Sauces for Venison

Updated February 21, 2017

Sauces to serve with venison must be rich enough to mask the lean, gamy flavour of the meat without overpowering it. Naturally bright flavours such as berries, pepper and mustard cut through the gamy flavour and complement, rather than compete with, the natural flavour of venison. According to Chow, venison can be any wild game such as deer, antelope or elk, but they all share a similar flavour. Deer meat is noted for its slight berry and juniper tastet. Use these flavours in sauces to serve with venison to complement the meat. If you find venison is too gamy, Chow recommends soaking the meat overnight in water or a vinegar and water mixture before cooking it to mellow the taste.

Apple-Pepper Sauce

Serve venison with an apple-pepper sauce. Gateway has a recipe adaptation from an original by Chef Michael Lomonaco. This recipe uses tart granny smith apples in a venison sauce spiced with Szechuan peppercorns. This sauce is suggested for pairing with the rib rack from deer or elk. Szechuan peppercorns are available in Asian markets, and they, like black pepper, pair well with the venison. The tart apples have some of the tangy flavour properties found in berries to which venison has an affinity, making those fruits an acceptable twist on the classic inclusion of berries in a venison sauce.

Currant-Port Sauces

According to Chow the website, venison's flavour matches well with port and cranberries. In a slightly different take on this combination,'s author uses port wine and currant jelly. The flavour of the currants has less of a mouth-puckering tartness than cranberries, for a slightly more mellow sauce. The author recommends serving a currant-port sauce with rare or medium-rare cooked venison or other wild game for the best flavour.

Asian-Inspired Tomato Sauce

Species related to, and tasting like deer, exist all over the globe. A recipe from Arthur L. Meyer combines Asian flavours with tomato sauce for serving with lettuce-wrapped venison. The sauce includes sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, ground shrimp, fish sauce, garlic and red chiles. Though not traditional in the Western sense, Meyer notes that such a sauce is served in Laos with their native deers including the fahn, kuoang and the kaiy.

Creamy Scandinavian Venison

The natural flavour of deer suggests juniper berries. In a recipe from cookbook author Andreas Viestad, reprinted on the website Epicurious, the author combines juniper berries in a creamy sauce with Norwegian brown goat cheese. This cheese is made from caramelised whey instead of the curds of milk. The rich sauce is drizzled over lean venison fillets instead of fattier cuts from the deer.

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