Venison is much more than food for the deer hunter's soul. It also contributes to a very healthy lifestyle. Not to mention this mouthwatering meat is typically lower in saturated fat and calories than domestic choices.
Deer feed naturally and don't eat food that contain antibiotics or growth hormones. Also, helping to keep our growing deer masses in check through hunting and eating what your game is good for the environment.
The Big Sky Canvas Team put together some of our favorite venison recipes for you to try out at home. What are some of your favorite venison recipes?
MONTANA VENISON CHILI:
4 pasilla chiles, seeded
2 ancho chiles, seeded
1 chile de arbol, seeded
1 1/2 cup chicken stock, plus more as needed for pureeing
2 corn tortillas, quartered
6 tablespoons corn oil
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cup dark beer
4 cups chicken stock
8 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 cinnamon stick
Fresh lime juice, for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chili puree: Combine the pasilla chiles, ancho chiles, chile de arbol and chicken stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Pour into a blender. Add the tortillas and puree until smooth. The chili mixture should be quite thick with just enough liquid to puree. You may need to add a bit of additional stock.
For the chili: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add the venison and cook, stirring twice, until just brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan with the hot oil and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili puree and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thick and very dark, about 7 minutes. Stir in the venison, beer and chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until very thick and reduced by half, about 1 hour.
Tie the cilantro and cinnamon stick together with kitchen twine. Remove the chili from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and cilantro bundle. Let stand, without stirring, for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cilantro bundle. Let stand, without stirring, for 15 more minutes, then stir in some lime juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Venison Tenderloin with Berry Sauce and Creamy Potatoes:
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more if needed
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 venison tenderloins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup red wine
1 cup demi glace
1 small red onion, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup blueberries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
For the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, lower the heat to medium and simmer the potatoes until they're fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
For the venison: Season both sides of the venison tenderloins with salt and pepper.
Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the tenderloins. Reduce the heat to medium and sear the tenderloins on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the loins from the pan and let rest until ready to serve.
For the potatoes: Drain the potatoes well and transfer to a bowl. Mash the potatoes until there are no lumps. Stir in the butter, nutmeg, cream, salt, and white pepper. Stir until creamy, adding more cream if needed. You want smooth, creamy potatoes. Taste and season with more salt and white pepper, if needed.
For the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, except for the blueberries and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, add the blueberries, and simmer until reduced a little and thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the sauce back into the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and then whisk in the butter. Hold warm until serving.
To plate: Spoon potatoes into the center of the plate. Slice the venison loin into 1/2-inch thick slices on a bias. Lay slices over potatoes. Top with sauce.
Pan-Roasted Venison with Creamy Baked Potato and Celeriac
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus a couple extra knobs, divided
2 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 small celeriac, peeled and halved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint heavy cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 a small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked and roughly chopped
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, divided
10 juniper berries, crushed with the side of a knife
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
2.2 pounds venison loin in 1 large piece, trimmed
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
1 wineglass of good-quality red wine, like Pinot Noir
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a large, shallow baking dish.
Slice the potatoes and celeriac into disks just under 1-inch thick. Place the slices into a large pan, cover with cold water, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow the vegetables to steam dry for a minute or so. Put back into the pan with the cream, chopped garlic, sage, half the Parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together, then tip into the buttered baking dish and spread out evenly. Pour any mixture left in the pan over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan, cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Combing the juniper berries and rosemary, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then sprinkle over a board. Rub the venison all over with olive oil before rolling it across the board and pressing it into the flavorings. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add a glug of olive oil. Sear the venison for a couple of minutes on all sides, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the smashed garlic bulb and any leftover flavorings from the chopping board. Shake everything together, pour in a splash of water to cool things down and place in the oven. Cook according to your liking - about 8 minutes will give you medium venison.
When the potatoes are cooked, take them out of the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Take the venison out of the oven and let it rest on a plate, covered loosely with foil. Pour away any excess fat. Squash the garlic cloves with a fork and discard the skins. Mix the garlic with the herbs in the pan and place on the heat. Pour in the red wine, simmer until it has reduced by half and then add the butter. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the sticky meaty goodness from the bottom. As soon as the sauce comes together, take the pan off the heat, correct the seasoning and stir in another knob of butter. Carve the venison into desired-thickness. Pour any resting juices from the plate back into the pan, then pour your gravy through a sieve over the meat and serve with the potato and celeriac bake.
1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup soy sauce
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 ½ teaspoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
2 pounds venison loin or leg, cut into 6 steaks
Combine all ingredients except venison in a large bowl. Submerge venison in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
Heat broiler, stovetop grill pan or grill. Remove venison from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, place steaks under the broiler or on the grilling surface and cook, flipping once, until medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Allow venison to rest for 5 minutes before serving.