Venison — It’s What’s for Dinner (Tonight at My House)

"Deer in Sparklewoods" by David Wagner

"Deer in Sparklewoods" by David Wagner

Few would argue the majestic beauty of deer in their natural habitat.  They’re certainly a sight to behold.  Many, however, would argue the humanity of killing these animals for food.  I am certainly not one of these folks.  I have always held the opinion that so long as the animal being hunted is killed humanely and isn’t wasted, it’s fair game for us humans.  After all, we need to eat too, and often times, the folks who object to eating things like venison, squirrel, rabbit, and the like haven’t been hungry enough to realize that humans DO eat meat and that meat isn’t gifted to us by God already butchered and presented in a plastic package.

Until last week, my husband had tasted venison once in his life.  He had the chance to try some venison summer sausage, and he really didn’t like it.  He wasn’t opposed to trying it again, but I’d imagine he was a little apprehensive because he really didn’t like his first experience with venison.

Unlike me, my husband grew up eating very little meat because his mother preferred not to prepare it.  When I met him in college, I’d imagine that he could count on one hand the times he’d actually had “steak”.  His family didn’t even have steak knives in their home.  Because of this upbringing, he viewed rabbits as pets where I viewed them as food.  He viewed squirrels as an annoyance in his mother’s flower beds, and again, I viewed them as food.

So imagine how thrilled I was when a dear friend from church gifted about ten pounds of venison to me and my family.  Because we all eat meat or eggs and some kind of produce at every meal, I felt exceptionally blessed by the gift of the venison.  It was money I didn’t have to spend on protein at the store!

Now, I’d had venison several times before last week, so I knew I’d like it, but I was anxious to see what my family would think.  I made my favorite chili recipe but I substituted ground venison for the ground beef.  It was a HUGE hit! The family devoured it.  My daughter even took some to school with her the next day, and she was able to get a classmate to turn up his nose at the idea of her eating deer meat.

Tonight was different though.  Along with a good amount of ground venison, my friend also gave me some “steaks”.  Turns out that they weren’t actually steaks but something resembling little medallions of meat that needed to be cut into 4 to 6 bite-sized pieces.

Because that meat is exceptionally lean, I chopped some bacon, fried it, and then added the venison that I’d cut into manageable chunks and seasoned.  I added some frozen broccoli and some frozen veggie blend, and that was it!

Again, I did well with my creation because everyone who tried it thought it was great.  Not only did my husband enjoy it tonight, but he’s taking the leftovers in to work for lunch tomorrow.  Score another point for the venison team!

If you’ve never tried venison, I highly recommend it.  It’s the ultimate in grass-fed, free-range food! And if you learn to hunt (or know someone who does), it can be an excellent chance to put inexpensive, high-quality protein in your belly.  Go, venison!

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