What recipes should I use on these cuts of venison?
December 29, 2017 5:05 PM   Subscribe

What does Metafilter suggest we do with this deer meat?

My husband's family generously gifted us the following cuts (this is what the packages are labeled; I am not sure whether these are commonly understood terms):

- Backstrap (1.25 lbs)
- Steak (3 lbs)
- Roast (1.25 lbs)

What does Metafilter suggest?

I am an intermediate-to-advanced home cook with plenty of equipment, including a gas range, meat thermometer, and slow cooker. I am experienced with beef, pork, and chicken, but have not done a lot of game meat. I did roast a leg of lamb once and hated it, although I am fine with chunks of lamb in curry and other strongly flavored boneless preparations.

His aunt did recommend soaking/rinsing the meat before cooking it, to mitigate the gaminess, so any additional general tips for venison would also be helpful.
posted by slenderloris to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Gaminess will depend a lot on what the deer was eating - mast (acorns) = more gamey, grass less so. Soaking overnight in milk will help. The backstrap is the filet minon of cuts - cutting into medallions and breading and cooking like chicken fied steak is hard to beat. Would cook the roast as with beef, but realize venison is much leaner and will tend to toughen/ dry out easily. Adding some beef or pork fat & slow cooking will help.
posted by Pressed Rat at 5:28 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hunter Gardener Angler Cook's collection of venison recipes. Mmmm, venison souvlaki.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:41 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

If the venison isn't strong-smelling, it's not likely to be gamey. If it actually is gamey, you want something highly spiced and fragrant, like a curry. Otherwise, herbs and juniper berries are venison's buddies. The roast'd be good slow-cooked, and I'd pound and chicken-fry the steak unless it's a really tender cut. The backstrap you definitely want to medallion and cook rarer than medium if you're into rareness.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:58 PM on December 29, 2017

I've had great venison sausage before but have never made it. Might be worth looking into...
posted by exogenous at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2017

Response by poster: I am into rareness :) It sounds like anything I would do with a beef filet I can do with the backstrap. Fantastic! Maybe a bacon-wrapped stuffed?

The meat is frozen at the moment, so I'm not sure if it has a gamey smell or not. I do have a meat grinder, with a sausage attachment that I've never used, so sausage is an intriguing idea. I do have some rendered bacon fat and beef trimmings on hand to add fat to any recipe.
posted by slenderloris at 6:20 PM on December 29, 2017

I like marinading venison in Italian dressing to both tenderize and flavor it - that might be good for the roast.

If the steaks don't smell gamey when you defrost them, I'd leave them plain and let the flavor of the meat be the dominant flavor. It's kind of like buffalo, in that it's less fatty than beef, so add extra butter.
posted by Candleman at 6:28 PM on December 29, 2017

They must really like y'all if they gave you that backstrap! A nice thick fillet wrapped in bacon is my favorite use. The roast would be great braised in red wine and beef stock with hearty root veggies/mushrooms and thyme.
posted by nenequesadilla at 6:41 PM on December 29, 2017

Cook it very rare or for a long time.

For the steak and backstrap you can brine it and then use a dry rub and grill it for a short time on each side. Or you could skip the brine and just use a dry rub and grill lightly. Depending on how thick the roast you can do the same method or roast it long and low temp in the oven.
posted by sulaine at 6:47 PM on December 29, 2017

My favorite for backstrap is to slice into medallions and pan-sear in olive oil. Just approx. 3 minutes per side; do not overcook or it's ruined. Let them rest a few minutes before serving. Hubby likes them just like that, with a little salt or Worcestershire. I prefer a sauce; while they're resting use the same pan and saute some onions or scallions in butter, add dried cranberries that have been soaked in wine and reduce to make a sauce. Or saute mushrooms in butter then add beef broth and reduce.

I would probably do the steaks the same way but they probably won't be as tender, so maybe lightly pounded and then dip in flour, then egg, then crumbs and pan fry.

Can't help you with the roast.
posted by evilmomlady at 6:49 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Venison jerky is fantastic, especially with tougher or gamier cuts.
posted by signalnine at 7:18 PM on December 29, 2017

I grew up on venison. Chicken fried backstrap was the best treat.
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:24 PM on December 29, 2017

Soak in cold salt water overnight to remove gaminess (this can be part of the thawing process). The back strap is the same cut as prime rib (without the ribs), so don't cook it well done. Cover with bacon (no fat on venison) and cook like a prime rib (medium rare), or slice into thick steaks.
The roast is probably from a leg, unless its a yearling it may be tough; cube it and make chili, or slice it paper thin (you can do this if it is partially frozen) and make cheese steaks.
posted by 445supermag at 10:15 PM on December 29, 2017

Or, go with the gaminess? Personally, I prefer venison that's a bit more gamey.

With the roast, see if you can get some caul fat from your friendly local butcher. Venison can be quite dry if you're not careful due to it's low fat content, so wrapping the roast in a few sheets of caul will help keep it moist.
posted by fatfrank at 3:08 AM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tacos. Yum.
posted by Nolechick11 at 2:54 PM on December 30, 2017

Pace other commenters, I find chicken frying to be a waste of a good backstrap. We do a marinade of fajita seasoning, dark soy sauce, and jalapeno juice and cook it on the grill. It doesn't come out spicy, just delicious.

For the non-backstrap cuts, I recommend chili!
posted by 8603 at 4:52 PM on December 31, 2017

Response by poster: We made Vietnamese Steak au Poivre with the backstrap, Asian Beef Stew with the roast, and bhuna gosht with the steaks (this one from a dead-tree cookbook, so not the same recipe).

All highly recommended! No problems with gaminess at all, even though I did not bother soaking or even rinsing the meat. Maybe the highly spiced recipes hid it, or maybe I just don't dislike that flavor as much as I thought. Either way, a total success!
posted by slenderloris at 4:17 PM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

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