Venison | A Winter Menu Delight!

Venison (deer meat) has a rich complex taste and tender supple texture. High in protein, low in saturated fat and loaded with healthy B vitamins, Venison is also considered a healthier meat choice. A serving of Venison loin has less cholesterol and calories than skinless chicken and well over a third less total fat.

Venison makes a great winter menu alternative.

Farm Raised Venison

Wild or farm raised, the flavor of Venison comes from its diet. Unlike beef cattle, Venison have small simple stomachs and thus graze upon easily digestible foods such as, leaves, grass, shoots, lichens, fungi and fruit. Farm raised Venison is preferable in taste and texture than its wild counterpart.

Consumers who believe they dislike the taste of Venison usually feel that way when their experience is limited to wild-shot male game animals harvested at hunting season – at the height of their combative reproductive cycle. These animals may be several years of age, have elevated hormone content (lactic acid, testosterone, adrenalin) and may be in poor physical condition and/or under stress.  As such, their meat tends to be tougher and more “gamey” in taste.

It is for these reasons, plus species-specific and “varietal” characteristics that make farmed Venison a very different meat product which produces a uniquely different and pleasing culinary experience.

Domestic Venison

Domestic farm raised Venison is largely produced in Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Farmed/ranched Venison cuts are quite similar to beef cuts. Mild and tender, domestic gourmet Venison is also lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than beef, pork and lamb. Gourmet chefs have a special appreciation for this lean meat.

New Zealand Cervena® Venison

Some of the best tasting Venison comes from New Zealand, certified as Cervena® Natural Tender VenisonCervena® is distinguished from all other Venison by the trademarked assurance that the meat has been naturally produced, and processed in accredited plants, according to a system of high quality standards.

Similar to the way Champagne only comes from France, Cervena® only comes from New Zealand under some of the highest inspection standards in the world. Cervena® certified deer must be New Zealand farm bred, entirely grass fed and raised naturally without steroids or growth hormones.

Cervena® deer must also be three years or under to ensure tender, mild flavored meat. As deer age, the tougher and more ‘gamey’ their meat becomes. Young animals produce consistently sized, delicious flavored meat. Cervena® certifications apply only to saddle and leg cuts.

For chefs, the Cervena® name guarantees they are working with the finest meat.

Popular Venison Cuts

There are seven popular Venison cuts:

  • Bone-In Saddle
  • Tenderloin
  • Strip Loin
  • Rib Rack
  • Leg Bone-In or Boneless Denver Leg
  • Ground Venison
  • Venison Stew Meat

Working with Venison is as easy as working with lamb or beef cuts. Recipes and cooking guide are readily available courtesy of Cervena®.

Tender, delicious and healthy, Venison delivers superb choice on winter menus.

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From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @ Buedel Fine Meats  Facebook  Buedel Fan Page

 

 

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