The Best Spices to Use When Making Venison

Venison roast with roasted potatos image by Elzbieta Sekowska from

Many deer hunters who hunt to fill their freezers will tell you they prefer a good cut of venison to any prime beef steak. While many people wrinkle their noses in disgust, statistics show that venison is by far the healthier red meat, having two to three per cent fat content over beef's 18 to 41 per cent.

Some complain of a "wild" or "gamey" taste, but a true connoisseur knows how to spice it up so that even the most sceptical nose-wrinklers come back for more.

Bay Leaves and Garlic

Denise Wetherbee's recipe, as published in the September 10, 2010, issue of "Alabama Living," suggests preparing a deer marinade that includes several garlic cloves and two bay leaves along with onions, green peppers, oil, soy sauce, with both brown and white sugars. She recommends her recipe as a 24-hour marinade for back strap and inside tenderloin cuts.

Crushed Black Pepper and Kosher Salt

There's nothing like the basics when it comes to flavouring meat. Stephanie Huffaker's recipe, also appearing in "Alabama Living," calls for a thin cut of back strap to be layered with a blue cheese/cream cheese mixture then sprinkled with crushed black pepper, kosher salt, garlic and oregano before rolling and wrapping in bacon to broil. Many recipes will require wrapping venison in bacon, as it adds moisture to what is commonly known as a dryer meat than standard beef and pork.

Nutmeg and Garlic Powder

One recipe for deer burgers requires mixing the deer with ground pork before incorporating nutmeg, garlic powder and black pepper. Nutmeg may also be used in combination with other spices in seasoning deer sausage. Most recipes for deer sausage require a mixture of the ground venison and ground pork, which improves the moisture content.

Garlic and Rosemary

Garlic is frequently used in combination with other herbs to flavour venison. One such recipe calls for marinating a rack of venison with crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and branches of fresh rosemary for several hours or overnight. An accompanying sauce can be made containing more rosemary, red wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper.

Chilli Seasoning Mix

For those people who still are not thrilled about the taste, venison can be mixed with beef for chilli so that even the pickiest eater will not know that deer is on the menu. Chilli seasoning mixes usually include chilli powder or ground chilli peppers along with garlic, onion, cumin and a variety of other spices.