Here sweetheart, I said to my new wife years ago, try this venison. Ewe she says, tastes so strong and wild and gamy, you eat it…
On the whole, a deer killed quickly and gutted on the spot without damage to intestines will produce great venison meat. Even so some deer eat browse that makes the meat taste strong. Cutting the tarsal glands off your buck is a myth to enhance flavor. Just don’t touch them when handling venison meat as they have a very strong odor that can detract from your meat taste.
So the quest begins, how do you tame the gamy taste? It is the blood that is in the meat that largely carries the gamy taste, so removing the blood in the meat can reduce greatly those strong tastes. The use of milk and buttermilk to soak your meat overnight is a way to draw blood into the milk and buttermilk and carry away much of that gamy taste. A close friend of mine does this with all venison cuts invariably and has had great success with it because she also learned that buttermilk in particular has enzymes that also tenderize the meat. Lesson learned decades later. See this website http://www.ehow.com/how_5845944_tenderize-buttermilk.html
I use buttermilk or milk to soak when I know the history of the cuts from a particular deer have been too strong tasting. For example a big buck that was shot at the end of November after chasing does for miles and miles and who was eating cedar browse tastes like cedar and has a very strong taste and the meat is tough as shoe leather needs buttermilk. All else fails, It is best to grind this meat and add it to say beef recipes as a percentage or use it in spaghetti sauces else it will sit forever in your freezer.
Here is a photo of a large piece of rear leg venison I am cutting into steaks for freezing.
Also, I make it a habit of freezing my venison as a way of aging and degassing the meat. New fresh cuts of venison I have found can be strong in flavor but aged for a month or more in the freezer in vacuum sealed bags can also greatly improve flavor and reduce gamy tastes.
I appreciate spices to bring out the flavor of meat, not mask it. A cook book that I bought as a gift years ago for a friend was full of recipes that used Juniper Berry. See the site below.
Later I found a mustard rub that worked to hold moisture in my roasts but I don’t go wild to herb the dickens out of my venison. I like its taste to remain in the forefront of my palate and not masked to hide it. There are plenty of spices to enhance the flavor of game like Juniper, Cumin, Mustard seed, sage, thyme, turmeric etc.
I also enjoy Montreal Steak seasoning found it the spice isle of your local supermarket.
I use it on grilled venison steaks medium rare and sprinkle a bit on it after cooking. The spices in this seasoning are spectacular to bring out meat flavor but I would never use it as a rub, some do, because it is too salty and spicy for me. I use it sparingly.
I only touched on tenderizing here but let me say that pressure cooking venision is the surest way to make a tender venison stew. I use an Electric Pressure cooker that takes only 10 to 15 minutes under pressure to create meat that will just fall apart and melt in your mouth. My family owns this Cuisenart 6 quart below. Cost $130 and worth every penny if you love stew. It will brown meat, then pressure cook vegetables too and will simmer or keep stew warm. Clean-up is a breeze as the inserted pot comes right out for easy cleaning. A great gift idea.
Lastly, make every effort to vacuum seal all of your meat. It can remain for years under vacuum and just months if just wrapped in meat paper.
Good Eating! © 2014