Okay, you followed all of the directions about preseason scouting, how to set a tree stand, and where to go on Cape Ann to get your deer. And, from reading my columns you learned everything there is to know about what a deer can see, smell and hear. As a result you have bagged a really big buck. You now have a freezer full of some very lovely deer meat. That was the easy part. How do you now prepare the meat to provide your family and friends with a unique dining experience?
Never fear, Gourmet Dave is here!
Cooking venison is not difficult, but there are certain rules you must observe to be sure you get the most from your prize. If you cook venison as it should be cooked and approach it with an open mind by savoring its own distinctive flavor, you will be delighted with the outcome. Remember that venison is not beef and has to be treated quite differently.
Venison, as is the case with flesh of most wild animals, contains very little fat and as a result is a fairly dry meat. Every effort must be taken to preserve what little moisture is there. DO NOT...I repeat, DO NOT overcook venison. Anything over medium rare will be a crime against the palate. You will note in the following recipes that either moisture or fat is introduced from an outside agent.
Many folks equate old bucks with tough meat, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that an older deer tastes a bit different than a younger one. Just as veal lacks the character of aged, prime heavy beef, so the meat of a younger deer is not as full-bodied as an older one. Different methods of cooking will reveal the strength of each.