Venison: low-fat, high-vitamin meat option

My uncle came by yesterday afternoon with a cooler full of venison for me. I don’t usually have venison, but it’s so nutritious, I’m going to be cooking with it more this year. I found space in my freezer for about 25 1-pound ground packages.

Venison is one of the best low-fat meats (even lower fat than salmon, turkey and chicken!) And, it’s now being commonly farm raised for the meat quality. My venison was of the wild-caught variety and may be a bit stronger tasting (and more nutritious) than the domesticated type.

This high-quality red meat also contains fewer calories than other red meats and the additional bonus of offering a great source of heme iron (a readily absorbed variety). It’s also a great source of B-12, Niacin, B-6, and riboflavin. And is a good source of phosphorous, selenium, zinc and copper.

So, I’m investigating good recipes for ground venison and hope to find a few that make me plan to have venison in the freezer every fall. I have a farm that’s simply loaded with deer and an uncle that’s always looking for a great place to hunt. (He also has a butcher that takes it from felled to freezer without the need to dress it out.)

I referred to my bookshelf for all the nutritional values. (The World’s Healthiest Foods is a great resource. My copy is well-worn.)

From that book, I learned that I shouldn’t serve the venison to my sons (both of whom have had kidney stone problems in the last couple years), because the meat does contain purines, which can encourage the growth of uric acid based stones and gout in people with those tendencies.

That appears to be the only “downside” to eating venison instead of beef (and even beef has a moderately high level of purine).

(Note: photo courtesty of jpkwitter)