Venison is one of the healthiest of foods. It’s lower in fat than turkey and nearly as low as fish. It’s organic, local, and raised without antibiotics or artificial additives. Plus, bagging a fat buck or doe is challenging and keeps us in touch with our predatory roots. It’s even tastier in a pie.
Variety on the Table
Ironically, the low-fat nature of venison makes it a challenge to cook. Often deer are butchered and steaks sliced to a thickness of 1/2 inch making them easy to over-cook and become dry with a taste of liver. A friend of mine once asked me to drop his deer at a butcher shop and on the way out, he said, “Oh, by the way, make sure he cuts the steaks and chops two inches thick.”
I thought that odd at the time, yet have come to learn that venison is best when it’s cooked to medium or medium rare and that this is much easier to achieve with thicker cuts.
The challenges of cooking venison are easily overcome by adding a sauce or marinade to keep the protein moist. Personally, I love ground venison in chili, spaghetti sauce, or prepared as Swiss steak. Rob Fickling takes venison preparation to a new level with his venison pie.
If you have an upcoming meeting of hunting buddies or an outdoor social gathering, what better way to add taste and the protein richness of venison than to bake a pie (or three)? Here’s Fickling’s recipe from the Sportsman Stories website:
Rob Fickling, host of Beyond the Divide on Sportsman Channel, shares his all-time favorite venison recipe.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 5 minutes
1 pound cubed venison
2 cups port wine
½ cup walnuts
1 spoonful of blackberry jam
1 spoonful of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sage
Red onion, sliced
Flour, for thickening
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten