Poor venison, it seems to always get a bad rap for its “gamey” flavor, for being over cooked, or for its use in a boring recipe. Well folks, it’s about time someone showed you that there is more to venison that just grilling the backstrap or making a popper. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you just need that bacon-wrapped venison popper. But there are many outstanding ways you can prepare venison. It’s time for some unique venison recipes!
Venison is much leaner than farm-raised beef, so you have to make sure you do not overcook it, no matter what dish you are making, and you have to remember to match the cooking method to the right cut. For example, a venison backstrap holds up well to high heat but doesn’t have enough fat to make great grind (unless you add fat to the grind).
It is also helpful to remember that venison is not like beef. Deer have much less fat marbling in their muscles than farm-raised cattle. So, adding fats like bacon or butter to your recipes will help. Also remember that dry rubs and marinades are venison’s best friends. Most dry rubs contain salt, which help to break down the enzymes in the meat and make it more tender.
Knowing these simple things will vastly expand your venison recipe répertoire! For instance, have you ever traveled somewhere and remembered an amazing dish you had? When I travel, I can remember every amazing dish I ate—food is always the priority! I use my travels to inspire my venison recipes in the kitchen. From Venison Tikka Masala to Moroccan Venison Meatballs, knowing that you just have to adjust some fats or marinades, you can use venison in a variety of not only exotic dishes, but everyday comfort foods as well.
With the holidays in full swing it’s the perfect time to rethink those holidays dishes by swapping out the beef and bringing in the venison! Trust me, these unique venison recipes are worth it!
Check out more recipes and Chef Bri’s cookbook here!
Venison Kefta Meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 20 minutes
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, minced
- 2 tTbsp. fresh garlic, minced
- 11/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 11/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. sumac
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 yellow onion, small chopped
- 2 lbs. ground venison
- 1 cup full-fat Greek Yogurt
- Preheat your oven to 425°.
- Add parsley, mint, garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, sumac, allspice, cayenne, and ginger to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add raisins, pine nuts, chopped onion, and ground venison. Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything together so that the spices and onions are evenly distributed throughout the ground meat.
- Use a two-ounce scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the meat mixture, roll the serving into a ball, then place on a sheet tray. Repeat the process with the remaining ground meat mixture.
- Bake meatballs in the oven for about 15-18 minutes.
- Serve meatballs on top of the Greek yogurt, and sprinkle with sumac or za’atar.
Venison Bolognese Pizza with Crème Fraiche
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2/3 cup celery, chopped
- 2/3 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 lb. ground venison
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, ground
- 1 cup red wine
- 11/2 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped with juices
- 1 package of pre-made raw pizza dough
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- Fresh Basil
- Chili Oil
- In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add oil, butter, and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Then add celery and carrots, cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add ground venison, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat in cooked through.
- Add milk, nutmeg, and wine to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes.
- Let the sauce simmer on low uncovered for about one hour.
- Preheat an oven to 400°.
- Take a large cast-iron skillet, use a pastry brush to brush 3 tablespoons olive oil all around the inside of the pan, add the pizza dough to the pan making sure that there is about 1/2 inch of the dough going up the sides around the pan. Then add about 11/2 cups of the Bolognese sauce to the top of the pizza dough. Dollop creme fraiche on top of the sauce. Sprinkle fresh basil leaves on top.
- Bake pizza for about 18-20 minutes.
- While pizza is hot, drizzle with chili oil to your liking, then serve.
Venison Korean Bibimbap
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb. ground Venison
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 inch Ginger knob, chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
In a cast-iron pan heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add ground venison and cook till almost done. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook. Once garlic is cooked, add soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook venison until the soy sauce has almost disappeared and a pan sauce has now formed. Set aside.
- 2 Tbsp. Gochujang
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- 2 cups white rice, cooked
- 1 cup spinach, cooked
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1/2 cup Shitake mushrooms, sautéed
- 1/2 cup snow peas, sautéed
- 2 scallions, sliced on the bias
- 1 egg yolk, per serving
Putting it together:
If you have true Bibimbap bowls, preheat them in an oven at 425° for about 30 minutes. Once they are done, carefully add a serving of white rice to the bowl. (If you don’t have Bibimbap Bowls, you can use regular bowls as well.) Then place all the ingredients in their own spot on top of the rice. Top with the raw egg yolk and finish with the Gochujang sauce and more sesame seeds!
Venison Burger with Red Wine Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese Sauce and Shaved Brussel Sprouts
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 20
- 2 lbs. venison, cubed
- 1/4 cup diced pancetta
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 3 red onions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup of red wine of choice (I prefer a Cabernet for this dish)
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 cups brussels sprouts, shaved or sliced really thin
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 oz. of crumbled blue cheese, divided
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 Hamburger buns of choice, brioche buns preferred
- Using a meat grinder, run the venison meat and pancetta through the meat grinder two times with a small die. Once the meat is ground, divide the meat into 4- to 8-ounce balls. Then gently press them into a patty, about a ½-inch thick.
- After the meat is ground, make the red wine onions. Using a large skillet, add sliced onions and unsalted butter to the pan set over medium-high heat. Gently stir the onions every so often. Once the onions are slightly golden in color, add the red wine and cinnamon. Cook the onions until the red wine has completely dissolved and the onions are fully cooked.
- While the onions are cooking, prepare the brussels sprout slaw. In a large bowl add the shaved brussels sprouts and balsamic vinegar. Toss well to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a sauce pot set over medium heat, add buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and half of the blue cheese crumbles. Whisk everything to combine. Once the blue cheese crumbles have melted into the sauce, remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining crumbled blue cheese to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To cook the venison patties, using a large cast-iron skillet, add about 3 tablespoons of avocado oil or vegetable oil to the pan. Set the pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the patties to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip the patties and cook for another 3 minutes or until cooked through.
- To assemble the burger, take a bottom piece of the bun, place a venison patty on top. Then top the patty with the shaved brussels sprouts, red wine onions and blue cheese sauce. Enjoy!