It’s almost that time of year! The air will start getting cooler, leaves will change color, and you will be pulling out your blaze orange gear to get ready for another successful hunting season. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran, or if this is your first time venturing out into the woods, you’re already anticipating that first kill. Once you’ve bagged your trophy, dressed and prepared your deer and filled your freezer with different cuts of tasty venison, it’s time to enjoy the fruits, or meats, of your labor.
We’ve collected some of the best tried and true venison recipes from seasoned hunters-turned-chefs, and compiled them for your taste buds’ enjoyment. From stews and burgers to sloppy joes and salads, enjoy the variety of flavors that venison has to offer and keep your family eating well with these delicious recipes.
Before you get started, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to properly prepare your venison. Depending on what you’re making, you might need a meat grinder, meat cuber, dehydrator, or sausage stuffer. Once all of the necessary equipment is set up and you have all of the correct ingredients, you’re ready to start cooking!
South of the Border Sloppy Joes
From: Scott Leysath at The Sporting Chef
A twist on a classic meal, this recipe combines messy, delicious sloppy joes with spicy taco flavors.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 pound ground of finely diced game meat (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2/3 cup tomato salsa
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- warm corn or flour tortillas
- chopped red onion
- shredded cheese
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, peppers and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add cubed meat to pan. Once browned, stir in garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salsa, lime juice, brown sugar and tequila. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon meat onto tortillas, top with onion and cheese.
Grilled Venison Thai Noodle Salad
From: Scott Leysath at The Sporting Chef
Give your venison dish an Asian flare and pull the grill out of hibernation for this refreshing noodle salad.
- 1 1/2 pounds venison loin, tenderloin, or trimmed hindquarter
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- tomato wedges
- pinch or two Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Marinade and Dressing
- 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 1/2 cloves garlic
- 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- cooked noodles
- Combine dressing/marinade ingredients and mix well. Divide mixture in half.
- Place venison in a glass or plastic container or zipper-lock plastic bag. Pour one-half of reserved marinade mixture over. Toss to coat and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.
- Remove venison from marinade, place on a hot grill or skillet (or in a 250 degree smoker) and cook until the internal temperature is 135 – 140 degrees. Allow venison to cool and slice across the grain into thin strips.
- In a large bowl, toss together sliced venison, cucumber, onion, tomato wedges, salt, pepper and all but a couple of tablespoons of the reserved marinade. Toss remaining marinade with the noodles. Mound noodles on plates and spoon salad mixture over.
Venison Stew with Dumplings
From: Rick and Jen at Food for Hunters
Perfect for cold winter evenings, this hearty venison stew is easy to make and will satisfy everyone at your dinner table. Serve it with some warm, crusty bread and a fresh salad.
- 1 1/2 pounds venison roast, cut into large cubes
- 2 sweet onions, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 large russet potato, cubed
- 1 large yam (or 2 small, cubed)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 tbs. lard
- 2 1/2 cups of beef stock
- salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp. dried (or 2 tsp. fresh) thyme leaves
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- generous pinch of salt
- Clean venison of all silver skin and fat. Cut into large cubes, about 1 ½ inches. Dab dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of lard over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Brown venison on all sides, remove venison and set aside.
- Add onion and a pinch of salt to the same pot. Sauté onions until they start to caramelize, stirring often. Add crushed garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Once onion and garlic are cooked, return venison to the Dutch oven. Add 2 ½ cups of beef broth. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- While venison is simmering, peel and chop potato, yam, and carrots.
- After venison has simmered for an hour, add vegetables and bay leaves, cover and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until veggies are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Whisk ½ cup crème fraiche, ½ cup milk, and 2 eggs together. Then add in 1 tsp. thyme leaves, 2 cups of self-rising flour, ½ tsp. of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Mix together just until mixture comes together. Do not overwork ingredients.
- During the last 10-15 minutes of cooking your stew, scoop dollops of the dumpling mixture on top of the stew. Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until dumplings look light and fluffy. Dumplings are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of a dumpling comes out clean.
Delicious, Hearty Meals to Please any Plate
There are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with venison. As you’re exploring all of the different options out there, get inspired to create your own venison recipes. Try working with alternative cuts of meat, using different types of meat processing equipment, and experimenting with seasonings. The fun doesn’t have to end once you’re done hunting!
Other Helpful Resources
Find more How-to Guides and Articles