Deer ribs often get discarded because hunters don't know how to cook them. The ribs are large and have a lot of connective tissue. The ribs are also very lean, but brining or marinating adds needed moisture.
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Venison is a good source of niacin, iron, vitamins B12, B6 and riboflavin, according to the USDA. Consider trying some venison recipes —this meat is also lower in fat than beef and has higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats.
Practice food safety when preparing venison. According to Michigan State University, raw venison should be stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or colder, for no longer than three to five days.
Read more: How Healthy is Venison Meat?
Marinating Venison Ribs
Step 1: Trim the Venison
Trim the venison ribs of fat and membranes.
Step 2: Slice the Ribs
Slice through the ribs with a hacksaw, cutting them into 3 strips of ribs. Cut each strip into pieces of three or four ribs each.
Step 3: Prepare the Brine or Marinade
Prepare a brine using 1 cup each of sugar and salt per 1 gallon of water. Heat the water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add herbs and spices, such as whole peppercorns, mustard seeds, fresh or dried thyme, oregano and rosemary, to flavor the brine.
Chill the brine in the refrigerator. Alternately, use a venison marinade recipe made from apple cider vinegar, orange juice or lime juice. Flavor it with dried oregano, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. If you to parboil the ribs before cooking, skip the marinating step and season the ribs after boiling.
Step 4: Marinate the Ribs
Cover the venison ribs in brine or marinade. Soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the ribs from the brine and rinse off the salt. Pat them dry with paper towels.
Roast the Deer Ribs
Step 1: Prep the Ribs
Place the ribs in a roasting pan. Season them with salt and pepper to taste and rub them with vegetable oil or melted butter. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the ribs with the roaster lid or foil.
Step 2: Bake and Baste
Bake the ribs for four hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices or melted butter.
Step 3: Brown the Meat
Increase the heat to 400 F and remove the lid or foil when the ribs are tender. Roast at 400 F until nicely browned, about five to 10 minutes.
Pressure-Cooking Venison Ribs
Step 1: Position the Ribs
Place the rib portions in the pressure cooker with just enough water to cover them.
Step 2: Cook Under Pressure
Close the pressure cooker and heat it until a steady stream of steam escapes. Place the weight on the pressure cooker and cook at 10 to 15 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Remove and Cool
Bring the pressure down quickly, following your manufacturer's instructions. Remove the ribs from the cooker and allow them to cool.
Step 4: Add a Rub
Rub the ribs with your favorite dry rub mixture or coat them with barbecue sauce. Grill or broil them at high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the ribs and sauce begin to brown.
Parboiling and Grilling Deer Ribs
Step 1: Cover and Boil
Cover the ribs pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer the ribs for 1 hour.
Step 2: Heat the Grill
Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
Step 3: Coat the Ribs
Coat the ribs with dry rub or barbecue sauce. Grill the ribs for approximately 20 minutes, turning once, until the ribs are browned.
Slow-Cooker Venison Ribs
Step 1: Parboil the Ribs
Parboil the ribs covered in water for 30 minutes to remove as much fat as possible.
Step 2: Add Some Sauce
Place the ribs in the slow-cooker and cover them with a commercial barbecue sauce or a flavorful liquid such as apple cider or beer.
Step 3: Cook the Ribs
Cook the ribs on the high setting for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Step 4: Season and Brown
Remove the ribs from the slow-cooker. If you cooked them in a liquid other than barbecue sauce, season them with salt and pepper or a dry rub. Place them on a broiler pan under high heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the ribs and sauce are lightly browned, turning once.
Venison meat can appear pink inside even when it is cooked properly. Use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature has reached 165 F, as recommended by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, if there is any doubt. Ribs become fork tender at temperatures around 180 F.