At Tioga Ranch, you have the opportunity to hunt whitetail deer. When you get their meat home, it’s time to cook up some “venison,” which is the word for deer meat.
When cooking venison, don’t treat it like beef from the supermarket! Otherwise, you’re apt to wind up with it tasting tough and chewy.
Tips for Cooking Venison
You don’t want to overcook venison. It’s low in fat and best served medium-rare. When cooking venison, it only needs to reach a temperature of 130 degrees. Keep in mind that it begins to toughen if/when it reaches 150 degrees. Consider using a Dutch oven on top of the stove on a low simmer. Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking it.
Unlike beef, venison has little marbling. In contrast to beef, it offers more muscle fiber and connective tissue, which becomes quite flavorful when the collagen transforms into gelatin.
Different cuts of the meat require different cooking methods for your best outcomes. For instance, tenderloin and loins can be served rare, while shoulders, shanks and necks are best when braised. Meanwhile, hindquarters can be cut into steaks. Meat from the carcass, such as flanks or rib meat, can be ground up and used to make burgers or sausages.
If you plan to put your venison on the grill or BBQ, or pan-fry it, brush each side of the meat with a little oil. Then sear it for a minute per side (per centimeter thickness). Basically, you should oil the meat rather than oil the pan.
Want to roast a large cut of venison so it’s crispy? Sear all the sides to seal in juices. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes per 500g.
Want to stir-fry venison? It only takes a few minutes on high heat to do so– keep the meat moving to avoid over-cooking.
Finally, after cooking, it’s a good idea to let the meat rest, covered, for about 10 minutes. This will allow its juices to evenly disperse.