Can You Add Lard To Venison? (Explained By Experts)

Are you a fan of venison but find it lacking in flavor and juiciness? Adding fat is the key to creating a succulent and delicious venison dish.

While many people opt for pork fat or beef tallow, have you ever considered using lard?

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of adding lard to your venison, how to do it properly, and some creative ways to use deer tallow.

Whether you’re a seasoned venison chef or a curious beginner, read on to discover how lard can take your venison dishes to the next level.

Can You Add Lard To Venison?

The answer is yes, you can definitely add lard to venison. In fact, it’s a great way to add flavor and juiciness to your venison dishes.

As wild animals that get plenty of exercise, deer are in much better shape than cows. This means that venison has a lot less fat than most beef, which can make it less tasty and harder to grill. Adding fat is essential to creating a juicy and delicious venison dish.

While many people opt for pork fat or beef tallow, lard is a great alternative. It’s easy to work with and adds a unique flavor to your venison.

If you don’t have access to chunks of pork fat or a meat grinder, you can use lard instead. Simply put the lard in the food processor with the ground venison and pulse until well combined.

However, it’s important to use good quality lard that hasn’t been processed. Pastured lard is a great option as it’s more flavorful and nutritious than the processed version.

Why Add Fat To Venison?

Adding fat to venison is essential for creating a delicious and juicy dish. As mentioned earlier, venison is extremely lean and can result in a ground meat that is dry, crumbly, and lacking in flavor. Mixing in extra fat during the grinding process is an easy way to combat these issues.

There are several options when it comes to adding fat, including pork butt, beef tallow, bacon ends and pieces, and lard. The amount of fat you include with the meat is up to you, but generally, the more fat you add, the juicier the ground meat will be.

When making venison burgers, adding beef fat is the preferred source as it adds great flavor and helps bind the meat together better. For a leaner mixture that crumbles nicely, grinding venison alone is ideal for dishes like chili or spaghetti.

It’s important to note that adding fat not only improves the taste and texture of venison but also makes it easier to cook. The added fat helps keep the meat in patty form and prevents it from drying out during cooking.

The Benefits Of Using Lard

Lard is a great choice for adding fat to your venison dishes, and it offers a wide array of health benefits. For starters, lard is rich in vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. In fact, lard is the second richest dietary source of vitamin D after cod liver oil, with one tablespoon containing up to 1,000 IUs.

Another benefit of using lard is its heat stability. Unlike other oils that smoke at high temperatures and become a cancer risk, lard remains stable even at high heat. This makes it a healthier option for cooking and frying.

Furthermore, because lard is a natural food, it doesn’t require any additives or extra processing to work. This means that it’s free from harmful chemicals and preservatives that are often found in other cooking fats.

Lard also contains healthy monounsaturated fats, just like olive oil. And while it does have a high percentage of saturated fat, recent research has shown that saturated fats are not as bad for you as previously thought.

Additionally, pure lard has a neutral taste and contains no pork flavor, making it a versatile option for cooking and baking. It also has less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter, making it a great low-cholesterol butter substitute.

Finally, using lard for cooking and frying does not cause inflammation in the body due to oxidation, unlike unsaturated vegetable oils such as corn and canola. This makes it a healthier option for your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease.

How To Add Lard To Venison

If you’re ready to add lard to your venison, here’s how to do it:

1. Start by preparing your venison. If you’re using ground venison, make sure it’s well chilled before adding the lard. If you’re using whole cuts of venison, grind it in a meat grinder along with the lard.

2. Measure out the amount of lard you want to add. A good rule of thumb is to add 10-20% fat when making venison burgers, but for sausages, 20-30% is standard.

3. If you’re using chunks of lard, freeze them beforehand to make them easier to chop. Chop the lard into small pieces that are roughly the same size as the chunks of venison.

4. Add the lard to the venison and mix well. You can do this by hand or with a food processor.

5. Once the lard is mixed in, form your patties or sausages and cook as desired.

It’s important to note that while lard is a great option for adding fat to your venison, it does have a lower melting point than pork fat or beef tallow. This means that it may melt faster and easier during cooking, which could affect the texture of your dish.

Tips For Cooking With Lard-Infused Venison

Now that you know you can use lard with venison, here are some tips to make the most out of your lard-infused venison dishes:

1. Use fresh lard: As with any cooking ingredient, fresh is always best. Make sure to use fresh lard for your venison dishes to ensure optimal flavor.

2. Render your own lard: If you have access to high-quality pastured pork fat, consider rendering your own lard. This will give you full control over the quality and flavor of your lard.

3. Use lard for marinating: Lard is a great option for marinating venison as it adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat. Mix the lard with herbs and spices of your choice and let the venison marinate in the mixture for a few hours before cooking.

4. Use lard for roasting: Roasting venison in lard can help keep the meat moist and flavorful. Rub the venison with herbs and spices, then place it in a roasting pan with a layer of melted lard at the bottom. Roast in the oven until cooked through.

5. Use lard for frying: Lard is a great option for frying venison as it has a high smoke point and adds flavor to the meat. Cut the venison into small pieces, coat in seasoned flour, and fry in hot lard until golden brown.

6. Experiment with different herbs and spices: Lard is a versatile ingredient that can be infused with different herbs and spices to add unique flavors to your venison dishes. Try adding rosemary, thyme, or garlic to your lard for a delicious twist on traditional venison recipes.

Creative Ways To Use Venison Tallow

Venison tallow is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many creative ways. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Use it as a cooking fat: Venison tallow is great for frying or sautéing vegetables. It has a high smoke point, which means it can handle high heat without burning.

2. Add it to ground meat: If you’re making venison burgers or meatballs, add some tallow to the ground meat mixture to make it juicier and more flavorful.

3. Use it as a rub: Mix some tallow with your favorite spices and use it as a rub for your venison roast or steak. This will help seal in the juices and add extra flavor.

4. Make soap: Tallow is a common ingredient in homemade soap. It’s great for your skin and helps remove impurities.

5. Waterproof leather products: Rubbing tallow on leather products can help waterproof them and protect them from the elements.

6. Feed the birds: If you have scraps of venison fat, cut them into suet and feed them to birds in the winter.

7. Make pemmican: Pemmican is a traditional Native American food made from dried meat, fat, and berries. Venison tallow is perfect for making pemmican as it solidifies at lower temperatures.

Conclusion: Elevate Your Venison Dishes With Lard