Venison can be a temper-mental meat to cook. An over cooked roast will give your jaws a work out. An over grilled back strap could be sliced up for hockey pucks.
If you have never cooked venison before, start with something easy and foolproof. You can’t go wrong with a crockpot. Low and slow, with almost any kind of sauce will give you a tasty meal that everyone will enjoy.
The key with crockpot cooking is definitely time. You want the low heat to break down the connective tissues. This accomplishes two things: the meat will be tender, and the meat will be tasty. This may run contrary to what many people will tell you, but the connective tissue does not taste gamy. If you get a gamy bite, odds are there was some other material in there that wasn’t properly removed during the butchering process.
Now granted, there are no guarantees in life – especially with venison – there are some small odds that you got a deer that just has a bit of funk to it. But the odds are much better that your deer is not gamy – a quick test is to just smell it. Most venison will have a nice clean “meat” smell, and will smell very similar to a raw beef steak or roast.
Back to my point – don’t try to cut all the connective tissue out of a roast. Do try to cut anything visible off the surface – this will just help speed up the cooking/breakdown process, but any “seams” you see going into the roast – just leave them be. Over the slow cook, they will melt down, allowing the meat to naturally fall apart.
You can cook ANY cut of meat in a crockpot – BUT, you should stick with the tougher cuts. Save the loin for a pan fry or the grill. These are the cuts in order of my preference for slow cooking:
- Trim Meat (those left over morsels you found when butchering the deer to get every scrap of meat you could).
- Any hindquarter roast – Top/bottom round, eye of round, sirloin tip – though I usually reserve the sirloin tip for corning.
Easiest Recipe Ever
Ok, you could probably do this with any bottle of BBQ sauce, but, I have become a huge fan of the Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces. They make a variety – the pot roast is especially tasty. In this example, I used the Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork.
To make: put your roast/meat in the crockpot (2-3 lbs or really anything UP to that). Dump the sauce in. Put it on low. Walk away for 6-8 hours. Get a fork. Enjoy!
It really is that easy. When it’s done, it will shred just like a pulled pork. Use it the same way: sandwiches, tacos, or in my case, I like to serve it over polenta. The sky is the limit! Sometimes, if it seems a bit saucy, I’ll run it through a strainer – but that is mostly for presentation purposes.
So, get your crockpot, get a few bags of sauce, and try them out for an easy meal that everyone will enjoy!