How To Prepare Ground Venison? The Full Guide

Are you tired of the same old beef burgers and spaghetti sauce? Why not switch things up and try cooking with ground venison?

This lean and flavorful meat is a great alternative to beef and can be used in a variety of dishes. But if you’re new to cooking with venison, you may be wondering how to prepare it properly.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for cooking with ground venison, including recipes for burgers, tacos, meatloaf, and more.

So let’s get started and discover the delicious world of ground venison!

How To Prepare Ground Venison?

When it comes to cooking with ground venison, the key is to prepare it properly to avoid any “gamey” flavor. Venison has a distinct taste that is different from beef, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy its unique flavor without any unpleasant aftertaste.

First and foremost, make sure to pack your patties tightly when making burgers. This will help keep the juices inside and prevent them from drying out on the grill or in the pan. Grill your burgers on a hot flame to sear in the juices, and turn them gently and infrequently – ideally, only once. Be careful not to overcook them, as venison can dry out quickly.

If you’re making burgers in a pan, fry them in a few tablespoons of oil instead of adding fat to your burgers. Olive oil has a nice flavor, but be careful not to let it get too hot. You can also use regular cooking oil if you prefer.

For taco meat or sloppy joes, brown the ground venison in a lightly oiled pan. Once it’s cooked through, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and your desired seasonings. The lean nature of venison means you won’t need to pour off any extra grease like you would with ground beef.

When making meatloaf with venison, use your usual recipe but shorten the cooking time slightly. You may want to add more moisture in the form of ketchup or barbecue sauce, as well as diced onions and green peppers for additional flavor and moisture. You can also add more egg and breadcrumbs to stretch your recipe.

Finally, when using ground venison in spaghetti sauce or other dishes that call for ground meat, use your usual recipe with no modifications necessary. The flavor of venison holds up well in spicy dishes that would overwhelm the flavor of ground beef.

Why Choose Ground Venison?

Ground venison is a great choice for those looking for a leaner and healthier alternative to beef. Venison is naturally leaner than beef, with a 3-ounce portion roasted providing only 135 calories and 3 grams of fat. In comparison, a 3-ounce portion of beef sirloin roast has 160 calories and 6 grams of fat. This makes ground venison an excellent option for those looking to cut back on their fat and calorie intake.

Another benefit of ground venison is its versatility in cooking. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from burgers to meatloaf to spaghetti sauce, without sacrificing flavor or texture. And while some people may be hesitant to try venison due to its reputation for having a “gamey” flavor, proper preparation can eliminate any unwanted aftertaste.

When using ground venison in recipes, it’s important to pack the patties tightly to keep the juices inside and prevent them from drying out. Grilling on a hot flame or frying in a few tablespoons of oil can also help retain moisture and prevent the meat from becoming too dry.

How To Select And Store Ground Venison

When selecting ground venison, look for meat that is bright red in color with no discoloration or signs of spoilage. Avoid any packages that have a strong odor or are slimy to the touch. If you’re purchasing from a local butcher or processing facility, ask about the age of the meat and how it was processed. Freshly ground venison should be used within three to five days, so plan accordingly.

To store ground venison, place it in airtight packaging and label it with the date it was processed. Store it in the freezer at 0°F or colder for up to three months for best quality. Venison roasts and steaks can be stored for six to nine months at this temperature. Proper dressing, handling, packaging, quick freezing, and colder freezer temperatures will help maintain meat quality for the longest period of time.

When thawing ground venison, do so in the refrigerator or microwave, never at room temperature. Once thawed, cook the meat within two days to prevent spoilage. When cooking with ground venison, make sure to cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160°F to ensure any potential bacteria is killed off.

By following these tips for selecting and storing ground venison, you can ensure that your meat stays fresh and safe to eat for months to come.

Preparing Ground Venison For Cooking

When preparing ground venison for cooking, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. If you’re grinding your own venison, you’ll need to add fat to the meat to keep it moist and flavorful. Some people prefer to add beef fat, while others use pork or lamb fat. Pork backfat is ideal for adding moisture to ground venison.

If you’re using bacon ends, which are the leftover pieces of bacon that aren’t pretty enough to be sold as slices, they work well for adding a hint of smoke and salt to your ground venison recipes. You can find them in most supermarkets in three-pound blocks.

When using natural fat from the deer or other game animal, it’s important to test the fat first by frying some up in a pan. If it smells and tastes good, you can use it in your ground meat without adding any additional fat. If you don’t like the flavor, trim the fat off and use domestic fat instead.

It’s also important to cook ground venison properly to avoid any unpleasant aftertaste. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your ground venison reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid overcooking or cooking at temperatures above 375 degrees Fahrenheit, as the short fibers in wild game meat can become tough.

When serving game meat, make sure it’s either very hot or very cold, as lukewarm game fat can have a greasy taste. Basting very lean cuts with additional fat can help improve their flavor, and covering roasts with bacon strips can provide self-basting.

By following these tips for preparing and cooking ground venison, you’ll be able to enjoy its unique flavor without any unpleasant aftertaste.

Recipes For Ground Venison Burgers

Ground venison burgers are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional beef burgers. Here are some recipes to try:

How To Use Ground Venison In Tacos

Ground venison is a great alternative to ground beef when it comes to making tacos. The key to making delicious venison tacos is to add the right combination of seasonings and spices to enhance its natural flavor. Here’s how you can use ground venison in tacos:

1. Heat a large skillet or non-stick frying pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent and fragrant.

2. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds to a minute before adding the ground venison. Loosely break up the venison and stir it into the sautéed onion and garlic, then allow the venison to sear for 2-3 minutes. Flip and break up the venison as it browns.

3. Once the ground venison is browned, add a combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for seasoning. Next, add chopped cilantro, diced roma tomatoes, lime juice, and water. Stir until combined.

4. Bring the ground venison taco meat to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the taco meat reaches your desired consistency.

5. Remove from heat and serve in your favorite taco shells or tortillas and top with desired condiments like salsa, sour cream, cheese, or guacamole.

By following these steps, you can make flavorful ground venison tacos that are sure to impress your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings and toppings to find your perfect combination.

Cooking Tips For Ground Venison Meatloaf

Ground venison meatloaf is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional beef meatloaf. Here are some cooking tips to ensure your meatloaf turns out perfectly:

1. Soak the bread cubes in milk to add moisture to the meatloaf. This will help keep the meatloaf super moist and tender.

2. Use a food processor to blitz the vegetables until they form a paste. Sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft, then add tomato sauce and cook for a couple more minutes. Spread this mixture out on a plate to cool quickly before adding it to the meatloaf mixture.

3. When mixing the ingredients, work the meatloaf mix well to help it bind together better. Normally, you don’t want to overwork meatball mixes, but this is an exception.

4. Grease a loaf pan with butter before packing the meat mixture into it. You can also mold the mixture into a loaf on a greased baking sheet.

5. Bake the meatloaf at 375°F until the center reads about 155°F, which will take roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. Paint the top of the loaf with marinara sauce about 30 minutes before it’s ready.

6. Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with sauce.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and moist ground venison meatloaf that your family will love.