As you head out for the deer hunting season, and the same old complaint comes “I swear you go just for the fun of it”, remind them of the economic and nutritional value venison has. It may not in your dinner plans very often, but it can actually be a great addition to a healthy diet plan. So the next time you’re offered venison, consider these facts:
- Venison is a very good source of protein, while, unlike most meats, it tends to be fairly low in fat, especially saturated fat.
- Four ounces of venison supplies 68.5% of the daily value for protein for only 179 calories and 1.4 grams of saturated fat.
- Venison is a good source of iron, providing 28.2% of the daily value for iron in that same four-ounce serving.
- Venison is also a very good source of vitamin B12, providing 60.0% of the daily value for this important vitamin, as well as good or very good amounts of several other of the B vitamins, including riboflavin (40.0% of riboflavin's daily value), niacin (38.0% of niacin's DV) and vitamin B6 (21.5% of the DV for B6).
- Venison is a very good source of both protein and vitamin B12.
- It is also a very good source vitamin B12 and niacin.
- Lastly, venison is a good source of iron, phosphorus, vitamin B6, selenium, zinc and copper.
Venison may be eaten as steaks, roasts, sausages, jerky and minced meat. It has a flavor similar to beef, but is much leaner and the fibers of the meat are short and tender. Organ meats are sometimes eaten, but would not be called Venison; rather, they are called humble, as in the phrase "humble pie." Venison is lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than most cuts of beef, pork, or lamb. Here are just a few of my favorite recipes.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves - crushed
1 tablespoon shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, cilantro, basil or dill. For a variation, mix 2 or all 4
Combine all ingredients in a bowl; whisk or stir together. Makes about 1 cup of venison marinate.
How to use
Use as soon as possible because of its freshness. Marinate venison overnight or for several hours (4-6). This marinate can also be used as a basting sauce.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds venison stew meat
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
4 cups brown stock
Salt and black pepper
In a large pot, over high heat, add the olive oil. In a mixing bowl, toss the venison with flour. When the oil is hot, sear the meat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the brown stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stew for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender. If the liquid evaporates too much add a little more stock.
Remove the stew from the oven and serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.
5 pounds very lean venison, trimmed of all fat
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
Cut the meat into strips 1-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick, and spread on baking sheets. In a bowl blend the seasonings. Season the meat strips on 1 side, then turn and season the second side. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Cook the meat until it is completely dried, 6 to 8 hours, turning as needed to dry uniformly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Eat as desired, or keep tightly covered, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.
Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt WorkCamo clothing, Redford MI