Wild Chef reader Jonathan Randolph dropped me a note last week asking for some recommendations on what to do with venison scraps. Jonathan and his wife have a 2 year old at home — with another one coming soon — so he wanted something easy that he could cook for his wife. I’m all about helping Jonathan score some points at home, so I sent him a few ideas.
Venison scraps are some of my favorite cuts because they’re so versatile. When butchering, I keep a separate tub for all the miscellaneous pieces of meat that defy description, which then go into one-pound packages labeled “stew meat.” But they’re good for so much more than stew; including chili, jerky, anything Tex-Mex and my current favorite: stir-fry.
Stir-fry dishes are simple and quick to make. Plus, you can add just about anything you like. The key is high heat, short cooking time, and keeping things moving in the bottom of the pan. Have everything ready before you start cooking because the time from when the oil gets hot to when the meal is ready to be served is usually closer to 5 minutes than 10, leaving no room to dig for ingredients in the cupboard or fridge.
But a stir-fry is just one way to use up venison scraps. What’s your favorite thing to do with all that remains from your deer, elk, antelope or moose?
Venison Broccoli Stir-Fry
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger or Chinese Five Spice
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. rice or red wine vinegar
1 tbs. sesame, canola or vegetable oil
1 lb. venison scraps, sliced thin
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup beef stock (or water)
2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets (or one 14-oz. bag of frozen broccoli)
1 can water chestnuts
Whisk together marinade ingredients and add sliced venison. Soak for at least 30 minutes, though it can be left overnight.
Whisk cornstarch into beef stock and reserve.
Heat 1 tbs. of oil in wok or large skillet over med-high to high heat. Add onion, broccoli, and water chestnuts. Fry until broccoli is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables to plate and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in pan and add venison scraps. Stir-fry quickly, 1-2 minutes. Return cooked vegetables to pan. Stir in stock-cornstarch slurry and simmer until just thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve over prepared rice or noodles.