For the first time, ever, I have venison that has a strong, unpleasant flavor. It was an older buck, and in the middle of the rut, so I’m uncertain if the processor is to blame, or if it’s a combination of factors.
Originally posted on The Lazy Homesteader:
Every so often I publish a blog post either about hunting or with a picture of an elk steak in it. Usually after this I get at least one or two questions about how to prepare game meat so that it doesn’t taste so “gamey.” I hear lots of people saying they would hunt but they don’t like the taste of the meat, or that they just don’t know how to cook it. Likewise, whenever we serve game to friends and family, we get lots of surprised comments about how flavorful and good the meat is, not at all gamey as they expected.
Since hunting season is just around the corner for many parts of the country, and since our family mainly eats game meat, I thought I’d share a bit about how we process and cook the meat, and how we deal with the “gaminess” of venison and other meats. Over the next couple of weeks I plan to publish a series of hunting related posts, including recipes for cooking wild game.
Making wild game into a delicious meal was learned through trial and error over the last nine years of cooking and processing game. We’ve made some discoveries that have really helped us. When people refer to venison as gamey they are either speaking of the toughness or dryness that often occurs when cooking the meat, the distinctly wild flavor, or both. It’s a bit backwards but I’m going to talk about cooking game meat first. This addresses the toughness and dryness of venison. In part two, I’ll talk about harvesting and processing game and how that directly affects the taste of your meat.