– Do you have any cooking tips for venison? I had a friend give me several steaks and I successfully made jerky (sarcasm). I have been told low heat/slow cook but still, it’s horrible. Tough, dry, blah. The steaks are roughly 1/2″ thick. Any suggestions? Thanks – Amber

Julie Anne Rhodes courtesy of Hello Magazine

Julie Anne Rhodes courtesy of Hello Magazine

Dear Amber:

No, venison steaks will dry out very quickly due to lack of fat-ribboned throughout the meat (game  have been roaming freely as opposed to farm raised animals, and are therefore more muscular). You have to cook venison steaks quickly, over high heat to sear in the juices. Then the meat should never be cooked more than medium-rare, or it will be dry and tough like the “jerky” you describe.

Dinner

Game also has a much stronger flavor, so I like to balance that with some acid (vinegar or fruit juices), and sweetness from dried fruits like dried apricots or raisins in a sauce to accompany it.

Apricot Lamb Chops

Apricot Lamb Chops

You could quite easily replace the lamb with venison in my Apricot Lamb Chop recipe, or here is an example with a yummy duck breast recipe I like to serve on special occasions…

Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce

 Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce

Why not make something a little out of the ordinary, festive, spectacularly yummy, and deceivingly simple this Christmas party season? Your guests will think you were slaving away in the kitchen all day! You just smile and say “thank you” when they rave.

 IS OUR VERSION OF THE SYNDICATED COLUMN “DEAR ABBEY,” ONLY ON KITCHEN WOES RATHER THAN THOSE OF THE HEART. SEND US YOUR COOKING DESIRES, QUERIES, AND CATASTROPHES TO DEARJEWELS (AT) JULIEANNERHODES (DOT) COM.

This post was first published September 27, 2013

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