For those of you that like the lean and grass-fed meat variety, venison is one of the meats you should definitely try. The trick is, its super lean. I mean waaaaaay leaner than bison, chicken or 95% lean beef. There’s pretty much no fat, is what I’m trying to say. So you have to add fat back into the cooking process if you want it to be juicy and soft. The meat is generally not tough if you cook it on lower temps at longer times.
Here are some suggestions I’ve come up with through trial and error:
When cooking a roast, place some strips of beef fat trimmings or some chunks of suet in with the meat and/or veggies in the Crockpot or roasting pan. This will keep things moist and prevent them from getting too dry.
When cooking venison steak cuts, cook them in clarified butter (also known as ghee) or some olive oil, if you don’t have butter. Olive oil is not optimal for this kind of meat because it does still have some long chain fatty acids (we haven’t gotten to this in our Fat series discussion, but when we do, you’ll see why its maybe something you should use in cooking sparingly).
Jerky: don’t add fat here, it needs to be dry and lean
Ground venison: if you’re using this to make some kind of sloppy joe or meatball, you’ll definitely want to add fat for texture and flavor. I took some beef fat trimmings and sauteed the fat out of them and poured that into the mixing bowl while it was still liquid, then proceeded to form the meatballs as normal.
Want a venison roast recipe that worked out pretty good for me?
Venison roast (you will want a 2-3 lb roast for a family of 3-4 people)
Beef fat trimmings, 1/4 lb or so
Various vegetables, here’s what I used: turnips (peeled), green onions (diced), celery (sliced), tomato (chopped)
Spices such as: basil or cilantro (not both), sea salt, ground pepper, garlic and chili powder
1 to 1 1/2 C of Vegetable or beef broth, no sodium added ( I usually take half of the beef broth and substitute with water but you don’t have to if you’re using a no sodium added broth)
1. Place the roast in the bottom of your crockpot and layer with the fat strips.
2. Add spices to the top of the fat and/or roast.
3. Cover with veggies and broth.
Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours. Venison is done when it is 145 in the center of the cut (usually this only takes about 4 hours on high). With the added fat strips, the meat should come out tender and not too dry. Because of its high protein content, it may feel a little grainier in your mouth, but I don’t think its a bad sensation, its just not going to feel like you’re chewing a mouthful of fat like when you eat a beef steak or roast.
Here’s a pic of dinner that Emilee sent in:
“pork tenderloin and the side is zucchini, squash, onions, garlic and sun dried tomatoes sauteed in olive oil” Thanks for sending that EM!
On a douche-baggery note, someone alerted me to the fact that a certain poser posed off our Paleo challenge, along with pretty much everything else, other than good programming and talented trainers. Really? How big of an unoriginal and dishonest person do you have to be to do that, at the same time and say its the product of your innovation? Good thing the lucky members at Northland Strength and Conditioning have someone that actually knows what they’re doing…
A few of you are finishing up your official 30 days, although I know I’ve talked to many of you that started early and you plan to continue on with the Paleo challenge because of the amazing results you’re getting. I applaud that decision and I hope everyone else decides to follow suit. I realize its not easy to stick to a plan that is perceived as limited, although most of you have realized that its really not that limited, you just have to think of food as fuel and not comfort, as Heather so eloquently put it. I am so proud of all of you that I have seen looking leaner and healthier, lifting heavier and pushing harder. For all of those of you who are just beginning, please talk and share with those that are just finishing their 30 days and stay motivated through their stories, since apparently my constant Paleo references don’t seem to work for you 😉
Tomorrow starts a new week, lets make it an amazing one, mostly because Wayne has that brand new exorbitantly expensive camera that is going to show you in all your glory: sweat, smudged mascara, dimples, scars, bleeding, crying and straining at the peak of muscular exertion. This will be a phenomenal week indeed….