Venison is the meat of antlered animals such as deer, elk, and caribou. However, the most accepted term for venison is deer meat, so if someone asks you to give venison a try, they most likely mean deer meat. The term venison originated from the word ‘venor,’ which means to “hunt or pursue”. The ‘wild’ flavor of the meat largely depends on what the animal eats. Deers who are fed with corn are bound to have a milder flavor compared to those who eat sage or acorns. The ‘gamey’ flavor, however, is more recognizable in the fat. During processing, when someone removes the fat, silver skin, and connective tissue, the ‘gamey’ taste decreases. On the other hand, a delay in field dressing, inadequate bleeding, and failure to cool down the carcass quickly can all cause undesirable flavors. So what does venison taste like? Continue reading to have your curiosity quenched.
What Does Venison Taste Like?
If you have experienced digging into wild animals’ meat before, you know you are in for a treat. Meat of wild animals has a bit of difference in texture and consistency as compared to conventional meats like pork or beef.
When people are asked about venison’s taste and texture, they use the words rich and earthy to describe the meat. Some people also say it is somewhat similar to cattle meat, only with stronger flavors and a bit sweeter.
Venison is a festive-tasting meat, hugely because of their diet routine. The meat is often loaded with hints of sage, herbs, and acorns that the deer mostly feasted on during its life. It is also considered to have a drier and tougher texture, even less juicy than normal meat. On a positive note, however, it is smoother and firmer compared to others.
Like lamb, it goes well with spicy, minty, and autumnal flavors unlike beef.
If you have been researching your way around venison, you have most likely come across the word ‘gamey’ a number of times.
It is another word commonly attributed to the meat, which refers to the pungent, musky flavor of an animal who has freely grown in the undomesticated wilderness instead of being raised in a farm.
Just like many things in life, people have divided opinions over the gaminess in venison. Some appreciate it, but some people who are used to farm-raised meat find it a major turn-off.
The good news is that you can remedy that gamey taste with the use of seasons and marinades.
How to Improve the Gamey Taste of Venison
If you are one of those people who prefer their meats without the gaminess, these are some ways on how to improve the gamey taste of venison:
- Make use of spices to cover the gamey taste of venison.
- You can experiment by using herbs like marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
- Marinades soften the meat’s muscle fibers and enhance the venison’s flavor.
- Always remember to marinate meats in the fridge.
- Marinades can add calories and fat to a lean cut of venison.
- Make use of high-acid liquids like vinegar, wine, and lemon or tomato juice to aid with the tenderizing of the venison.
Add Other Fats
- Rub with other fats to keep the gamey meat from being too dry.
- You can rub the roast with butter, margarine, bacon fat, oil, and sweet and sour cream in order to add richness, moisture, and enhance flavor.
Soften the Meat
- Pound meat with a tool for tenderizing.
- Cut the meat in small pieces with a knife.
- Grind the meat.
- Removing residual hair lessens the gamey taste and other undesirable flavors from the meat.
- You can use a cloth soaked in vinegar to remove the hairs.
Venison’s Nutritional Value
Venison, also called as deer meat, has low calorie content, is lean, and is bursting with flavors. It is also an all-around meat which can be turned into burgers, meatballs, sausages, steak, stews, casseroles, and more. But today, as people become more aware of healthy eating, they also discover delicious alternatives to beef and different red meats. So now, let’s have a peek at some of venison’s top health benefits:
- Low in calorie and has zero carbs – Venison is carbohydrates-free and contains less calories as compared to chicken breast and even beef.
- Low Sodium Content – Deer meat naturally contains low sodium content. Therefore, it is better for the heart than any other red meat.
- Great Source of Protein and Low in Fat – Venison is high in protein and low in fat. To add to its wide array of benefits, it is not only a low-fat meat, but its saturated fat levels are much lower as compared to other red meats.
- Source of Vitamins and Minerals – To add more to venison’s nutritional value, the meat also contains minerals good for the health, including potassium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus. It also has rich amounts of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
- Venison is Rich in Iron – Venison is rich in haem iron, a kind of iron that is efficiently and easily absorbed by our bodies.
The increasing popularity of venison is just one of the proofs of how it gives amazing health benefits. Even nutritional experts only have praises for the red meat because of the fact that it is low in fat and it is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Venison is undoubtedly one if not the most intriguing meat notorious for people’s curiosity towards its taste. So if you come across someone who asks themselves, “What does venison taste like?”, you should convince them to give it a try by telling them how it punches with its unique ‘wild’ flavor. If that’s not enough to get them out of their seats and find a restaurant that serves venison, you can also try sharing this article’s contents with them, too! They might have to bring more cash with them, but for its distinct taste and health benefits, it is definitely a must-try.