I had someone ask me this last week why their venison steaks taste gamey and chewed like leather. Those two things do occur in game meats but both can be prevented. First the gamey taste in venison comes from the fat and the way we take care of our meat. All of the fat should be removed from venison and the meat should be kept on ice until all the blood is out of the meat. I pack mine in ice and sprinkle some rock salt on it to keep it cold. I then place the cooler in the shade where the liquids and melting ice can drain off the meat. I replace any melted ice daily for about two or three days. You do not want the meat to sit in ice water but to drain out cleanly.
The chews like leather issue is also because of the fat on a deer. To understand how to prepare game meats one must examine the difference in venison and beef. Beef is a meat that is marbled with a white tasty fat. Venison fat is on the outside of the muscle and more yellow in color. While the white fat of beef adds flavor the yellow hard fat of game is often where the gamey taste comes from so you want to trim or peel all the fat off of venison. The other main difference is that since there is no marbling of fat in venison it dries out very quickly. There are two things you must do to overcome this. You must never cook a venison steak past medium doneness. The other is to provide fat to keep the meat juicy and moist.Here is how I do it. I cut my venison steaks about an inch or thicker. I cook them over gas briquettes or wood coals with a hot fire. I season the meat with salt, course ground black pepper and garlic powder. Melt ½ stick of butter and add to ½ cup Worcestershire sauce, stir in ½ teaspoon of garlic powder or use fresh minced garlic. This mixture is to be brushed on the steak as soon as it is seared and often while cooking. I place the steaks on the hot grill and rapidly sear one side. When well seared turn to sear the other side and brush liberally with the butter mixture. I cook my steaks to medium rare as they will cook just a bit more as they rest. When the steaks are done to taste I pull them and put on a plate and pour some of the butter mixture over them. I place the plate in a cold oven or inside the microwave just to let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This will be some of the best eating you can imagine.
Enjoy your steak, Wild Ed
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