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Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or braising pot over medium-high heat. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and place in the pot in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook without moving until brown on one side, 2 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the same pot. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic, and sauté until starting to brown, 1-2 minutes. Place the venison and any accumulated juices back in the pot. Season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat.
Add the red wine and enough beef broth to almost cover the venison and vegetables. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Cover and place in the oven until the venison is fork-tender and almost falling apart, about 4 hours.
Remove from the oven and discard the bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Denise Landis is the founder and editor in chief of The Cook's Cook. She tested recipes for the New York Times for over 25 years.Venison Bourguignon Photo credit: Eva Baughman
This recipe is featured in Venison
This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled. For the best flavor, make it a day ahead of time. Leftovers can be frozen for many months. Venison Bourguignon may be served as is, or accompanied by boiled baby potatoes in their skins, mashed potatoes, or wild rice.
- 1 kg (2 pounds) venison chuck, in 4 cm (1½ inch) cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 104 ml (7 tablespoons) olive oil
- 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1.25 cm (½ inch) strips
- 2 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 60 grams (6 tablespoons) flour
- 100 grams (6 tablespoons) tomato paste
- 473 ml (2 cups) dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 16 small (about 4 cm/1½ inch diameter) whole boiling onions, peeled
- 454 grams (16 ounces) white button mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1. Season venison with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 59 ml (4 tablespoons) of the oil. Add the bacon and sauté until lightly browned. Add the venison and sauté until browned on all sides.
2. Transfer venison and bacon to a heavy Dutch oven, and set aside. Add chopped onions and carrots to the skillet and sauté until onions are softened and carrots are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Allow to cook 1 minute, then stir in tomato paste.
3. Add wine to the skillet along with 1 liter (4 cups) water. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan. Pour mixture into the Dutch oven. Add bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, 3 to 4 hours.
4. Toward end of cooking time, heat remaining 44 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add small whole onions and sauté until tender and browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are barely tender, 2-3 minutes. Add mixture to pot of stew, and stir to combine. Serve immediately, or for best flavor allow to cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat gently over medium-low heat, and serve.
How to Remove the Gamey Flavor from Venison
Vension is a term used to describe meat that comes from any animal in the deer family. This includes whitetail deer, reindeer, moose, elk or caribou. It looks a lot like beef and can be used as a suitable substitute in most beef recipes. However, it has a taste all its own. It has to do with the animal’s diet. It’s the same reason you’ll notice a difference in the flavor of beef in corn fed versus grass fed cows.
Some people, myself included, find the gamey flavor a little off-putting. There are some things that can be done out in the field to reduce the gamey flavor. However, if someone gave you the venison meat, you don’t have any control over how the animal was processed. Thankfully, I have a few tricks that, in my opinion, completely neutralizes the gamey flavor in the venison meat.
First, because a lot of the undesirable flavor is concentrated in the animal’s fat, you will want to remove as much fat or connective tissue (called the silver skin) from the meat as you can. A good, sharp filet or boning knife will quickly and easily take care of this.
Second, I always soak my vension in milk overnight or up to 24 hours. The milk draws out any residual blood lingering in the meat. Some people recommend soaking the meat in buttermilk, but I find plain old milk works just fine. I place my meat in a large freezer bag, add just enough milk to completely cover the meat, carefully press out any air from the bag, seal it up and place the bag in the refrigerator.
Another tip – I like to place the bag in a shallow dish or bread pan to catch any drips. If my plastic bag has a hole in it, I’d rather find out before milk and blood have dripped all over my fridge and made a huge mess. Once the soaking time is up, discard the milk.
Slow Cooker Sunday: French bourguignon made with venison
I can’t live without my slow cooker, and I never want to know what that would be like. On days like today, when it’s cold and I’m sick, the last thing I want to do is spend five hours preparing a meal for my family &mdash especially when my husband requests dishes like venison stew or bourguignon. So instead I’ll spend just 20 minutes prepping, and then let the slow cooker do all its magic while I lie on the couch, watching Lifetime.
That makes me sound really lazy, but I promise I’m not. I love cooking. But some days I love not cooking too, and those are the days this venison bourguignon will be on my menu. The venison meat adds a unique variety to this dish, and the rich ingredients and flavor-packed broth taste like you spent all day making it. Funny thing is, you did &mdash just with a little help from the slow cooker.
