Best way to treat and cook Deer Meat?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kenneth in NC, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2002
    What is the best recipe you have used to marinate deer steaks?

    How much beef fat per pound do you add to the deer burger to make it taste like beef?

    Is there a way to eliminate most of the gamy taste?

    My wife and daughter are willing to try deer meat if I can convince them it'll not be range gamy flavored. :cool:

    Thanks for your help.

    Kennet in NC
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2005
    In the state of Liberty and Freedom I create.
    When you are field dressing and butchering the deer you don't let it hang to "age" for one as that can add a strong flavor. Second, you soak the meat in ice cold water to "bleach" the blood out of the meat, sometimes adding a little salt to help with the draw. Third, while the venison is thawing out soak it again in some water, with a little salt too, and do that a couple of times.

    I would mix in some ground pork or ground beef with your ground venison on a 1 to 1 ratio to help with the fat issue. Or when you cook it put in just enough olive oil or beef/pork fat to grease up the skillet while you fry it.

    As for marinate, it all depends on the flavor you want to add. I've mixed together herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, sage along with soy sauce, seasoned salt, black or red pepper depending on the flavor i wanted. Mix in what herbs you want with the liquid you want and let it soak it up overnight or at the least a few hours.

    You also should cook it in a covered iron skillet on LOW heat, barely above lit on a gas stove, to keep the meat as tender and juicy as you can. Treat it like a rare treat, with great care, and it will taste just like the care you give it.

    The one thing I would advise you do is cut off as much of the venison fat as you can before cooking as once it is cooked and starts cooling off, the meat gets a waxy flavor from its own fat. The fat is fine for dog food, but it takes away from the flavor of the meat for human consumption.

  3. gleepish

    gleepish Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    My FIL marinates/injects venison w/equal parts of soy sauce and worchestire sauce--comes out wonderful, especially roasts done on the grill.

    I found that with my kids, chilli was the breakthrough...
  4. You know thats like asking "How to I get chicken to taste like beef?" No matter what you do to chicken it aint gonna taste like beef! It's the same with deer, it aint gonna taste like beef. However for best results it all needs to start with when and how you kill the animal out in the field. Try to harvest a animal when it has no ideal it is about to die. Less stress on the animal equals better quality of meat. Next is how you treat the carcass after it's harvested. Do you let the meat cool or cure before freezing it? Was the meat cut against the grain when processed. Soaking the meat in ice cold water before cooking will remove much of the blood which is where most of the gamey taste comes from. How do you cook it? I simply just use any recipe that calls for beef and substitute it with venison. If it is something that calls for burger then I might use half ground beef and half ground venison.

    But most of all, the more you eat it the more you will grow to like it. When my wife first married me she wouldn't hardly touch deer meat. After a decade of marriage she doesn't mind it at all. She especially loves to eat deer stew with cubed up deer steaks in it.
  5. lonewolf, aging will only add a strong flavor if you don't have the temperature cool enough. It must be aged between 34 to 41 degrees and it can be aged for up to 3 weeks although I have never aged on that long. I did cure a big brute out for 16 days once and he made the best tenderist deer steaks I have eaten. If yours had a strong flavor then chances are it wasn't cool enough when aging and you may have been eating rotten meat.
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I hate to say it, but almost all of my venison tastes like beef without doing anything special to it. The only thing I can attribute this too is:

    1. Hunt for meat, not a trophy. The flavor and texture of a year to two year animal is much better than some old swamp buck with a huge rack.
    2. Become a marksman, shoot and hit the heart and/or lung. No gut shots. The stress from a prolonged death can disflavor the meat due to hormones or something like that.
    3. Dress the deer immediately after the kill. Be careful to not cut any internal organs which can leak and disflavor the meat.
    4. Clean the chest cavity with plenty of water ASAP.
    5. Cool the carcass ASAP by skinning and/or filling the cavity with snow.
    6. Process the meat ASAP. Remove as much fat as possible.
    7. I do not believe in hanging deer to age.

