Venison Classics

You worked hard. Now it's time to savor it.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Three of the most popular ways to celebrate your successful season are with venison stew, tender grilled chops, and homemade jerky. Try the following recipes:

VENISON BOURGUIGNONNE

Bourguignonne is a fancy French word for stew. Serves eight.

3 pounds venison, cubed flour
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon each of thyme and rosemary
2 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 medium onions, quartered
6 carrots, cut in 1-inch sections
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 button mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Dust the venison with flour and salt and pepper. In a hot skillet, heat the oil and brown the meat. Transfer it to a large pot with the herbs, broth, and wine. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or until fork tender. In the skillet, saut¿¿ onions, carrots, and garlic, then add them to the pot. Simmer for 40 minutes. Brown the mushrooms in butter, add them to the stew, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and brown sugar, and remove from the heat. Serve the stew with green beans and boiled potatoes (or add potatoes during the last half hour of cooking-but no earlier, or they will disintegrate).

GRILLED VENISON CHOPS

Serves four, or two hungry hunters.

4 venison steak medallions
cut from backstraps, about 11/2 inches thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
a little thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
cracked peppercorns

Rub the steaks with olive oil, thyme, and minced garlic. Add cracked pepper to taste. Place them on the grill and turn once, after about 5 minutes. To test for doneness, insert the tip of your knife about a third of the way into the steak. The juice should run pink without looking raw. Or you can use the touch method: Press the tip of a forefinger against the flesh over your chin. If the steaks feel this soft, they're rare. Press your forefinger against the cartilage on the tip of your nose. If the steaks feel this firm, they're medium. Get them off the grill pronto and serve with a packaged b&¿¿acute;arnaise sauce (such as Knorr's).

VENISON JERKY

Makes about four dozen strips.

2 pounds venison
1/2 cup sherry or white wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Slice venison along the grain into 1/8-inch-thick strips. (This is easier when it's still slightly frozen.) Mix marinade ingredients thoroughly and bring it to a boil. Let it cool before pouring it over the meat. Refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Dry the slices between paper towels, then drape them over the roasting rack in the center of the oven. After 15 minutes, lower heat to 140 degrees. Allow jerky to slowly dry for 8 to 10 hours, until stiff. It should bend but not snap. Let cool, then store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.