Utilizing Our Harvested Venison
One of the privileges of being involved in a hunting operation is that we get the opportunity to utilize our locally harvested venison across a broad spectrum of species. Experimentation has become the order of the day as we push the concept of nose to tail utilization.
It goes without saying that venison is some of the healthiest red meat available, being grass/bush fed, free-range, hormone-free and completely organic. South African research has shown that venison is a healthy alternative for red meat lovers having a healthy omega 6; omega 3 ratio, low-fat content and a high ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids, being double the recommended ratio.
Of course one of the challenges we have faced has been educating ourselves on how to prepare game meat, as the characteristics are different to beef and less cooking time generally required. We have developed a number of recipes, which enhance the flavour of the meat on both the braai and in the oven. Springbuck, in particular, has proven to be one of our favourites with utilization using one hundred percent of its carcass in high-end dishes. We have perfected Springbuck on a spit braai, use the backstrap rack and deboned hind quarter on the open coals, the ribs make for a tasty starter – then oven favourites include goulash from the neck, oven roasts from the hindquarters, double-baked shoulder roasts and of course the slow-roasted shanks are always well received.
Traditionally venison has always been associated with an old South African style – namely biltong. Considered as a very strong bargaining chip, biltong has been known as one of the strongest forms of currency in local communities and is well used to return favours, get a job done quicker or just simply to buy friendship!!
After all this writing about the various uses of our venison, I think I am going to go and see what I’ve got hanging in the cold room.