If you want to make Crock-Pot venison steak, it's important to know which cut of meat you're dealing with. Michigan State University indicates that while venison is a lean source of protein compared to beef, it is a dry meat and only certain cuts should be cooked with dry heat.
What Is Venison?
According to the University of Minnesota, venison refers to meat of antlered animals. Most often, this means deer, but it can also refer to elk, caribou and moose.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that 1 ounce of boneless raw deer steak contains 32 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 83 milligrams of potassium and 100 milligrams of sodium. Keep in mind the recommended serving of meat at a meal is 3 ounces.
According to Michigan State University, compared to beef, venison is lower in fat at 19 percent, whereas beef is 29 percent fat. Venison contains less saturated fat, but contains more cholesterol than chicken, beef and pork.
If you're dealing with tenderloins, round or loin steaks, using a dry heat cooking method like grilling, frying or roasting is OK. Any other cut of meat should be prepared with moist heat cooking methods such as roasting, stewing or slow cooking.
Deer Steak in Crock-Pot
To prepare your Crock-Pot venison steak, thaw it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Trim as much fat as possible, and cut the steak into small to medium pieces that are as uniform as possible.
Season the steaks with salt, pepper and any other seasonings as suggested by the recipe you choose. Add vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, if desired.
Add liquid of your choice. Options include wine, water, broth or condensed soup. The liquid helps add moisture and tenderizes the meat.
Cook your deer steak in Crock-Pot for six to eight hours on low heat or three to four hours on high heat. Do not remove the lid during cooking as it will take time for the Crock-Pot to recover the lost heat.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife suggests combining a venison roast with barbecue sauce, tomato sauce and onions and garlic to taste. If desired, add horseradish sauce and cook for two to three hours on low or six to eight hours on high. Once cooked, serve the mixture on sandwich buns. Try it with our Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli Florets recipes for a well-rounded meal.
The University of Minnesota says your venison steak Crock-Pot recipe is cooked when an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit for whole steaks or roasts, 160 F for group meat and 165 F for casseroles, soups or stews.
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Removing the Gamey Taste
According to the University of Minnesota, the wild taste in Crock-Pot venison steak is a direct result of the animal's diet. Corn-fed deer have a milder flavor than those that eat sage or acorn. The gamey flavor in venison steak Crock-Pot recipes is more noticeable in the fat.
Removing the fat, silver skin, bone and hair during processing reduces the gamey taste. However, you may also experience strong flavors as a result of inadequate bleeding, delay in field dressing or failure to cool the carcass promptly.
- Use a vinegar soaked cloth to remove any residual hair
- Add spices to hide the gamey flavors
- Rub the meat with other fat such as oil, bacon fat or butter to help prevent the meat from becoming too dry. Add sour cream or sweet cream to add flavor and moisture. Bear in mind these preparation methods will also add fat to the total venison steak Crock-Pot recipe.
- Add a high acid liquid to deer steak in Crock-Pot to help soften the muscle fibers to tenderize the meat.
- Michigan State University Extension: "How to Cook Venison"
- University of Minnesota Extension: "Cooking Venison for Flavor and Safety"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central: "Venison/Deer Steak, Cooked, NS as to Cooking Method"
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife: "Venison Recipes"