouthwatering photo of my garlic and herb venison penne pasta with homemade tomato sauce. I had prepared the dish in my cast iron skillet. The first comment I received was from a Statesboro local who said, “That looks amazing and I am always looking for recipes that use venison!” With another deer season behind us, I figured there were a few more of you who might like some deer dinner ideas. Try making these dishes at home, and for more inspiration in the kitchen, follow Somekindagood.com.
- Venison Rigatoni
- Venison Stew
- Country Fried Venison
- Grilled Venison Back Strap
- Venison Vegetable Lasagna
- Venison chili
Do you have questions on how to cook a certain dish or what to serve with a main course? Follow me at Facebook.com/SomeKindaGood or tweet your questions to @SKGFoodBlog. I’d love to help solve your kitchen dilemmas!
This article originally appeared in the Statesboro Herald on January 28, 2018.
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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” she is the Statesboro Herald food columnist and host of SKG-TV on YouTube. A public relations graduate of Georgia Southern University, Rebekah also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk.