|So, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. All the beef recipes that I posted? Yeah, well……they weren’t made with beef in our house. Okay, there! Whew! I feel so much better. Confession is good for the soul. Barry is a deer hunter, so I always have a good stock of venison in my freezer. Yum! I grew up eating it, even though my daddy is a cattle farmer, so it’s what I am accustomed to. I use ground beef if I know someone who is coming to dinner would throw their meal up if they found out what it was. Or, if the president of PETA was coming to dinner I’d probably use beef. Oh wait….that’s not right either. Tofu?|
|When I read a recipe that calls for ground beef, I automatically substitute venison in my head…..unless, like I said PETA is coming to dinner. I’ve heard several people say “Ew! I’ve had venison before and it tasted like butt!” Well, you’ve obviously not had MY venison dishes. You seriously cannot tell the difference in beef and venison when I cook it. Our family gets the deer processed with a family friend who uses beef fat in the venison…….that helps get rid of the gamey taste. Why do they do it? Venison is too lean without it – it would cook up like rubber. Rubber Chili. No thanks. Rubber snake – yes. Rubber Chili – no.|
|Now, I know most of you are skeptical. Don’t be. When I got married, Barry’s mama swore up one side and down another that she HATED venison. I started cooking dishes with venison and I never told her……but I told my father-in-law. He’s good at keeping secrets. She would compliment my cooking like crazy. “Honey, this is the BEST spaghetti sauce I’ve EVER had!” Well, thank you. Finally, one day when she was going on and on about my hot dog chili, Barry’s dad said “I know what would make it better. If it was cooked with venison instead.” Then the whole family busted out laughing. The joke was on her. Ha, ha! She’s a good sport……and she loves my venison dishes.|
|So, if you’ve had bad venison then it’s ruined your experience. Give it another chance. Try having some beef fat added to it. Also, when you cook it make sure to drain the fat and rinse the meat. If there is any gamey taste left, that will certainly help. This mainly is only with ground venison. If you have venison steak, it is going to certainly taste gamey…..but not in a bad way if it’s cooked correctly and marinated.|
Venison isn’t the only thing you can substitute for ground beef. You can also use turkey. Barry and I LOVE turkey burgers. I buy ground turkey regularly and try to keep it in the freezer. My friend Kim said she made turkey meatloaf one time and they all ran screaming from the kitchen. I told her she should give it a try again….but I don’t think her husband is aboard that train. Our household loves turkey meatloaf – especially with spinach. We also use a good deal of ground chicken in place of beef. Keep an eye out at Kroger and Food Lion. You’ll see chicken and turkey marked down regularly. I buy several packs then and come home to freeze it. I also like using soy crumbles in place of beef, but Barry is not as big of a fan as I am….but he’ll eat it. He loves me.
Oh, and I like I said….you could use tofu if PETA was coming. But I’m quite sure PETA wouldn’t set foot in this house. I mean, we like bacon.