Anyone who reads this blog or Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine is already aware of how tasty fresh venison is. Not only is venison one of the leanest sources of red meat, but it is one of the best alternatives to commercial meat. This is meat from an animal that has never been domesticated, fed an unnatural food source, and has roamed freely within its intended habitat. As someone who studies the global food system, hunting (and fishing) for wild game is an important part of the local food equation and one that needs to be included in conversations about the future of our food, especially when looking at the environmental difference between harvesting a deer in the wild and a commercial factory feedlot.
Now that we have a freezer stocked with quality venison, I’ve started experimenting with venison recipes that stretch beyond my typical repertoire. I typically don’t like to complicate the taste of food by masking it with sauces and condiments. If it’s a steak, I want it to taste like a steak. Same goes for chicken and fish, which is why I often lean towards simple preparation and basic herbs and other pantry staples like lemons, onions, garlic, and olive oil.
But I’ve started stepping outside of my comfort zone ever since trying Weston Product’s 16 Spice Marinade when I filmed the conclusion of my Beginner’s Guide to Archery: For Women DVD. The number of spices almost intimidated me, but once I realized that I had everything already in my pantry and I had the mixture ready to go, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve sampled a few other marinades out of the Venison Wisdom Cookbook, using Weston Product’s Vacuum Sealer to cut my marinade time in half.
I’ve also experimented with paleo Swedish meatballs (made completely gluten and dairy free as we maintain a fairly strict diet due to food allergies in my household) that incorporated a rich sauce made out of soaked cashews and ended without any leftovers. It was amazing. I also tried creating my own fresh venison sausage using an easy spice combination that made for awesome leftovers we had for breakfast the next day complete with fresh eggs from our own chickens. Sausage made from a doe harvested 100 yards from our house plus fresh eggs gathered from chickens I can see wandering around my front yard equals the very essence of a locavore meal.
And now I’d love to know what is your favorite venison recipe?
If you’re interested in archery and bowhunting, be sure to check out this video that answers many questions about equipment, form and getting started in this wonderful activity.