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We often see people these days striving to eat healthy and more nutritious food, and many have replaced beef and other red meats with an appetizing alternative. Deer meat, also known as Venison, is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, free of carbohydrates, and low in fat as compared to other red meats.
Venison, when compared to beef and other red meats, is most certainly a healthier option, but it’s equally essential to cook the deer meat in a way that will ensure the maximum nutritional benefits. Venison has much more to offer than just tenderloin steak and hamburgers, therefore making it versatile to cook.
The front shoulder of a deer is laced with some great meat, suitable for stew and scrumptious venison roast. So, let’s get down to answering the question of how to cook the front shoulder of deer?
An Expert’s Guide: How to Cook the Front Shoulder of Deer?
Before diving into the various methods of cooking the front shoulder of a deer, we should take some time and consider a few factors to make the process of cooking as well as eating the front shoulder of a deer more enjoyable.
Deer forage for their food in the wild which consists of grass, herbs, acorns, berries, and nuts which makes the taste of venison unique, something that should be savoured. This is why it is very important to use simple seasonings that would enhance the taste of venison instead of concealing it. Furthermore, the texture of the meat of a foraging deer consists of more muscle as compared to the meat of a corn-fed cow. Therefore, it is important not to cook venison like beef.
When preparing the front shoulder for cooking, remember to leave the layer of silver skin as it will turn into gelatin that will provide a nice juicy texture to the meat. However, if the front shoulder meat is grounded, it is essential to take off the silver skin as much as possible.
Now let’s jump into some popular styles of cooking, the front shoulder of a deer.
Venison Roast: Front Shoulder
One of the most popular methods of cooking the front shoulder of a deer is to roast it. There are a couple of popular methods of roasting the front shoulder of a deer; the Oven method and the Smoker method. These methods are “low and slow,” as they all require more than 6-8 hours to cook the front shoulder.
Both the methods have one thing in common, which is the seasoning of the front shoulder, which should be kept nice and simple. We start by rubbing it well with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and a few other seasonings of one’s choice like barbecue sauce, etc. For the next step, we can either wrap it in a plastic foil and refrigerate it overnight; otherwise, we can jump into cooking it immediately. Here comes the difference in roasting the front shoulder depending on the choice of one’s method.
The Oven Method
Place the front shoulder in a lightly greased baking pan and add some carrot and onions if you would like to have a nice gravy or sauce dripping out of the pan. Pre-heat the oven at 350 – 375 degrees and place the uncovered baking pan in the oven, and occasionally turning the shoulder until both sides turn brown. Make sure to add some liquid to the pan and maintain ½ inch of liquid so that meat doesn’t burn the pan. Cover the pan with a lid or a foil tightly and lower the temperature to 325 – 350 and leave it for up to 6 hours. But make sure to check the liquid every two hours a couple of times and then every hour until the meat becomes tender enough to pull away from the bone.
The Smoker Method
After seasoning the meat, place the front shoulder in a 200 degrees smoker for 6-8 hours. After that, make sure to place the shoulders on a double-layered foil and add some barbecue sauce or any other seasoning you like. Then wrap it tightly in a double-layered, heavy-duty foil and put it back into the smoker for another 4 hours until the meat becomes soft enough to pull away from the bone.
Whether the front shoulder of a deer is cooked in an oven or a smoker, always remember patience is the key ingredient, but once it is all over, it would be worth all the effort.
Venison Stew: Front Shoulder
Nothing makes you more comfortable than a nice and warm bowl of stew on a cold winter evening. So, if you wish to make your winter evening more enjoyable, set aside 1 hour and 15 minutes of your time to make yourself a nice bowl of venison stew.
Preparation will not take more than 15 minutes and 12 ingredients that include:
|3 tablespoon olive oil||¼ cup flour|
|2-pound venison stew meat – front shoulder||1 cup chopped celery|
|1 cup chopped tomatoes, peeled & seeded||2 cups chopped onion|
|1 cup of chopped carrot||1 tablespoon of chopped garlic|
|1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil||1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme|
|Salt and black pepper||2 bay leaves|
Season the venison with flour and creole in a mixing bowl. In a large and well-heated pot, add olive oil, then toss the onions and deep fry them for 2 minutes, add celery, carrots, and season with salt and pepper. After frying them for 2 minutes, add garlic, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and bay leaves season them with salt and pepper. Make sure to add some form of liquid to prevent the meat from sticking to the pot. Let the stew simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the meat gets soft and tender.
Regardless of the style and recipe of cooking the front shoulder of a deer, it is important to cook the meat until it comes off the bone. Also, while cooking, due care should be taken that in the process of achieving that optimum tenderness of the meat, it does not get overcooked. However, a daunting and time-consuming drill but the scrumptious taste and the nutritional benefits of the venison will leave you craving for more.