Enjoy Holiday Cheer With a New Year’s Venison Feast

Tacos Carnitas can be made with shredded beef, like these, or venison if you have some deer meat in the freezer. They're great! (Photo: Jess Lander/Wikipedia)

Tacos Carnitas can be made with shredded beef, like these, or venison if you have some deer meat in the freezer. They’re great! (Photo: Jess Lander/Wikipedia)

Time is on your side this week, with two holidays hitting on Thursdays and giving us long weekends to relax, enjoy family and friends, go deer hunting and eat like kings for a few days.

Yes, eat like kings! Huzzah! Pile on the meats and cheeses, break off the necks of bottles of ale and your finest wines! Release the hounds and mount the steeds for afternoons of hunting and …

Wait, sorry. Lost our minds there for a moment. But yes, we can enjoy the weekend with good food, beverages, friends and family. Deer season still is open in many parts of the country and even if it’s closed in your area, perhaps you have a deer or three in the freezer.

If so, fire up the grill, slow cooker, camp fire or smoker and give these venison recipes a try this weekend.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Venison Poppers
Jalapeno peppers
Cream cheese

This is about as easy as it gets, but the great thing is that you can modify the cream cheese spread to your liking with any spices, herbs or such. Consider adding just a bit of shredded cheddar to each one for another layer of flavor, or maybe a dash of Cajun seasoning before wrapping in bacon.

Trim the deer meat of all silver skin and slice into 2-inch strips that will fit into the hollowed jalapeno. Cut of the stem end of the jalapeno, slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and pith. Put the strip of venison in the jalapeno half, add a small amount of the cream cheese spread, wrap in bacon and secure with the toothpick.

This is about as simple an appetizer and one that your kids can help prepare ahead of time. If you’re having a big crowd, adjust the amount of ingredients accordingly. If you have leftover peppers, pickle them like Scott Leysath recommends here for an extra treat.

SEE: Venison Recipes and the famous CanCooker all in one great value pack!

Mmmm ... grilled venison is great any time of the year!

Mmmm … grilled venison is great any time of the year!

Chris Cupples supplied this easy, super recipe for our “We Kill It, We Grill It” cookbook, which is packed with 125 pages of recipes. Cupples suggests stuffing the backstrap before grilling. You could do this by coring the backstrap, or you can learn to butterfly your backstraps. Give this recipe a try and enjoy.

Jalapeno, Cream Cheese and Bacon Backstraps
Allegro Hot and Spicy Marinade
Jalapeno peppers
Cream cheese
Barbecue sauce

Marinate backstrap overnight in Allegro Hot and Spicy Marinade. The next day, stuff your backstrap with jalapeno and cream cheese. Wrap with bacon. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are medium rare. Before removing from the grill, brush with barbecue sauce.

Note: We know you probably have your own favorite marinade, dry rub or spices and barbecue sauce. Adjust accordingly, if you desire.

SEE: Hundreds of Venison Recipes and the fundamentals of cooking wild game!

This recipe from Fran Tenakee comes from the Alaska Fish & Wildlife News and sounds like a doggone winner. Whether it’s from our beautiful 49th state or down in the sultry Southeast, there’s no doubt that you and your family will enjoy a bowl or two of this delicious venison stew.

Tenakee suggests a red wine, which I’d agree with, and I’d also suggest maybe a hearty stout or hoppy ale, as well. Perhaps something like the Founder’s Breakfast Stout or Sweetwater IPA. Better, in my opinion, than some watery mass-produced mess. Go bold.

Fran Tenakee’s Venison Stew
Preheat oven to 225°. Assemble the following ingredients in a medium-sized casserole or shallow roasting pan.

Enough venison to completely cover the bottom of the casserole or roasting pan, or about one hindquarter or a shoulder with bone in
A generous sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning
Carrots, chopped
Yukon Gold or red potatoes, quartered (Fran says, “I’ve been known to put rutabagas or turnips in this too. Don’t peel anything.”)
One whole onion, quartered
A couple of stalks of celery, chopped
2 cans of tomatoes or V-8 juice poured over the top
2 Tablespoons of tapioca sprinkled on top

Cook for 8 hours, covered. Remove and eat. Feeds about 6. Serve with red wine and bread.

SEE: Learn to kill more deer so you can enjoy more great meals with venison!

This is one of Scott Leysath’s dishes and something you can whip up for a great New Year’s meal or family dinner. Or at camp when you want to impress Bubba and the boys. They might trade cleaning duties with you if you put this on the table.

Get more recipes from Scott Leysath in his fantastic Better Venison Cookbook. Click this photo to order!

Get more recipes from Scott Leysath in his fantastic Better Venison Cookbook. Click this photo to order!

Stuffed Venison Tenderloin
4 servings

2 strips bacon, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 deer tenderloins, silver skin removed
salt and pepper
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
butcher string or wooden skewers

Lightly brown bacon in a skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Allow to cool. Butterfly tenderloins, leaving a “hinge” on one side, a lay flat. Season inside with salt and pepper. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on one side. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over cream cheese. Spread bacon/mushroom mixture over cream cheese.

Fold outer edges over and roll tightly like a burrito. Tie with string or secure with wooden skewers. Rub outside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown evenly on all sides, but not past medium-rare. Allow meat to rest for a few minutes, remove string and slice into medallions.

SEE: Beef up your deer hunting tactics and put big bucks on the ground!

With a great slow-cooked venison neck or shoulder roast you can create some fantastic sandwiches, tacos or breakfast burritos. Just remember to go with low temps and be patient. When the bone slides out after all the connective tissue is gone, the meat should be uber-tender and ready to eat. Enjoy!

If you think that a deer doesn’t have much meat on the neck or it’s a pain in the butt to bother with, think again. You’re wasting a lot of great meat in the neck and shoulders. Check out this video on how to prepare a neck roast.

Shredded Venison Sandwiches

  • 1 boneless venison roast (4 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, optional
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 14 to 18 hamburger buns, split


  • Cut venison roast in half; place in a 5-quart slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce, liquid smoke if desired and seasonings. Pour over venison. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Remove roast; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks; return to slow cooker and heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place meat mixture on bun bottoms. Replace tops.
    Yields 14-18 servings; preparation 15 minutes; cooking time 8 hours.