Slow cooker venison bourguignon recipe
This amazing venison bourguignon revamps this classic French dish with an exciting new meat. If you can’t find venison, then use beef or pork.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 6-8 hours | Total time: 6 hours 20 minutes-8 hours 20 minutes
With a depth of wild flavor bathed in red wine and a bouquet of herbs, this Venison Bourguignon is a Southern backwoods expression of a classic French dish. There are flavors here that tantalize: Wild game simmered down in a dark roux-infused gravy spiked ever-so-gently with red wine and punched with fragrant herbs, umami-rich mushrooms, fresh carrots, and onions—a truly inspired dish.
A unique take on a French classic: Venison Bourguignon. (All photos credit: George Graham)
Leave it to South Louisiana camp cooks to elevate the haute cuisine of Paris with inspiration and creativity. The caliber of cooks that don an apron and fire up the pots in the kitchens of hunting camps across the South is astounding. And I can emphatically state that these are mostly men, and they are passionate about their recipes.
My friend Ben Thibeau is one of them. His specialty is hunting deer, and he has a bevy of recipes that never waste an ounce of the tasty game meat. Sausage, tenderloin, roasts, stews, gravies, and sauce piquante are just a part of the recipe arsenal he brings to the table. And this one for Venison Bourguignon is one of his favorites.
Ben will freely admit that he is inspired by Julia Child’s classic recipe for Beef Bourguignon with his version using deer meat. With a Cajun twist or two, he has perfected this tasty take on a classic. Like me, you should make friends with a hunter and get your hands on some cuts (Ben uses backstrap, tenderloin, and neck meat) of venison for this recipe. You can also purchase farm-raised venison on the Internet at a variety of online options. And if you must, this Cajun version of the French classic is tasty with beef stew meat or short ribs.
But I’m lucky to have a friend like Ben Thibeau, and for me, it’s Venison Bourguignon on my Acadiana Table. I’ve tinkered a bit with his recipe, but once you read through the steps, you will see how easy this dish is to make. Fresh ingredients, delicate spicing, and long, gentle cooking time are the keys. Like Ben, I cook mine in a black iron pot, but I will admit that a slow cooker or even one of those new-fangled Insta Pots will work here.
So, if you’re hunting for a new recipe with a dramatic twist on a perennial favorite, then try this Venison Bourguignon.
Rich and hearty, this wild game, hunting camp version of the French classic delivers the flavor.
Venison recipes: Venison bourguignon
How many times in a row can you say “bourguignon” as fast as possible?
Sooo… it’s February, and I think I can speak for a majority of the country when I say I am ready for warm weather and warm weather food. We are a little bit stewed-out over here (not to mention irritated that this has been the 10th coldest winter in Dallas history). However, for one last winter hurrah in the cold-weather-comfort-food category (because in Texas, spring is but a day away), here is the one stew that all other stews aspire to be. I don’t know what it is about French cooking that, aside from using seemingly simple and nearly the same ingredients as other simple food, it’s sooooo much better. I think it’s because they douse everything in wine and butter.
The recipe says you should use a quality wine. To cook with? Duly noted. And ignored. I will drink the fine wine, thankyouverymuch.
I am generally not one of those people that reads through an entire recipe before I decide to, or even start, cooking it. This means it can come to kind of a surprise when your sleeves are rolled up and you’re in the thick of it, the recipe instructs you to light the dish on fire. Ummm…. okay. So we decided that we needed to pour the brandy in and immediately light it so we could get pictures before the alcohol burned off. Doing this in a big rush, we found, was incredibly unnecessary. Grab the extinguisher folks, because I nearly melted the bottom of my microwave as the brandy burned for an entire 2 minutes. And did it even really help the dish? Sure?
Please do not hold your face directly over the pot when lighting it. At best, you will singe the eyebrows.
In the final photos, I have the bread strategically placed to look really pretty for the picture, but really the bread should probably be on the bottom with the stew spooned right over top, because it soaks up all the buttery, silky, brothy goodness. This is also why a good crusty bread is the way to go.
See how lovely it is to sop up the last morsels of broth with a good, sturdy, toasted hunk of bread?
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In large seasoned skillet, saute onions, carrots and garlic over high heat. Add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish. Set aside.
Combine flour and pepper in a plastic bag. Add beef to bag a handful at a time shake to coat. Melt margarine in same skillet over medium-high heat add floured beef. Quickly brown beef, turning once, about 2 minutes.
Dissolve beef base in hot water. Add to beef in skillet, along with reserved onion and carrot mixture, wine and thyme. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes or until beef is pink in center and sauce has thickened slightly.
Drain pasta and arrange in large shallow pasta bowl. Top pasta with beef mixture sprinkle with fresh thyme or parsley if desired. Sprinkle drained hot snap peas around outside edge of bowl.
