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Don’t be scared of venison

Don’t be scared of venison
So you've heard of the health benefits of venison and want to try some but you’ve never cooked it before and feel a little scared…..well don’t be. Cooking venison is just like cooking beef but being lower in fat it just needs much less cooking time.
However unlike other red meat venison won't shrink, so if you cook a 6oz venison steak it pretty much stays a 6oz steak! In fact I would normally suggest if you regularly order say an 8-10oz beef steak then a 6oz venison steak will be the same in comparison.
Unlike years ago, there is also no need to marinate as our venison offers consistent quality and tenderness. Marinates need now only be for those extra flavours you may want.
Venison is an extremely versatile, easy to cook meat and throughout the season is ideal for dinner parties, functions, Sunday lunches, or simply a weekday dinner for two.
So no need to be scared…...and in case you are wondering about cooking your venison, here are some basic tips:
If you have a venison rack, loin, fillet or one of our small or large venison roasting joints then you don't want to overcook these and dry the meat out, so first brown the meat all over in a hot pan and then use the times below as a guideline:
Gas mark 6/ 400ºF/ 200ºC
12-15 mins per 1kg for rare to medium
15-20 mins for medium to well done
Always allow the meat to rest for 10 -20 mins at the end of cooking giving it further cooking time and letting the juices settle.
Venison is best rare to medium but if you prefer your meat well done then its best to use one of our boned, rolled venison shoulder joints and cook it slowly with some liquid to stop it drying out. So first make deep slits with a knife and insert sticks of butter, margarine or solidified olive oil to keep it moist and then brown the joint. Place in a dish with some liquid (water, wine, ale or orange juice) and braise 170ºc/ 325f/Gas Mark 3 for 2 - 2½ hours, basting frequently. The fat will come out of the meat during cooking leaving it moist. Skim off the fat and you’ll have some superb gravy!
Grilling and Pan-Frying
Venison retains the heat, so always use a very hot pan. For rare-medium cook the meat for two to four minutes each side and then leave it to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes to disperse the pink juices. If you do have your beef steak well done then try our venison steaks medium as cooking any longer can make the meat become tough. All our cuts that are best grilled or fried are recommended to be eaten rare to medium.
As with other meats, barbequing is a great way of putting flavour into your meat. All of our products go well on the summer barbeque. Just brush with oil and cook to your liking. Cutlets, T bones, burgers, grill steaks and sausages are particularly good on a barbeque menu.
Cooking times and settings are much the same as for any other meat. 1½– 2 hours in a medium oven is about right. All meats taste better if browned first. Marinating is not necessary with our tender venison but if you do then it will add extra flavour. Our diced or casserole venison steak also goes extremely well in a slow cooker - either high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours as with all other slow cooked meats.
Venison mince
Our venison mince is perfect for Bolognese’s, pies, chillies and lasagnes - all the family favourites. Just fry the venison mince in a little olive oil over a high heat. Separate with a fork and cook until browned. Add your favourite sauce ingredients and simmer for up to 45 minutes. Alternatively use in burger or meatball mixes – shape and cook.
Venison burgers, grills teaks, meatballs and sausages
As all of these products have a high meat content all you need do is brush with a little oil and cook as you would normally. Our burgers, grill steaks and sausages also do really well on the barbeque.
Flavour tips
Venison goes perfectly with most vegetables, in particular seasonal greens like asparagus, green beans, mange tout and broccoli. It also works well with roasted vegetables, winter parsnips, even roast tomatoes to add some contrast colour. Sharp berry sauces, cranberries, redcurrants and even blueberries are also a perfect match and a béarnaise sauce with some chunky chips is a wonderful accompaniment.  In winter try a rich venison casserole with red wine or a hearty venison and mushroom pie - see our recipes for these.
We have a large selection of venison recipes on our recipe page - from dinner party wow factor dishes to easy to make slow cooker venison stews - something for every occasion and capability.
And remember the venison you order from us can be frozen at home for use later or if not kept in the fridge for when you are ready as it will have a 14 day shelf life.
So as you can see venison is not scary, it’s easy to cook and it will offer you fantastic flavour as well as being the healthier option - so why not give ours a try