If venison typically strikes you as a fine-dining red meat reserved for swanky restaurants or globe-trotting gourmands, you're not alone.
But why, we ask, must this deliciously tender, beautifully versatile red meat hide in the shadows while lamb and beef reign supreme on Kiwi dinner tables? Thankfully, our friends at Silver Fern Farms plan to remedy all that.
Venison has been steadily growing in popularity with Kiwi consumers and chefs alike. More and more local foodies are experimenting with cooking grass-fed venison at home and trying different combos to enjoy it with. According to the team at Silver Fern Farms, venison retail products have "doubled in the last five years" as consumers lean toward naturally nutritious, grass-fed red meat.
Silver Fern Farms marketing manager, Nicola Johnston, says that creating products for today’s health conscious consumers to enjoy is a focus at Silver Fern Farms.
“Our loyal consumers trust that our products are produced to the highest standards, with care and respect and in a sustainable way," says Nicola.
“Kiwis are enjoying venison more often and are looking for simple, new ways to share great-tasting, locally grown produce with family and friends. The delicate flavours of Silver Fern Farms farmed venison are key to its growth in popularity as meat lovers are preferring the pasture-raised flavour style over the more traditional wild venison with its gamey characters.”
In a bid to ensure you know your venison better than most, we've curated a need-to-know guide for cooking with this flavoursome meat:
Tenderloin/fillet: lean and tender, so treat it like all fillets with quick, minimal cooking. Cook whole, use medallions for pan frying, or butterfly into steaks to grill.
Short loin: best for steaks, medallions, cut to noisettes or quick roasted as a whole fillet
Denver leg: made up of four prime cuts: the rump, topside, silverside and knuckle. When trimmed of fat, sinew and silverskin, each of the primal cuts can be cut into beautiful, full-flavoured steaks for grilling, medallions for pan-frying or trimmed to fillets for flash roasting.
Rack: like a lamb rack with eight chops. Sear first, roast to rare, then rest and carve to individual cutlets.
Dish recipe picks? Consider our Venison Medallions with Red Wine and Berry Pan Sauce for a hearty mid-week dinner recipe, or try our Venison Roast Sandwiches with Feta, Grilled Eggplant and Beetroot Relish for a delicious off-duty open sandwich.
To make cooking with venison that much easier, look out for Silver Fern Farms venison range, available in supermarkets nationwide.