    These are my guidelines and friends and family have an exceedingly hard time distinquishing venison from beef by taste.
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2005
    In the state of Liberty and Freedom I create.
    Aging by hangin also creates a film over the meat that has to be removed before it can be processed futher and eaten. I prefer to "age" mine wrapped up in freezer paper in the freezer.
  8. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    We hit a doe with our car one morning and DS insisted we take it home and he wanted to eat it. Ok, he dressed it out and we took it to the butchers who let it hang then cut it up for us. DS ate that doe all winter long and loved it. All he did was to add some ground beef or bacon for fat to it and said it was better than beef. No, I wouldn't eat any, I really don't like much meat and was squeemish with how we got it. Later on DS saw the deer gathered around the spring in our woods and got out his gun, aimed and shot a doe. He dropped it where it stood. She too was good eating but we didn't eat any. He had shot her for a friend who was having a rough time of it and needed the meat desperately. He and the friend dressed and cut her up within hours of her being shot and the meat was very good done that way, no gamey taste at all. That family had meat enough to tide them over until they got back on their feet. DS is the only one in our family who eats venison, got a lot of it when we hit deer and never had one get gamey. We hit several deer as we drove on our job. Maybe because within hours the deer was dressed out and in the freezer?? I don't really know, this is just a guess.
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Here is one of my favorite recipes. Hope you try and enjoy it!
    Salisbury Patties

    1 pound ground venison
    1 package dry onion soup mix
    ¼ cup bread or cracker crumbs
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons oil
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 ½ cups water
    1 can mushrooms

    Use a fork and lightly combine meat, one-half onion soup mix, crumbs, and egg. Add a small amount of milk to aid in helping mixture bind. Shape into patties and brown in skillet in oil. Pour off most of the fat. Add remaining soup mix and flour. Gradually stir in water and mushrooms. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  10. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2002
    South Central Michigan
    I totally agree with cabin fever!! The only bad venison I have had was when it was trophy meat or not handled properly. A young buckling or doe, clean kill shot and gutted quickly, cooled quickly cut up and into the freezer. (don't forget to cut a couple of fresh steaks for the grill) Wonderful eats!!! I use it like beef, including the steaks on the grill.
  11. OldFarmGal

    OldFarmGal Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    Only eat deer killed in cold weather. Warm weather road kill is a no-no.

    I prefer soaking venison in milk, rather than salted water. I think the salt can make the already very lean meat dry. But, I only soak the liver. I don'r find it necessary for any other cut.

    If your deer is processed correctly, it can be exchanged evenly for beef. A little fat added to burgers or meatloaf, if you like, for more moist meat.

    Vension makes the most excellent stroganoff!

    My late husband always had a giant jar of pickled deer heart in the 'fridge. That was way beyond me!
  12. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    near Abilene,TX
    This is my favorite recipe, and it is so good.Be sure to use a heavy pot
    with a tight fitting lid.Spray pot with Pam.
    1 venison roast, or you can use round steaks.
    Sprinkle one package of Lipton Onion Dry Soup mix over top
    Add 1 can cream of Mushroom or you can use Cream of Chicken
    salt and pepper as you like
    Pour one can of Mountain Dew or Sprite over this.
    Bake 225 degrees at least 5-6 hours. DO NOT PEEK. keep the lid
    sealed. When you open it, the meat will be tender, you can cut
    it with a fork. You will have a thick tasty gravy in the bottom to
    use on noodles or mashed potatoes.
    Some people soak their venison in a little vinegar and water to get
    rid of the gamey taste, but I don't. I love venison.
  13. Swampthing

    Swampthing Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    I've eaten deer killed year round all my life and can't figure out why you would say this. Other than the amount of time the meat would stay warm before cooling down below the optimal bacteria growing temp. soaking the cuts in Ice water will take care of that.
  14. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Parish New York
    I Always hang mine for 24 hours(must be cool out). The gamie taste comes from fat and the silver skin on the carcass. If you dont like the idea of hanging it you can quarter it up and put it in the fridge. The reason for hanging is to let enzymes start to break down the meat a little. This enzematic action helps to tenderize the meat and decrease the gamie flavor. This may sound a little gross, but that is what every butcher I know does with beef.
    As for recipes:

    In the crock pot put a two pound roast+-, 1 pack of lipton (dry) onion soup, 1 can cream of mushroom soup. (No need to add water, the mushroom soup has enough.) Put the crock pot on low and leave for at least 8 hours. Most tender roast you will ever have. This is similar to a previous post above.

    For steaks:
    Tenderize a couple back strap butterflies, put in a glass or plastic dish and cover with Italian dressing. Let soak over nite and cook on the grill same as a beef steak.(This is my favorite, I eat these a couple of times a week at work)

    This one I havent tried yet. I just got it today.
    Corning wild game

    A 2 1/2 to 3 pound roast
    2 qt. water
    1/2c. canning and pickling salt
    1/2c. tenderizing salt
    3tbls. sugar
    2tbls. *pickling spice
    2 bay leaves
    1/2tsp. coriander
    8 juniper berries (optional)
    8 whole black peppercorns
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

    *= heaping

    Combine all ingrediants except roast in a large saucepan or kettle. Heat to just boiling. Remove from heat and cool. Place roast in a large glass or pottery bowl or in a resealable plastic bag. Pour brine over meat and cover bowl with plastic wrap or close bag. Refrigerate four to five days, turning meat occasionally. Remove meat from brine; discard the brine. Rinse meat under cold running water. Bring water to a boil and reduce to simmer. cook until tender, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

    You can,I assume cook this in the crock pot also.

