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Thinning out the herd of venison that lives in your freezer is always a fun and delicious challenge. Nearly every part of a deer can be made into a delicious meal you’d be proud to serve the next time you invite guests over for a wild game dinner.
This is by no means the only way to butcher and cook your cuts, just some useful guidelines that you will hopefully share with your buddy that attempted to grill shanks or stew backstrap that one time…
Here are the best ways to cook venison cuts:
The front shoulders are the source for most ground venison. Pretty much anything you could cook with ground beef, pork, or lamb will accommodate a venison substitute, including an endless amount of fresh and smoked sausages.
Treat shanks to liquid, low heat, and ample time and you'll be rewarded with incredibly tender and succulent meat. Cut all the meat off the bone and into one-inch cubes to be used in stews. All that sinew and connective tissue will melt out of the meat, adding richness to your stew and helping thicken the liquid you are cooking.
Easily grilled or fried in a pan, backstrap lends itself to quick and simple preparations. There are several methods for cooking a good backstrap, but some of the best ways include a simple searing with a pan sauce or embracing the sous vide method.
Tenderloins are (yup, you guessed it!) tender and make a great dinner for one. Tenderloins are best seared in butter with a little salt and pepper. They also lend themselves well to wok-style cooking—aka hot and fast.
The bottom round is a great piece of meat and, once trimmed, it's very lean. It can be used for corned venison roasts, homemade jerky, and it’s also a great cut to throw on the grill and serve carne asada-style.
The eye is a small hidden treasure of a tenderloin. Because it is so lean, it's a great piece for curing and makes very nice bresaola. The eye is also a great candidate for tataki—a Japanese preparation that involves light searing, marinating, and thinly slicing like sashimi.
The top round is a giant piece of meat and perfect for cutting into steaks. Cut them nice and thick and then grill very fast on high heat just to medium-rare. If thick steaks aren't your thing, you could also cut this roast into thin cuts and marinate them.
The sirloin is a great roast to brine and slowly smoke. Make a basic brine of salt, maple sugar, garlic, and bay leaves, and then smoke with maple. Then, thinly slice it and pile it on a Kaiser roll with horseradish for the best sandwich of your life.
What’s your favorite cut of venison?
At SpyderWeb Targets, we’re always curious to hear how you clean out your freezer, so visit our Facebook page and let us know! You can also check out some of our favorite venison recipes that aren’t chili if you need some inspiration. And don’t forget to check out our products page to find a SpyderWeb Target that will help you fill your tag and your freezer year after year!
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