Sadly, some people believe that venison is tough and has a strong flavor. The truth is that people who believe this have never had venison that has been properly cared for in the field, processed carefully and cooked correctly.
Depending on the deer, where it was living and what it was eating, venison may have a different flavor than beef. However, that flavor should be enjoyed for what it is, just like you would enjoy chicken or pork. In many situations and recipes, a person eating properly cared for and cooked venison would not even know it – unless they were told.
Unlike beef, venison does not have any fat “marbling,” so venison can dry out during cooking unless fat or moisture is added.
The cut of meat is critical in determining how it should be cooked. The tenderloin, top loin (back straps) and steaks off the tops of the hindquarters lend themselves to be cooked fast, using a hot grill or searing pan. These cut should not be cooked beyond rare or medium rare. In addition, these cuts should also be “rested” before serving. Meat that is rested is still cooking, so plan your cooking time accordingly.
Cuts from the lower hindquarter, shoulders, front legs and neck should be cooked slowly in low heat.
A quick Internet search will reveal scores of venison recipes. Additional information on cooking venison can be found in the cooking resources section of this site.