Hunt, gather, marinate, indulge in delicious!
Wild game offers countless benefits, it’s less cruel to animals than factory farming and it’s healthier for you because it’s lower in fat and calories than store-bought meat. And let’s be real, it’s a lot more fun to provide for yourself than travel to your nearest store. Cooking wild game can present a few challenges though—and no one wants to mess up a good hunk of meat!
The best recipe for wild deer depends on the type of meat you are working with. If you’ve got meat from the back legs on the table, it’s hard to go wrong with this mouthwatering recipe for corned venison shared by Hank Shaw via honest-food.net. We loved every last bite so very much we just had to share it with ya'll! But before we get to cooking…
Should You Add Nitrates to Your Meat?
Nitrates add flavor and coloring to meat, which otherwise looks like a big slab of grey instead of a bleeding hunk of meat. They can also protect your safety by preventing botulism—which is very rare, but possible. If you add nitrates to your wild game meat, add ½ ounce Instacure No.1 (sodium nitrite) to the ingredients listed below.
- A 3 to 5-pound venison roast
- ½ gallon of water
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
- 6 bay leaves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 chopped cloves of garlic
How to Cook Corned Venison:
#1. Bring Ingredients to a Boil
Bring all your ingredients together in a pot, except for the roast, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pot so that it cools to room temperature. This process may take 2-3 hours.
#2. Remove Silverskin
While your ingredients boil and cool, take the time to remove silverskin from meat.
How to Remove Silverskin From Venison
Silverskin is located on backstraps, hindquarter muscles and tenderloins—some of the best grilling meat, as well as shoulders and shanks. If you are going to slow cook meat, you can wait until after it cooks to remove silverskin, but if you are grilling meat you should remove it when the meat is still raw. To do so, take a sharp fillet knife and turn it parallel to silverskin. Hold silverskin with your fingers and push the knife away from you as if skimming a fish fillet. This will take away very little meat while removing silverskin.
#3. Add Meat to Brine
When the brine cools to room temperature, add the meat to the pot and completely submerge it in the brine. Discard any excess brine if your pot is at risk of overflow. You might want to consider using an item to weigh the meat down (such as a clean stone or dish) so that it remains completely submerged for the next few days.
#4. Store in the Fridge for 4-7 days
Store in the fridge for 4-7 days (depending on roast size) to let it soak in all the flavors. The longer the meat soaks, the saltier it becomes but you don’t want to soak it for too little time because the salts (and nitrates if you added them) need enough time to work their way through the meat. After the meat soaks for several days to a week, your corned venison is ready for cooking!
#5. Cook Meat
Rinse the meat before placing it in a clean pot that is only slightly larger than the roast—if the pot is too large you’ll lose a lot of flavor. Fully cover meat with fresh water and use a lid to partially cover the pot. Gently simmer on your stovetop--do not boil! Leave the pot simmering for 3-5 hours, depending on the size of the meat. While the meat can cook in as little as one hour, the additional time allows for connective tissues and sinews to soften.
Don’t throw out your cooking broth! Save it to store leftover meat, it’ll keep the venison moist and delicious for leftovers.
#6. At Last, Time to Chow Down!
The longer you wait for something, the better it tastes. You might have to wait as long as a week to chow down on this recipe, but it's worth it with every last damn delicious bite!
Serve fresh cooked venison with your favorite sides—mashed potatoes and gravy anyone? Store leftovers in the fridge inside of reserved cooking broth. The meat is excellent on a cold sandwich, don’t forget to add sauerkraut and your favorite mustard.
Hunter's Tip: If you're freezing your venison before cooking it, be sure to vacuum seal it so it doesn't get freezer burnt & compromise the quality of the meat. You can read about The Upland Hunter's favorite vacuum sealers here.