Well, it comes down to this:
If you don't mind some venison hair in your meat, don't soak it.
Yeah Jafo I guess you've got a definite point there! Do you use it like you would ground beef? I guess I wash mine so well it gets all the hair off, but I soak it to remove some of the "gamey" taste.
I never soak wild game.
Instead I just brush it with a soft cloth, moistened with a vinegar/water mix. Any hair comes right off.
For high-liquid dishes the ground venison should be fine. Just don't cook it as long as you would beef. For hamburgers and the like, I would want to add some fat. Ground pork works well, or even some beef suet if you can find it.
BTW, unless they've been eating red acorns, if the venison was field dressed, butchered, and frozen properly there should be no gaminess about it. The "gamey" taste people complain of usually comes from semi-rancid fat.
The leg quarters I was speaking about are perfect for grinding. As KY said, most of the gaminess is from the fat and I usually cut that out of the meat wherever I can.
Originally Posted by Cook Chatty Cathy
As for soaking, that is probably the wrong word. You are only leaving the meat in the water for a couple minutes. It just helps dissolve the blood on the meat so it will release the hair. The blood gets sticky when it is exposed to air, such as when it gets skinned and quartered.
Thanks KYH & Jafo for the helpful hints. I certainly needed them. Semi-Rancid Fat YUCK!!!
Here is a recipe I whipped together last night, it was delicious! Anyway, here you go:
Jeffs Recipes » Savory Asian Venison
My hubby is into Deer hunting big time and loves to eat the meat. I don't eat wild meat ...lol..just call me picky.... I have a long list of things I don't eat !
Can't stand that "wild " taste of Venison.
Any tips on making it taste less gamey ? I have tried soaking it with a touch of vinegar or garlic and even over night in Buttermilk but still can't get around that wild taste.
Much of the "gaminess" of wild kill isn't just an automatic taste that all game has, mrsjimmyp- much of it is caused by the adrenaline that pushes through the animal's system in moments of fear and haste. For instance, if the deer doesn't know the hunter is even there- and the shooter gets the animal "just right" and there's no fear, no panic, running for miles literally "for it's life", then the animal will likely be pretty free of any severe "gamey" taste. However if the animal senses danger and is literally hunted down and chased, and then if after being wounded the animal continues to run for miles and miles like deer are prone to do, then you're gonna have one freezer full of gamey meat!
I'm a purist- I prefer my venison, moose and caribou like I like my beef- salt & pepper only- maybe a brush or garlic-butter if I'm feeling fancy. But if you've got a gamey taste to work with, lemon juice & red wine, and LOTSA juniper berries and TONS of fresh rosemary all do a decent job of masking some of that- but not all, mind you.
Another idea is to cut the meat into workable thin "cutlets" or medallions, dredge in flour seasoned w/ S&P, then saute in a pan of clarified butter. When the meat is nearly as done as you want it, deglaze the pan w/ a swaller of whiskey/brandy/cognac (watch the flames! They'll subside in a few seconds...) ladle-in a couple ounces of demi-glace, or rich beef gravy. Heat well, then stir in a spoon or two of currant jelly- or cherry. The resulting complex flavored sauce is delicious and will help mask a strong gaminess quite well.
Last edited by chubbyalaskagriz; 08-01-2008 at 03:52 AM.
Kevin is absolutely right about the adrenaline thing. This shows up especially in animals like pronghorn, which are often "hunted" by running them with jeeps. Not my idea of sport.
With deer (especially nowadays, when most of them are ambushed from tree stands) the major contributor to gaminess is improper field dressing and butchering.
Game should be field dressed and cooled as quickly as possible. The better insulator it's hair is, the faster that should be done. Again, using pronghorn as an example: they have the best insulation of all game animals, and should be dressed and cooled within 15 minutes. Otherwise their own body heat promotes spoilage.
Venison fat has a unique property: even while frozen it can turn rancid. And that's the usual cause of gaminess.
When butchering a deer---or any other game animal---I remove every iota of fat, silverskin, and connective tissue. The meat is then packaged using butcher paper and tape, the contents clearly marked, and kept in a 0 degree freezer until needed.
I have never had gamy meat doing that.
BTW, this whole question of gaminess is open to interpretation. I don't consider venison to be gamy. But lamb can be. And mutton is, by definition.