Venison is rich and savory when you cook it in onion gravy; furthermore, deer meat melts in your mouth when you cook it in the pressure cooker. In addition, this goes from fridge to table in under an hour. It’s a great meal for a busy night after work or a lazy Saturday when you don’t feel like cooking.
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Deer meat has a bad reputation. People either love it or hate it. It seems there’s no middle ground. When I tell people that I eat venison regularly, I get one of two reactions. The first reaction is, “Eeeeeewwwww, I’d never eat that.” (I guess they have the Bambi complex. I, however, hold no illusions). The second reaction get is, ” I love deer meat, do you have extra I can try?”
Ya’ll have heard my speech before. Deer meat is only gamey and tough if it’s not prepared and cooked right. But just like any other meat, you must select the right cut of meat for the recipe. Then prepare the meat properly. Lastly, use the proper cooking method.
You don’t pull a sirloin steak out of the freezer, leave it unseasoned, and roast it for 4 hours, do you? Of course not! It, too, would have the same taste and texture as an old Coach handbag! So I feel that deer meat gets an unfair shake, as we often blame the venison for poor results.
The Secret? Pressure Cookers!
The pressure cooker is, perhaps, the best way to ensure a moist and tender outcome. Pressure forces the pores of the meat open, then the liquids saturate the meat, adding flavor and moisture. As a result, the venison leaves the pressure cooker fork tender.
I have switched over to an electric pressure cooker. Quite honestly, I could never get the control over a manual pressure cooker on my electric range. It scared me to death! If you are comfortable with a manual pressure cooker, this will also work in it. Hats off for figuring it out!
But please take caution. Follow the directions for your pressure cooker. They may vary from mine so make adjustments to the cooking times. Check your manufacturer’s instructions on this before you pressure cook.
Venison in Savory Onion Gravy is a simple and classic dish, as comfortable as your old bunny slippers. It easily serves a family and will leave you with leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
VENISON IN SAVORY ONION GRAVY:
- 1 1/2 pounds of defrosted venison stew pieces, or other cut trimmed to bite-sized pieces
- 1 32 oz. box of Swanson reduced-sodium beef broth
- A packet of Pioneer Sausage Gravy
- 1 large red onion
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
- Black Pepper, to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- noodles or rice (to serve the deer meat and gravy over)
- fresh chives for garnish
- Start by rinsing your defrosted venison, and removing any connective tissue that your butcher missed. It happens.
- Place into the pressure cooker: venison stew pieces, beef broth, onion, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Start your pressure cooker. Once it pressurizes, cook it for 30 minutes on the “meat” setting. When your timer dings, relieve the pressure and remove the lid.
- Stir in the gravy packet. Replace the lid and pressure cook for 10 additional minutes. Release the pressure and remove the lid. Serve over rice or pasta of your choice.
- Garnish with freshly cut chives for a fresh onion flavor and vibrant color. I cut mine directly from my herb garden. It’s a wonderful way to serve this dish. The gravy is a slightly thinner gravy which is perfect because the noodles will soak in the moisture and flavors.
- While my pressure cooker does its thing, I prepare noodles, rice, or even homemade spaetzle to serve this mixture over.
Please note: I don’t add extra salt to the recipe for a couple of reasons. First, I’m on a salt-reduced diet due to high blood pressure. Second, the gravy packet is very high in salt and adds enough savory flavor for me. If you really love salty flavors, feel free to add more.
I would challenge anybody who thinks deer meat is tough and inedible to keep an open mind and try this recipe before writing off deer meat. Anyone up to the challenge?