By Brian L Lichorowic
People give me dead meat.  In the fall and winter, like clock work.  Either it’s Dr. Dave, my chiropractor who hunts on my property, who tells me to meet him behind his office in the parking, or the gentlemen whose name I’m not certain of, but for five years appears at my front door smiling and says, “Nice year for doe.  I’ve got some great loins and that burger you like.” (I like?? ) He then hands me 20 pounds of frozen, dead meat.

Photo by Venison World

Photo By Venison World

Next, I’m off in search of recipes and recipients.  I’m sure this will come as no surprise, but the Northern Virginia Piedmont area is considered a culinary hotbed for fresh venison.

I’ve eaten venison for a long time.  A couple times a year – tops – will do me. I think I’m like a lot of people that can stomach venison in small doses and usually if it part of a unique entree that makes my mental palate drool. Maybe it’s the whole “Bambi thing” I guess. But if it’s done right, venison is very enjoyable, very lean and pairs well with a nice, red burgundy.

Most recipes call for cooking the meat all day and drowning it in some sauce – usually ketchup or BBQ.  In my opinion, the goal of these recipes is to cover up the taste of the meat.  You could be eating a shoe and never know it.

I have assembled three venison recipes for all levels.  The first (Virginia Venison & Blue Cheese Meatballs) is a great starter dish for venison newbies, the second (Pan Roasted Venison with Spicy Cranberry Mexican Cinnamon Sauce) graduates to a more southwestern, fusion dish for the more daring and bringing up the rear ( Piedmont Venison Cider Stew) is a solid, winter wear stew perfect for keeping your “deer” friends and family warm.

[Editor’s note: Recipes after the jump] Continue reading