15 Ground Venison Recipes
Rich stews, spiced chilis, and savory roasts become regular menu items during the fall season, and game meat enthusiasts know that venison, with its earthy flavor, smooth texture, and lean profile, lends itself especially well to robust autumn fruits, vegetables, and aromatics. Whether you're a seasoned eater of deer meat or are just discovering this protein for the first time, venison in its ground form proves especially easy to incorporate into recipes, and these 15 ground venison recipes make excellent use of the meat's unique and nuanced personality.
Serves: 6-8Prep time: 30 minutesCook time: 2-3 hrs.Ahh, Venison Bourguignon. When is the last time you heard someone say, "I don't like venison"? Not that long ago, I'll bet. Well if there was ever a recipe to change that, this is it. My wife of thirty plus years, who admits she is not big on game, says "I could drink this with a straw"!Most chefs will admonish you to use cuts of chuck for stews and soups. I use cuts from the ham and shoulder for this dish. I show a few tricks and advice in my video below to help you get this just right. As always, play with the recipe and adjust to your personal preferences. I hope you enjoy the Venison Bourguignon as much as we do.Ingredients3 Tbl olive oil8 Tbl unsalted butter8 oz. chopped bacon2-3 lbs. Venison cut into 1-2 inch pieces (pierce and sprinkle with little unseasoned Adolph's Meat Tenderizer)1-2 lbs. carrots (I love and use baby carrots)6 garlic cloves smashed1 lb. cremini mushrooms1/2 c brandy1 bottle dry red wine (use wine you would drink)2 c venison or beef stock1-2 Tbl Sundried tomatoes (can use tomato paste if you have to)1 Bouquet Garni (thyme, rosemary and bay leaf)4 Tbl softened butter1/4 cup flourSalt and pepper2-3 lbs. baby golden potatoes1 lb. frozen small (pearl) onionsSliced, crusty bread like a French Boule Bread or even toasted sourdoughProcedure
Heat 1 Tbl oil in a large cooking pot, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Salt and Pepper the venison and brown on both sides. Give it a little room. Don't pile a bunch of meat in and essentially steam it. We want it browned on both or all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots into the hot oil. I usually have to give it a dash or two more olive oil. Cook and stir until softened.
Add the garlic cloves and sauté another few minutes.
Add the brandy and ignite with a match or lighter and stand back. This can take a minute or two to burn off.
Add the meat back into the pot, venison and bacon.
Add the wine and enough stock (broth) to cover the meat, carrots and onions.
Bring the pot to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
Add the sun dried tomatoes and the herb bouquet.
Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Stir enough to ensure the dish is not sticking and the heat is correct, about every 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix 2 Tbl softened butter with 3 Tbl flour and slowly whisk in the cooking broth to thicken.
Place 2 Tbl butter and 1 Tbl oil in a skillet and sauté the pearl onions. Push them to one side of the skillet and sauté the mushrooms on the other. Use additional butter or oil as needed. Season both with a little salt and pepper. Mix and add both to the big pot with the wine broth and meat.
Simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Brush the bread slices with olive oil and toast the bread slices. Traditional servings place the bread on the bottom of the bowl and serve over. Serve it the way you like it! If you are not using a good crusty bread, accompany the bourguignon on the side, otherwise it will get too soggy.
Deers are the most hunted animals in America, making venison as all-American as baseball and apple pie. Venison refers to both deer and elk meat, which produce lean cuts of meat considered to be extremely healthy by nutritionists. Venison is actually lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than beef, while still maintaining a similar, although more gamey, flavor.
If you’re wondering how to prepare your venison this summer, the question is really, how can you go wrong? Venison is enjoyable as steaks, tenderloins, roasts, sausages, jerky, and minced meat although it’s a bit too lean to make into a great burger without adding fat to it. Luckily, that can be easily remedied by adding bacon or cheese to your minced meat.
The next time you get your hands on venison, give these recipes a try.
1. Venison Bourguignon
This rich French stew only has about 30 minutes of prep, but to develop all of the flavors, you’ll want to cook it for at least four hours. Don’t forget to brine the meat before getting started it’s worth the extra hour for really tender venison chunks.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 8 ounces chopped bacon
- 3 pounds deer roast meat chopped into large 2-inch chunks
- 2 pounds carrots chopped into large chunks
- 2 onions roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms halved
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 750 mL dry red wine
- 2 cups venison stock or beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bouquet garni a small fresh herb bouquet with thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 pounds baby golden potatoes
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Dry the venison chunks with a paper towel and add salt and pepper. Brown the deer meat on all sides. Then remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add the onions, garlic, and carrots to the same pot. Cook and stir for several minutes until the onions are soft, then add the mushrooms and cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Add all meat back to the pot, then follow with brandy, wine, stock, and tomato paste. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well. Then add the bouquet garni and cover.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 3 hours until the venison is very tender.
