February 28, 2012

Venison is Healthier Than Chicken!

Hunting and eating venison are two very common things where we live in Vermont.  This is not how I grew up, so I can relate to all of you out there thinking "Ewww, yuck!"  I will admit that it freaked me out a little at first and I was not in the least bit interested in eating it 9 years ago.  In fact, my oldest step-son had to trick me into eating it because I always declined trying it.....he snuck it into some spaghetti sauce then told me about it AFTER I was done eating. 

Nine years later - not only do I like venison but we eat it at least once a week, and often more than that!  My son joined the hunting bandwagon when he got old enough and for the past two years has gotten himself a deer, and so has my husband.  The two deer, eating it once or twice a week, lasts about 9 months in our house.  This is a huge savings, and since I am what I like to call "thrifty" the amount of money we save on meat in a year is a huge plus!

However, if that is not enough of a reason for some of you out there to give venison a try, maybe knowing how super healthy venison is for you would give you a little incentive to try it.  My husband always tried to sell me on eating it by telling me how healthy it is for me.  Eventually I decided to do a little research and discovered he was actually telling me the truth!  Some of the benefits of eating venison surprised even me.  Here is a quick rundown on some of the benefits of eating venison:
  • it's essentially organic meat, free of antibiotics and additives
  • it is rich in protein and other nutrients, while remaining a lean red meat
  • fewer calories and fat than chicken breast meat (since venison is a red meat, I found this tidbit to be very interesting!)
  • very low in saturated fat & cholesterol
I know for myself I seem to be more adventurous and willing to try new foods as I get older, so if you are like me and are thinking about giving venison a try I greatly encourage you to do so.   Below is a recipe for my favorite way to eat venison - Venison Stew.  If I have not convinced you to try venison, you can of course substitute beef and it's just as yummy!  Serve up with my crusty dinner rolls and you got yourself the perfect comfort food on a cold Vermont night.

Venison Stew

2 lbs of venison stew meat
15 oz can tomato sauce
2-3 carrots, or a bag of baby carrots

2 large potatoes (I used Russet, but red potatoes would work also)
1 clove garlic or 1-2 tsp chopped garlic
1 onion chopped (or adjust amount to your preference)

1 cup red wine
2-3 capfuls of Gravy Master

3 cups water
2 bay leafs
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ - ½ cup flour for dredging meat

Combine flour with seasoning (I used garlic salt & pepper, but use whatever you want & any amount you think is good).  Dredge (evenly coat) venison meat in flour mixture and shake off excess flour.  Pour enough oil into a large pan (use the pan you plan to cook the stew in) to nicely coat bottom and let it heat up (med-high heat).  Once pan is hot, start searing the venison – will probably have to do in 2-3 batches.  Once nicely brown on one side, flip meat over and do the other side until evenly browned.  Remove meat from pan and set aside (if you have to do more than one batch, you will probably have to add more oil).

Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until softened (about 5 min.) then add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 min.  The pan will have meat bits stuck to the bottom – be sure to stir these up while sautéing the onions (it will add to the overall flavor).  Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour over sautéed onions and cook another few minutes while stirring.  Add the wine and continue stirring while it cooks/thickens for about 2 minutes.  Next add the sauce and stir until well combined/smooth.  Next add the water & stir to combine.  Let this cook for a couple of minutes so it has a chance to thicken a little.  Add the meat back into pot, and give it a good stir.  Add the Gravy Master – start with 2 capfuls and if you think it’s not “brown enough” add another.  Add in the bay leafs and salt & pepper to taste.  Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low and let it simmer for about 2 hours.  Stir every 20-30 minutes making sure to scrape bottom of pan so nothing is burning on the bottom. 

After about 2 hrs add sliced carrots and potatoes (cut into bite size pieces).  Cook another 1-1½ hrs,  or until carrots and potatoes are cooked to your desired doneness.  


  1. Hi, that was nice recipe. I really like your recipe. Am finding your blog very interesting. i think it will be good idea if we stay around. Sushmita

  2. Thank you & it looks like you have some very interesting recipes on your site as well. I look forward to browsing through ☺