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meat (venison) tenderizing techniques?

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  • meat (venison) tenderizing techniques?

    wondering what any one knows about this. have venison steaks and roasts. did 1 one the grill tonight. flavor is good. soaking in milk a few hours (and i hear buttermilk works better) removes all "gamey" taste. but it is tough. about like low cost round or flank steak. ideas and input on people's experience; soaking (marinating) in citrus,pinapple,papaya juices? any cooking for tenderness experiences? other input? thanks.

  • #2
    I eat a lot of venison. Been eating on a mature buck here lately. Granted, I have been eating backstraps, but tenderness has not been an issue. I find the biggest thing to tenderness is to not overcook it! This also goes a long way in preventing the gamey taste as well.

    You have no intramuscular fat, so the meat tends to have different cooking characteristics than grain-fed beef (for example) One of my favorite ways to cook venison, is to coat it with a little homemade ghee, throw it in a hot, dry cast iron skillet, for about 30-45 seconds per side (I preheat my skillet in a 500 degree oven). If it's a thinner piece (~1"), this will just about be as done as I'll cook it. For a full thickness piece of backstrap, or roast, I'll pop it in the oven to finish it. I'll typically pull it out of the oven at around 125 internal. This will give you a medium rare after it rests a little.

    Do the same thing on the grill, sear both sides for about 2 minutes over direct high heat, then throw over indirect heat to finsih. Slap a big pat of Kerrygold on that sucker, and go to town!

    I do not marinate, soak or otherwise add anything (other than ghee or butter). I simply use a few shakes of sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder prior to cooking.

    If you prefer it in the medium-well+ doneness.... you may indeed have some problems with tenderness and gameiness.

    FYI, wild duck (mallards, wood ducks, pintail etc) are exactly the same way. I probably eat them even rare than deer. They tend to get a "livery" taste if cooked much past medium rare. That is assuming you don't smother it in some concoction of sauces and creams and whatnot. Otherwise it is awesome eating!!


    • #3
      What about a meat mallet? I've not used it with venison, but a good marinade + a few whacks with the mallet has always seemed to help with beef.


      • #4
        for steaks, i'll do them rare, either on the grill or in a cast iron pan, just like Mountainduck said. for roasts, low and slow, in a covered roasting pan, preferably with a little liquid in the bottom.


        • #5
          Last night I had a vension pot roast that had been slow cooking in the crokpot all day... was delicious.

          These are bacon wrapped ducks (ringnecks) with jalepenos, got them a Saturday morning a few weeks ago and had them for lunch later that day.
          "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
          - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)


          • #6
            I have a tenderloin in the crockpot today with some carrots and parsnips. I find the best way to do venison is to either sear it and eat it rare or cook it low and slow in a crock pot or smoker, pretty much in line with what everybody else has said. For the loin, I marinaded it for 3 days in mustard, balsamic, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, onion and a bit of chili powder. If I have any homemade bone broth on hand, I will add that to the crockpot. Today, I just put a cup of water, half a stick of butter and probably a half cup of balsamic for the jus.

            I did a bacon wrapped hind quarter on the smoker about a month back that turned out great. Stuffed with bell peppers and jalapeno's, smoked for about 8 hours.

            Last edited by tcb; 01-26-2012, 09:10 AM.


            • #7
              In the 70s, I seemed to get more access to venison. When I was in college, my uncle's old neighbor from Buffalo had a venison pot roast for dinner. He marinated it overnight in Italian Dressing, then cooked it low and slow in the oven. It was delicious and tender. You could probably make a primal version of the dressing.
              Learning the intricacies of healthy eating and nourishing my body the right way.
              I am not bald, that is a Vitamin D collector. Time to Grok and Roll!
              Eased into a primal diet starting at Christmas 2011. Goal weight - 205 started: 240 pounds waist 40, now 227 pounds and waist 38 Summer 2012 - weight =215 and waist is actually still 39"
              ljbprrfmof = LJ = Little John = John


              • #8
                Dang! I'm usually not hungry at lunch, but those pics are changing that!!

                Also wanted to add.... for your thinner, "quick cook" pieces, be sure and set them out of the fridge for and hour or so to warm up. It allows the center to get a little "doneness" during the quick searing, and probably helps with the tenderness, as the muscle fiber has "relaxes" At least thats my theory

                Goldsmith, is that Keystone Light cans in the background of the ringneck poppers? ;-) Smoooth!


                • #9
                  That it would be. Not really my cheap beer of choice (I'm a Miller Lite guy) but if someone brings two 30 packs of it to the hunting cabin... I'm gonna drink it.

                  I think one of them actually has the top cut out for use as a spit can too.
                  "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
                  - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)


                  • #10
                    I don't have much experience with venison, but I am very successful at making top round london broil more tender than filet mignon. I use the following techniques:

                    1.) Take your steak, throw it on a cutting board and beat it with a "bumpy" meat tenderizing mallet until it's roughly half the thickness.

                    2.) Salt and pepper the steak and allow it to sit in the fridge at least overnight, preferably 24 hours.

                    3.) This is the most important part: allow the meat to sit out and come to room temperature before cooking. Throwing a cold steak in a hot pan results in shoe leather. This usually takes around 2 hours or so for a reasonably sized steak.

                    Other options are to marinate it overnight in tamari if you want less meat flavor. This works great with Asian stir-fry's. I've had great success making $2.50/lb meat taste like $12.50/lb meat this way.
                    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


                    • #11
                      Either eat it rare if it's a steak cut, or cook it long if it's a bony cut. Add FAT if you are roasting. Plugging a leg with garlic and beef tallow is nice.

                      One of the biggest mistakes people often make with venison is NOT aging it. It's red meat, it needs to hang or rest in a cooler for a good while before making the cuts and packaging it just like they treat beef.
                      Skin it... quarter it... and put it in a 35-38 degree refrigerator with good air circulation for 1-2 weeks.
                      When I lived in the country we had extra refrigerators just for this purpose... or if you can make friends (and I do mean FRIEND, not casual acquaintance) with a local processor who will allow you to store your kills in his walk in. If you are good friends with a local processor you can get lots of good bones too... for free. Most people only want the prime cuts, silly folks.
                      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


                      • #12
                        great stuff. thanks. yes warming the center over time seems to help. unfortunately i prefer my meat rather done. good beef steaks i eat med well. so,venison is a challenge,at least as far as steaks go. ground i have plans for. backstrap and loin,i will keep researching. any more comments would be appreciated. thanks.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mosin46;
                          i prefer my meat rather done. good beef steaks i eat med well.


                          • #14

                            blasphemy? i doubt that,likely goes against conventional here though. i have seen NO studies or data relating to increased doneness showing excess protrin degradation due to increased protein coagualtion or nutrient destruction due to same. all i have ever seen is some lite data regarding under cooking of several meat varieties. chewability is a mechanical issue. i just like my meat dead soon after i shoot it or board it and don't like,as a taste thing,raw to rare meat of any knid. got DATA,not just esthetic/taste issues on nutrient content VS "doneness'"? might be true re veg. show me the references re meat.