    I just got a wild game cook book so if you want more let me know
  15. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    For Deer burgers, I use,

    1lb, ground venison
    1/4-1/3 lb. hot pork sausage
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    1 tbs black pepper
    1/2 tsp garlic salt
    Mix & knead all together, make patties, & grill.
  16. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    There is a lot of good information that has been given and some interesting recipes that I might try.
    There are different ways to take care of the meat some I agree with and some that I do different, but what ever works for you.
    That being said here are a few points to ponder:(some already given)
    1. The taste of vension is influenced by:
    a. The genetics - white tail and mule deer taste differently.
    b. What the deer ate field crops vs pine vs swamp vegetation. And time of year and age of the animal and sex of the animal.
    c. How the deer was harvested - quickly shot vs shot and run or tracked for miles - it is the adrenalin that adds to the gamey taste.
    d. Shot placement - the abdominal contents can influence is gut shot but not as much of a factor if cleaned as soon as possible.
    e. Cleaning and cooling the carcass as soon as possible. Remove the fat. The silver under the hide is the fascia or tissue that is the covering of the muscle and can be removed. The cross grain vs long grain cutting may be a factor.
    f. If the carcass has to be drug/transported a long distance. Do not haul the carcass around or on the hood of a vehile.
    g. Curing the carcass if the temperature is 35-40 degrees is best - it is the enzymatic activity that breaks down the muscle structure and NOT bacteria.
    If bacteria is present and works on the meat - you get spoilage/rotting and disease.
    h. If stored keep frozen until used.
    g. Using pork fat you stand the risk of the pork aging and causing a rancid/old and therefore bad flavor. I would recommend that you use beef fat if to be frozen for a period of time.
    h. Also storing meat in the freezer for a period of time may help kill any disease
    causing organisms.
    i. Aging before processing and freezing is done routinely with beef and pork.
    More thoughts later if you want.

    Forgot to add that be sure to cut out any blood shot meat.
    I do have a receip/marinade that is mild but will take out any wild taste; if you want it let me know.
    It is basic and can be modified to personal tastes.
    Please over look any spelling errors as I never could spell.
  17. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Parish New York
    (QUOTE)g. Curing the carcass if the temperature is 35-40 degrees is best - it is the enzymatic activity that breaks down the muscle structure and NOT bacteria.
    If bacteria is present and works on the meat - you get spoilage/rotting and disease.

    My bad. I used the wrong words. Thanks for clarifying this.
    I corrected my above post to reflect this.
  18. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004

    No harm and no foul.
    And I only do what my rice krispies tell me what to do.
  19. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003
    I would have to agree with what Cabin Fever said. The only other thing I would add is that we process the deer ourselves and we NEVER cut thru the bone. We think it gives it a off/bad taste.

    We have several people in our church that think they don't like venison. At a carry in they will eat ours then go back for seconds or more. Yet they will throw out some of the venison brought in by others. The only difference is how it was processed.

    I cook it just like beef. I know of one family that all hated venison. The father enjoys hunting and would make sure he had someone to give one to before he headed out hunting. A few years ago he called us with a big buck. We got it home and processed it, then we gave a nice roast for the wife to cook up. I convinced her to cook it like a beef roast. She wasn't sure she could believe me, thought she would have to add all kinds of stuff to it to make it edible. She finally tried it anyway. The entire family loved it. The past two seasons they've decided to keep their deer.

    My IN-Laws had always hated venison. One day they came over for roast, potatoes, & carrots. My MIL who is not much of a meat eater went back for a third helping of "that delicious roast", FIL had had a few refills too, then we told them what we were eating. They have decided that they now like venison IF my husband & I put it up and I cook it.

    We have never had any professionally processed venison that we liked at all. We've had venison given to us that I ended up throwing to the animals.
  20. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    I've killed 'em with rifles, shotguns, pistols and arrows.

    They all tasted good.

    Except that deer killed ahead of dogs is a lot stronger tastin'.

    The secret to cleanin' and cookin' deer is simple. Make good shots. Take a lot of care cleaning your meat - if you question it, chunk it. Ice the deer down for ice, water, and salt for a day or two. Cut up your own meat, and never use a commercial saw - deer marrow is strong - bone them out.

    The best deer meat? The tenderloins, followed by the backstraps.

    Most people make the mistake of overcooking venison. Cut you out a nice 1" thick steak, marinate overnight, grill until medium rare, and enjoy...