Tuesday, 12 January 2010 | Tags:

For our series Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag, we've explored recipes with many different meats. Game meat is becoming popular again in modern cuisine as an alternate source of protein, usually leaner than most beef. Here's what we've learned about venison:

The Basics

  • Farm-raised venison is meatier and more tender than wild game, and also contains a bit more fat. Both are leaner than beef or pork, however.

  • A 3-ounce cooked serving of venison loin has 139 calories and 5 grams of fat, while the same size portion of pork shoulder has 207 calories and 13 grams of fat.

  • A 3-ounce serving of top round venison steak is also a good source of selenium, phosphorus, iron and an excellent source of zinc and Vitamins B-6 and B-12.

  • Age is the critical factor when buying venison as this will determine taste, tenderness, and the best method for cooking the meat.

    • Very young animals may lack flavor, while the meat from older animals is very tough.

    • When you buy game meat from a specialty shop, supermarket, or website, be sure you know how old the animal was and how it has been handled.

  • The flavour of venison varies from mild to pungent, depending on whether the animal has been hung after slaughter, and if so, for how long.

  • The best meat comes from young males, in which the loin and ribs provide the tenderest cuts.

  • Farmed venison has a less intense flavor than wild.

  • Fresh venison is usually available at butcher and specialty shops, but often is only available frozen.

  • Check the package carefully to be sure it is intact with no tears or holes.

  • Also make sure that it doesn’t contain any frozen liquid, as this might indicate that the meat has been thawed and refrozen.

  • With fresh venison, the meat should be moist and springy to the touch.

    • It should never feel soft or mushy.

    • Be sure to buy from a reputable supermarket or supplier.

  • The same rules for storing other meats apply here: immediately store fresh game in the coldest part of the refrigerator or keep in a freezer.

  • Use fresh game within one to two days.


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