The most important thing to remember when cooking venison is that wild animals get exercise, so the meat is lean. Ground venison can be used just as you would use ground hamburger to make burgers and meatloaf -- as long as you “butter it up” first, adding moisture and fat to keep the meat from drying out. Combining ground venison with fattier meats such as sausage and braising venison in liquid are other tasty options when making ground venison for dinner.
Making Venison Burgers
When grilling or frying burger patties from ground venison, a generous helping of herbs such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme and sage help to mask the gamey flavor. The meat can also stand up to bold additions such as garlic, jalapeno and chopped red onion stirred right into the ground meat. Before mixing, add 1 egg per pound of venison; unlike ground beef, venison doesn’t have enough fat to coagulate and bind your burger patties. Fry your venison patties in butter or oil, or grill for five to eight minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the patty. Add melted cheese if desired.
Braising Venison Chili
Because venison is dry, braising it in a big pot with the simmering juices of beans, tomatoes and onions is a near perfect application. Start with a sauté of garlic, onions and spices in oil, adding to that your meat and browning. Alternately, simmer your ground venison in broth, breaking it up into chunks until it's cooked through. Wild game can handle strong spices such as cumin, chili peppers and habanero if you like the heat. When simmering the meat, keep the pot covered and add more water if necessary to keep your ingredients moist; a cup of salsa and a large can of plum tomatoes with their juices will add more liquid.
Inventing Venison Meatloaf
Because it’s such a lean meat, ground venison is often paired with ground pork. The two kinds of ground meat combined in equal proportions make for a juicy meatloaf. Add 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup evaporated milk to moisten your 2 pounds of meat. Other ingredients such as grated onion, ketchup and barbeque sauce will add moisture and tang. Shape into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 to 90 minutes for 1 to 2 pounds of ground venison.
Re-heating Venison Leftovers
To enjoy your leftover venison dinner the next day, reheat the dish until it’s nice and hot or serve it cold. Meals made with venison and served at a lukewarm temperature will have an overly greasy taste. Because of its short fibers, the meat of venison will toughen if it is overheated. Consider using butter or olive oil to keep the meat moist while warming, or add a little water to the pan and keep it covered with a lid.
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