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Venison – The Healthier Red Meat

Once a meat favoured by the aristocracy, venison is shrugging off its claret and tweed image to become popular as a healthier, lower fat alternative to beef and other red meat. From a summer barbecue to a winter casserole, venison can be used in many different ways and is full of flavour. But why has it gained a reputation as a healthy addition to a balanced diet?

Fat Facts

While we need to be careful about our intake, a small amount of fat in our diet is essential. Without it, we can’t absorb vitamins A, D and E, all of which play an important role in keeping us happy and healthy.

Polyunsaturated Fats

According to NHS guidelines, it's best to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. These can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. There are two main kinds of polyunsaturated fats – Omega 3 and Omega 6.

So Why Venison?

An independent study in 2009 also found that “Venison is much higher than other red meats in essential polyunsaturated fatty acids.”  (ADAS - Essentially Catering Magazine) Venison is not only higher in these essential polyunsaturated fats, it also has less than 1% saturated fat. All of this makes it a healthy source of protein in a modern flexitarian diet. For easy cooking tips on how to prepare venison at home, visit our blog post ‘How to Cook Your Venison’. Or try this delicious recipe from professional chef and venison champion Jose L Souto.

Barbecue Style Venison Ribs

Serves 5
2 racks of venison ribs 500ml chicken stock

For the marinade

600ml tomato ketchup 200ml dark soy sauce 250ml honey 15g smoked paprika 5 cloves garlic  


Place all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Using your hands or a pastry brush, coat the marinade all over both sides of the venison ribs. Put the ribs into a large bag and pour over the rest of the marinade. Tie, and leave in the fridge overnight. The following day, remove the venison ribs and place in a large roasting dish. Combine the remaining marinade with the chicken stock and pour over the ribs. Bring everything to the boil over the hob, and then cook in the oven for around 2 hours at Gas Mark 3 (160C) until the meat is tender. The ribs can be eaten immediately, or left to cool and reheated on the bbq when your guests arrive. Delicious with chips and a cold drink in the garden.