Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Yesterday in the mail I received my elk and antelope tags from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. In a fit of optimism I dug out some of last year's venison from the freezer, figuring I needed to start making room for all that fresh meat that would be coming my way this fall.

My wife and kids are less than enthusiastic consumers of wild game. They'll eat it, but they usually prefer that it be prepared in a manner that minimizes the 'wild game' taste (although I suspect that if I did a blind taste test they couldn't tell the difference between venison and beef, or quail and chicken).

So last night I made the venison equivalent of veal piccata (recipe below). Normally I don't soak venison in milk, but for this dish it seemed like the thing to do to approximate the taste of milk-fed veal. For the record, we don't eat veal. On this one topic we've bought into the animal rights propaganda. Yes, I know there's another side to the story, but for whatever reason we just bypass veal.

And while we're on the subject of hunting, there's a new development in bullets. DARPA has come up with a .50 caliber round that self-adjusts its flight in midair to hit targets at extreme long ranges.
The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet. The EXACTO 50- caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems. The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

Since I won't have that technology available to me this fall I guess I'd better put in some serious range time between now and then...

Anyway, as promised, here's the Venison Piccata recipe. FWIW, it received rave reviews.

Venison Piccata

Servings: 2-4            Prep Time: 2-4 hours            Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes


- 1 lb. of venison round or roast, sliced into small steaks
- 2+/- cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 3/4 cup of dry white wine (i.e., Chardonnay)
- juice of 2 fresh lemons
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 TBLS capers, drained


1.    Trim venison of fat or silverskin. Slice into 1/2 inch thick steaks. Rinse with water and pat dry.

2.    Lay meat in a shallow non-metal dish. Pour 1 cup or so of milk over the meat (I like to sprinkle my venison with a little unseasoned meat tenderizer at this point). Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours, depending on the age/sex of the deer (longer for an older buck and shorter for a young deer or doe). Turn the meat about halfway through the refrigeration period.

3.    When the time is up, remove the venison and rinse with water. Discard the milk. Pat dry, return the venison to the dish, and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. At this point I also like to sprinkle it with a little lemon pepper and garlic salt, but that’s up to you. In any event, the key here is to lightly sprinkle with whatever you decide to use. Cover with milk again.

4.    Leave the meat out at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. At that point drain and discard the milk, and pat the venison dry with paper towels.

5.    Between steps 3 and 4, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Also, you can pour yourself some of the wine (just make sure to reserve the ¾ of a cup you’ll need in step 7). Spread the flour mixture onto a large plate. After step 4 dredge the venison steaks in the flour mixture.

6.    Pour yourself a fresh glass of wine. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add venison and brown for 4-5 minutes on each side.

7.    Add the wine and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes.

8.    Remove venison and keep warm (I like to wrap it loosely in foil).

9.    Add lemon, parsley, and capers to the wine in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

10.    Place venison steaks on plates and pour sauce over venison. Open another bottle of wine, serve with your favorite veggies and some nice garlic bread, and enjoy!


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Agree with you about veal.

CenTexTim said...

Funny, isn't it, how we won't eat them when they're young, but can't wait to get them on the grill when they're older.