Venison hat trick

Updated: Feb 1

A trio of venison recipes


a venison tenderloin cooked to our liking!

I am not a hunter, but if I were, I think I might spend a lot of time deer hunting just to have a freezer full of venison. As I spend so much of my free time (willingly) fishing, switching to the pursuit of four legged creatures is probably unlikely. So I have to turn to friends for the occasional gift of venison meat and I recently scored big time with gifts from a former colleague that helped make this blog post happen.


Historically my repertoire of venison dishes has been limited to preparing a tenderloin (usually bought from my local butcher), which I featured in a recent blog post offering up options for Christmas dinner.


But thanks to the aforementioned gift of several pounds of varied cuts, I was lured into expanding my range of venison dishes. The bounty included a few pounds of ground venison, so it should be no surprise that I started with pasta. Readers of my blog will know of my love for all things pasta, especially as I tend to make my own at home. So identifying a hearty Bolognese sauce using the venison was a natural start to my experiment.

Bolognese with fresh ingredients

This recipe is super simple and begins with browning the venison for a short period, then transferring the meat to a colander to drain water from the meat. A robust mix of veggies, herbs and red wine are simmered gently before reintroducing the venison and cooking for about an hour and a half. A pappardelle paste complemented the venison Bolognese perfectly.


the pappardelle soaks up the Bolognese sauce very well

Another option for the ground venison is chili. When cooking winter comfort foods, I tend to favor Beef Bourguignon – but when you have ground meat and have already done Bolognese, well chili is a natural follow up. I am not a fan of straight up meat chili – beans have to be part of the equation. So I embarked on a very beany and spicy dish, complete with dark beer, jalapeño peppers, piquant spices (chili powder, Spanish paprika and cumin) and liquid smoke, among other ingredients.


for me chili has to include red beans and spice

To serve, I finished the chili off with sprinkles of habanero salt, cilantro, Mexican cotija cheese and a dollop of either sour cream or Greek yogurt, as well as an optional splash of some more liquid smoke.


chili has to have a bit of garnish to finish

‘Rounding’ out the venison bounty was a couple of round steaks, which I have never cooked before. The steaks were about ¾” thick, so I opted to cook them short and quick on the stovetop. I began by gently simmering on low heat a large dollop of bone marrow until completely rendered and then grilled the steaks in the marrow oil on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes a side. While the steaks rested under a foil tent (so that they stayed warm), I prepared an anchovy garlic butter to melt on the top of the steak – Yummo!


simply grilled venison steak served with a roquefort topping and butternut squash

Bon Appétit!

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