Venison, from Scott Brooks

June 27, 2007 |

 Many people who have eaten venison have had a bad experience. It has to be prepared correctly, differently from beef.

There are many ways to prepare venison. If you're going to cook steaks, use the tenderloins ("backstraps" in deer hunting vernacular). And no matter how well done you like your steaks, cook them only to medium at most. Venison is much leaner than beef so don't overcook it. Feel free to marinade it in advance. I like a balsamic vinegar, garlic, onion powder, salt/pepper marinade.

I enjoy roasts of venison too. The best way to cook a venison roast is in a crock pot. Use whatever seasonings and vegetables you like, and make sure there's plenty of liquid in the pot, otherwise it will dry out. If you choose to marinate the roast in advance, start the night before, then put it into the crock pot in the morning.

I love venison jerky — good, smoked peppery whole muscle jerky, which beats the pants off processed venison jerky sticks. I could eat spicy whole muscle jerky for breakfast. I share our venison with family, friends, and the needy (via FHFH Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry) but one thing I won't share is jerky! I even hide it from my kids!

Another treat is venison ground up into burgers. I don't add any pork or beef to the burgers. And I make venison chili, venison spaghetti, and (my personal favorite) venison sloppy joes (my mother's recipe — my favorite meal the whole world!).

I also get some venison breakfast sausage (a real treat) and summer sausage, too.

There is plenty of 100% fresh venison on my farm — it just needs a sharp arrow or a fast-moving piece of lead to bring it to the dinner table! So, come visit!

My mom learned how to make her recipe for sloppy joes in the Campfire Girls. Since we were kids, mom would cook whatever we wanted for our birthdays. She never had to even ask me what I wanted; it was always her sloppy joes.

When I got married, I didn't even have to ask my mom to tell Gwen how to make it. Mom just went to Gwen and gave her the recipe and told her that this is a meal guaranteed to make me happy! When I mentioned to Gwen that she needed to learn the recipe she informed me that she already had it.

I love my mom's sloppy joes! The recipe is based on 1 lb. of beef, although we use only venison in our house which I think is even better!

Here it is:

1 lb ground venison
1 small onion - chopped

Mix the onion in with the venison and then brown the venison. Drain the meat of grease and then dab it with paper towels to get excess grease off.

Then add:

1 can of vegetable soup
1 small can of tomato paste

This is the key: my mom would add 1/2 cup of sugar (but I recommend that you add to taste). My wife and I have altered it a bit and we use organic honey to taste.

We try and use all organic ingredients. I prefer to start out by eating a couple of sloppy joe sandwiches on organic whole grain bread. After that I like to scoop it on my plate and eat it with a spoon.

This is an easy and simple recipe to make and I promise you that you'll enjoy it. My mom is no longer with us, but her memory lives on every time I enjoy her Campfire Girls sloppy joe recipe! 


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