Vibrant red colour and mild flavour make this meat a real treat
In contrast to the meat of its stag relative, the meat of a deer has a mild flavour. Additionally it is low in fat but high in protein.
Venison has plenty of fans – not just because of its flavour. Although venison does have a mildly gamey aroma, it is not as strong as that of stag meat. Plus, its nutrients and minerals make it a good choice: venison is extremely low in fat but high in protein, and contains several B vitamins and iron.
Another benefit of venison is that game is not factory farmed, which is a large plus for many meat eaters and increases the enjoyment of it greatly.
|Calories||122 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||0g carbohydrates, 0g fibre, 3.6g fat, 22.4g protein per 100g|
|Season||August – February (varies between cantons)|
|Storage||store in the fridge|
|Shelf life||2-3 days (up to 4 weeks when vacuum packed)|
The Swiss love venison, and hearty meals with deer, stag or wild boar meat are an annual tradition, particularly in autumn – roughly half a kilo of game is consumed per person each year. As domestic hunters can’t completely cover the demand, venison is also imported from neighbouring countries like Austria and Germany, for example.
When buying fresh venison make sure the meat does not have any black discolouration or metallic shimmer. It should also not smell strongly or sour in any way. Vacuum packing is a great way to store the meat – some butchers will do this for you. Packaged this way venison can keep for up to four weeks in the fridge. Frozen venison is available year-round and also has the added advantage that it can keep for up to a year. Of course, you can also freeze fresh venison yourself.
Hobby cooks can experiment to their heart’s content when it comes to preparing venison – it can be grilled, fried, smoked or turned into ragout. However, the chosen preparation method does depend on the cut of meat. Venison filet, saddle of venison and leg of venison all have to cook for different amounts of time and are each suited to a different method of preparation.
Saddle of venison is particularly popular and is delicious seared briefly and then roasted in the oven at a low temperature. Slow roasting is a popular choice for the preparation of game, as it makes the meat particularly tender. As there is no guarantee that gamey meats are free of pathogens, you should always make sure they are cooked properly and not raw on the inside.
When it comes to seasonings, there is no limit to your creativity. Traditional seasonings for game are bay leaves, juniper berry, thyme and other fresh herbs. Sauces with red wine or cranberries are great accompaniments for venison. Wrapping venison in bacon or ham not only adds delicious flavour, but also ensures that the meat is juicy.
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