In Season: Everyday Dishes Using Venison

by Tefal Team on 16 February 2018
  • Venison isn’t most people’s first choice of meat in the spring. Lamb is also in season at this time of year, and we tend to be more familiar with cooking it, meaning venison is often overlooked.

    With chicken, beef, pork, turkey and lamb typically our first choices of meat, many of us have never even tried any kind of game. But with a similar – albeit less juicy – taste to beef, venison is a good first step into exploring the delicious world of game.

    You might think that game is only eaten in farmhouse kitchens or in the dining room of Downton Abbey, but it’s actually really versatile, usually lean and you don’t just have to roast it and have it as a centrepiece on your table, in the style of Henry VIII and co.

  • Venison tends to be in season from late October until around March, and it lends itself perfectly to favourite winter warmer dishes, so it’s ideal to cook with while we wait for some nicer weather to arrive!

    Here are a few ideas for serving this massively underrated meat to get you started:

  • Venison meatballs

    When you’re cooking with a new type of meat for the first time, a good starting point is to think about what kind of meaty dishes you like already, and simply switch up the meat.

    That’s the idea with this recipe for venison meatballs from the Timber Creek Farm blog, which would go really nice with a simple tomato sauce and some pasta or even courgetti for extra healthiness.

  • You could easily adapt the recipe to make venison burgers too. Just make bigger balls and shape them into patties to serve on a wholemeal roll with some sweet potato chips made in your ActiFry on the side. Yum!

  • Venison slow-cooked in cider

    If you’re a bit wary of making sure your venison is fully cooked before you tuck in, pop it in your Tefal Cook4Me for a slow-cook for the day, then there’s no danger of it being undercooked.

  • The Hedge Combers recommend cooking the game in cider, with bacon, onions and garlic for an extra gorgeous flavour. If you’re feeling experimental, try the same recipe with Guinness or any other beer of your choice for your own spin on the classic beef and ale combo.

  • Venison with chocolate pasta?!

    This is definitely the most ‘out there’ recipe on our list, but it’s so intriguing we couldn’t not include it – hats off to Mrs Bishop’s Bakes and Banter for being so experimental!

    Her recipe is for a venison ragu that you could serve up as a stew alongside some potatoes and greens, or with classic spaghetti, but she’s stepped things up a notch and used cacao tagliatelle – yep, that’s pasta flavoured with chocolate.

  • Now, before you scoff, remember how good it is when you melt a little bit of dark chocolate in your chilli con carne – very good indeed. This is a similar idea, combining the rich flavours of the sauce with a hint of rich chocolate. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

  • Shepherd's pie with venison and sweet potato

    After that unique combination, we’re taking things back to a slightly simpler – but just as tasty – level, with A Dash of Ginger’s venison shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping.

  • This recipe is ideal if you feel like you’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut with your weekday meals but don’t have extra time to spend in the kitchen in an evening. Simply make it as you would your usual lamb and potato shepherd’s pie, swapping the meat for venison and the standard potato for the sweet kind. Easy!

  • Venison pizza

    Chilli beef, chicken, bacon, pepperoni – they’re the common staples of your classic meat feast pizza. But what about adding some venison? Eating it on a pizza covered with the tomato sauce and cheese you’re already familiar with is a great way to taste it for the first time if you’re a little wary.

  • But if you fancy something a little more sophisticated, Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary features a recipe for a homemade pizza topped with wild garlic pesto and venison, which is definitely the poshest pizza topping we can think of – except for caviar and truffle oil, but we feel that might be a step too far.

  • Spicy venison curry

    Venison also works great in a curry. It’s a little bit tougher than beef, so it takes to herbs, spices and other flavourings much more easily, making it brilliant for fragrant dishes like curries.

  • Glory Garden has a lovely recipe for venison curry, which they claim to be the ‘best’, so it must be true. It’s packed with gorgeous flavours for an aromatic taste sensation of a dish.

    See, we told you venison could be a lot more exciting than simply sitting on the banquet tables of Tudor royalty; that chocolate pasta would blow Henry VIII’s mind – but judging by what we know of him, he would have eaten it (or tried to marry it) anyway.

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