venisonBold and slightly gamey, venison sautéed in a bit of garlic and red wine makes a much appreciated seasonal meal.

venison steaksVenison is the meat of a deer, although traditionally the term ‘venison’ applied to all hunted meat that was not fowl or fish. Venison is a seasonal game, best eaten in November, December, January and February. I think many people think only of fruits and vegetables as seasonal but meat is as well, including fish and fowl. Venison is best hunted and eaten during the onset of winter and through the winter months. The meat is more mature and flavorful during these months and culling the herds through conscious hunting practices can help the rest of the deer survive through the winter.

venison burgerFrom a culinary perspective, venison is a wild game so it tends to have a little bit stronger flavor than domestic meats. It has a lighter and leaner texture even with its bolder flavor. Venison comes in many of the same cuts as beef and can be used in much the same way. Venison steaks, roasts, burgers; I’ve sautéed some squares of venison thigh in garlic and red wine, served it up with some roasted barley, peas, and squash to make a delicious and healthy dinner.

As for your health? Venison is a game meat; which means a higher quality protein. It is also higher in Iron and B vitamins. As a wild foraging game, the phytonutrient density will vary depending on the environment as will the flavor. Overall, venison is a great choice for quality protein and other nutrients if you are an omnivore.