Venison Recipes Available Online

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The Conservation Department has help for hunters looking for creative ways to prepare venison

The Missouri Department of Conservation Department’s Web site has dozens of wild-game recipes, including many for venison, at mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/tv/nowwerecookin.asp. (Missouri Dept. of Conservation photo)JEFFERSON CITY–It’s deer-hunting season in Missouri, and that means that millions of pounds of venison are headed for tables. The Missouri Department of Conservation has tips for making venison dishes tender and tasty.

Like most other wild game, venison is leaner than beef or other domestic meats. The lack of internal fat can result in dry, tough dishes unless venison is cooked with two things in mind – don’t overcook venison, and use moist heat when possible.

Venison steaks, roasts and burgers can turn dry and tough if grilled over charcoal or roasted uncovered in an oven. To avoid drying out steaks on the grill, cook them quickly over high heat to sear the surface and lock in moisture, and baste liberally.

To keep venison burgers moist, combine ground venison with ground pork or other fatty meat or add chopped onions, bell peppers, garlic, parsley and other moisture-boosting ingredients. You can use straight ground venison in stew or chili with great results.

Another way to incorporate moisture into cooking whole cuts of venison is to use a crock pot or Dutch oven. Swiss steak is a particularly good recipe for venison steak because it combines moist heat and the natural tenderizing action of the acid in tomatoes.

To tenderize tough venison and reduce gamey taste, try soaking it in white vinegar for an hour, drain and soak again before cooking.

The Conservation Department’s Web site has dozens of wild-game recipes, including many for venison, at mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/tv/nowwerecookin.asp. Following are three of those recipes.

VENISON TERIYAKI

INGREDIENTS: 1 to 2 pounds of venison steak, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ½ tsp. garlic powder.

PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients and marinate overnight (if possible). Cook on a hot grill or over an open fire, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Cook until meat is slightly charred outside, but still pink inside. Do NOT overcook. Serve with a rice dish.

PHILLY STEAK SANDWICHES

INGREDIENTS: 2 lbs. frozen venison round steak, milk or salt water, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 1 medium onion, sliced thin and ringed, 1 loaf of French bread, butter or margarine, shredded cheddar or pepper jack or sliced Swiss cheese.

PREPARATION: Thaw meat until it begins to soften but still has ice crystals. This makes it easy to cut into wafer-thin slices. Soak overnight in milk or salt water if necessary to remove gamey taste.

Season meat with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and brown in a skillet over medium heat, using a small amount of oil. Add ½ cup of water, cover with onion rings and simmer until meat is tender. Slice bread lengthwise and spread butter or margarine on both sides. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Cover lower half of loaf with venison, then top with onions and cheese. Put top of loaf on to and wrap in foil.

Bake at 300 degrees until top of bread is crisp. Cut into individual servings and top with pickle, peppers, tomatoes, etc.

VENISON DOG BISCUITS

Hunters who bring home trophy antlers sometimes find the culinary fruits of their labor problematic. The meat from large, old bucks can be tough and strong-tasting, but ethical hunters are obliged to consume what they kill. One way to deal with this dilemma is to turn less-than-tasty venison into treats that will delight four-legged family members and save you money on dog treats throughout the year. Try this recipe for venison dog biscuits.

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 1 cup cornmeal, ½ cup wheat germ, ½ cup cooked ground venison, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, ½ cup beef broth, ½ tsp. salt.

PREPARATION: Mix the dry ingredients and add them to the wet ingredients. Roll the mixture out to about .5 inch thick. Cut into appropriate shapes with cookie cutters and bake at 350 to 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crisp. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.