Venison is a plentiful, natural food available in most Northern hemisphere countries, but is perhaps most known and used in contemporary society in North America. The demand for venison has resulted in commercial deer farms, as well, mostly in the U.S. and New Zealand. The meat is healthier than most other red meats, such as commercial beef, pork and lamb. It is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories than most cuts of grain-fed animals.
The deer are wild animals, so there is a gamey taste to some of the cuts, especially if overcooked, yet the texture is finer and venison can be prepared to suit the most gourmet of consumers. It is interesting to note that the word “venison” once meant the meat of all wild game, the root of the word coming from Latin, meaning to hunt or to pursue. It still relates as antelope in Africa, where there are no Cervidae species. There is even Kosher venison, readily available in Israel, New York and Chicago.
The popularity of natural meats has created a demand in restaurants throughout the world, and fresh or frozen venison is distributed widely. There was some concern about the Chronic Wasting Disease found in isolated cases in North America and Scandinavia, similar to mad cow disease, but this has not been proven to be transmissible to humans. The testing for this medical problem is being perfected successfully, more so than for cattle, for deer farmers and hunters. Generally, venison is a traditional and healthy food for most rural and Native Americans.
While some of the most elaborate and delicious recipes for venison include adding to the low fat content with bacon or butter, it can be prepared in a healthful manner using olive oil or any moist-cooking method. Venison is often marinated with vinegar or wine and garlic, along with other herbs, for a wonderful taste treat. Venison jerky is also popular, and easily prepared in many flavor combinations. You may need to add a little oil or cheese, or mix with some beef and/or pork, to find a comparable cooking time for burgers on a grill.
The ultimate do-it-yourself website for venison would be a fun and Informative one like Venison.com. A classic gourmet approach can be found in the D’Artagnan cookbooks or website, or even an American trail version in the L.L. Bean Cookbook. Restaurants like Doc Martin’s in Taos, New Mexico have incredible traditional American venison cooking up-scaled to sublime. Do explore this amazing food and enjoy the good health of natural free-range eating.