When Your Spouse Doesn't Like Deer Meat
It’s that time of year again. Your husband has donned his camo, spent countless hours scouting, following trails and looking for “scrapes” and “rubs” on trees. He’s painstakingly searched for just the right tree to hang his stand, doused himself in every sort of synthetic deer excrement on the market, and loaded his shotgun with the best shells money can buy. All to accomplish what he’s waited all year to do. Yes, you guessed it, to bring home his prized buck or doe and fill the freezer with delicious, nutritious, and healthy venison!
Can I get a witness if this sounds like life in your house from mid to late November? Do you silently dread when all the packages come home from the processor because you have no clue how to cook it or remove the “gamey” flavor, but yet you want your husband to know you appreciate his efforts to provide for your family? Do you scramble when October rolls around because you just realized you still have countless packages of random cuts of venison in the freezer that you failed to cook, and you want it gone before the next deer comes in?
Well, I’m here to tell you, there is hope for the hunter’s wife, even when you’re not totally sold on venison! I’m going to let you in on some secrets of how I went from totally despising the taste of vension, to now putting it in almost every recipe that requires beef, and very rarely eating or purchasing beef from the store. And if you learn to love venison, the health and financial benefits are numerous!
The first stop on your journey to loving venison is to accept that it’s not going to taste like ground beef. Yes, there are some people out there who SWEAR they can’t tell the difference, but unless you have been eating mostly venison your entire life, you will need to acquire a taste for it. The best way that I have found to do this, is to start by adding maybe half a pound of venison to half a pound of ground beef and gradually work up to all ground venison. You can also try it in recipes that are heavily seasoned so it will “mask” the flavor a little. Tacos, chili, spaghetti, etc would be good places to start. Rural King even has seasoning packets specifically for venison dishes that are called … We’ve tried a few, and I feel like they definitely improved the flavor.
The next tip is to add pork or beef fat to your ground venison during processing. It does cost more to do this, but it is well worth it, in my opinion! By adding pork fat, you can also make a delicious breakfast sausage. I will include that recipe at the end of the post. Unfortunately, it does make it significantly less healthy than plain ground venison, which has very little fat.
And the final step on your journey to loving venison is to learn how to properly cook it! Because of the low fat content, venison tends to dry out quickly when you cook it, and can become “tough.” You will also find that certain seasonings really compliment this type of meat. Invest in a good venison cookbook, and start trying some different recipes. You may waste a few packages of it through trial and error, but it is still significantly cheaper to pay to have a deer processed, as opposed to purchasing the same amount of ground turkey or beef at the store. And most importantly, I can guarantee when your husband sees you happily create meals from venison that he worked hard to put in your freezer, it will give him a sense of accomplishment and pride, and make him feel respected and appreciated for taking time out of his busy schedule to do something beneficial for the family.
I’ll close with one of my favorite venison recipes that helped me to see the light, so to speak, on how wonderful venison is! Enjoy and happy cooking!
Venison Breakfast Sausage
3 packages of thawed ground venison with pork fat added (will equal around 4 1/2 lbs)
1/4 c. sugar based curing mixture (We use Morton’s Tender Quick, which is sold in some grocery stores, but we bought it on Amazon)
1 tbsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
3 tbsp. sage
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
In a large bowl, place all the ground venison. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix all the other ingredients together. Start gradually adding spice mix to the bowl of ground venison, and mix it thoroughly with your hands or a mixer. Continue slowly adding the spice mixture to the ground venison until it is well mixed. Divide into 1 lb. portions to freeze, and enjoy!
Article Courtesy of Logtown Acres
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