- In the last hour of simmering, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the mini potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast for 35-45 minutes until tender, stirring once midway.
- Once the venison is tender, mix half a stick of softened butter with 1/4 cup of flour. Use a fork to create a paste.
- Slowly stir the butter mixture into the stew until the desired thickness is reached.
- Salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Serve the stew with potatoes on the top or side.
2. Venison Steak with Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms
This recipe is best for larger venison steaks, especially red deer and elk. The caramelized onions take some time but are worth the effort. Simple but delicious, with everything your body needs, prepped in 20 minutes and cooked for 20 minutes.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 3 onions, peeled and sliced from root to tip
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 1 pound venison backstrap
- Porcini powder (optional)
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, ideally hen of the woods a/k/a maitake, sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Dandelion leaves (optional, for garnish)
- Start by caramelizing the onions. You can even do this in advance and keep them in your fridge. Heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and toss to coat. Cover the onions, turn the heat down and cook slowly, stirring once in a while. You are looking for them to slowly soften and brown, not scorch. After about 10 minutes, they’ll start to get soft. Add salt and let them cook more. When they start to brown, add thyme and honey. Cook until fully brown. Remove and set aside.
- While the onions are cooking, take the venison out of the fridge and salt it well. Let it come to room temperature the whole time you are cooking the onions this is especially important if you are using elk or moose backstrap, which is thick.
- When the onions are done, wipe out the pan and add the remaining butter. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and sear it over medium-high heat, turning it to make sure all sides are well browned. Rest the meat on a cutting board. If you have porcini powder, roll the venison in it as it rests.
- While the venison is resting, put the mushrooms in the pan and turn the heat to high. Sear the mushrooms until they release their water this might not happen with hen of the woods. When the water has almost boiled away or when the mushrooms begin to brown, add some more butter and saute hard until the mushrooms are nicely browned. Salt them as they cook.
- Once the mushrooms are ready, add back the caramelized onions and the parsley and toss to combine. Heat through and put some on everyone’s plate. Add the dandelion leaves if you are using them. Slice the venison into medallions and serve.
3. Venison Appetizer Kabobs
Venison makes a great main dish, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it as an appetizer, too. Be sure to prep these the night before so the meat is tender and flavorful.
- Venison chops or steaks
- Onions, sliced
- Mushrooms, sliced
- Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce
- Marinade: 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup fajita seasoning
- Mix together the marinade, then pour over venison and refrigerate overnight.
- Cut venison into 2-inch cubes.
- Add a slice of either onion or mushroom, wrap in a slice of bacon and hold together with a toothpick.
- Place the kabobs on a cookie sheet and add a spoonful of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce to each.
- Broil on low for about 4 minutes on all sides, making sure bacon is fully cooked.
4. Venison Bacon Burgers
Get out to the grill this summer and change it up from the usual beef burgers – you won’t regret it. You have to put in some time on the front end for these to work, but they’re worth it.
- 6 slices bacon, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 6 hamburger buns
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 1 egg, beaten to mix
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy. Pour bacon and grease into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool. Heat olive oil in the skillet, then add garlic and shallots. Cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes then add to bacon in the bowl.
- Once cool, mix in venison, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg until evenly combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your grill for medium-high heat.
- Shape the mixture into 6 patties and grill to desired doneness. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.
5. Venison Carne Asada Tacos
How about some venison tacos for a change?
- 1-2 lbs venison, thinly sliced
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- Chef Merito Steak & Meat or Carne Asada seasoning
- 1 white onion, sliced into rings
- Sprinkle the carne asada seasoning and the cumin evenly over both sides of the venison and pat it into the meat.
- Throw all the meat into a large Ziploc bag along with the sliced onion “rings” and squeeze the juice from the lime and orange into the bag. Seal up the bag, removing as much air as possible, and work it around to make sure the juice has had a chance to soak all of the meat.
- Take the venison and onions and place on a hot grill. Cook for 2 minutes or so on each side.
- After you remove the meat from the grill, chop it up with a cleaver into bite-sized pieces.
- Quickly warm the tortillas on the grill and serve with the grilled onions, chopped white onion, cilantro and a hint of lime juice.
There are few things better than enjoying a great dinner with your family that you provided from start to finish. With deer season approaching, now is the time to collect all of the new venison recipes you’d like to try!
Do you have a favorite venison recipe? Do share it with us in the comments section!