Reducing/eliminating gaminess in Mule Deer and Antelope meat

shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

My husband has been hunting for about 30 years here in the west, primarily Nevada but soon it will be Utah. The animals here eat a lot of sage brush, so certain herbs like sage are bad choices for seasoning this meat. For strong meat like this, you need to use vinegar or other acidic liquid, plus onion and garlic to reduce the gamey taste. The easiest way to prep this meat is to marinate it a couple of hours in Italian Dressing before cooking it. If cooking without marinating it, like in a slow cooker, I add a couple of chopped onions, garlic to taste and canned tomatoes. Note that elk meat does not require this treatment because it eats similar food to that of beef cattle.



  • Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    My grandmother swore by marinating venison overnight in beer - also works for really tough cuts of beef. She also sometimes marinated meat overnight in milk which she said would make it more tender.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Milk and beer are traditional for white-tail deer, in my opinion they are insufficient to tame mule deer and antelope flavors.

  • Amy
    Amy Posts: 35 ✭✭✭

    Make sure to clean all fat off if meat when butchering. I pressure can antelope by cubing meat, adding beef boullion powder and a teaspoon of lard. No liquid added as it will create own liquid. We do not have a wild sage taste but then the antelope we hunt have sage brush and grass to eat.

  • cre8tiv369
    cre8tiv369 Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    As a chef, I can tell you that I have always had great success with a 24 hour whole milk soak provided your cuts are not too thick (and you have to give it a full 24, change the milk halfway for extra gamey meat). I’ve never found beer to reduce the game flavor of any meat as most of those flavors are not acid nor alcohol soluble and whole milk dilutes the flavor from the fats (the game flavor is in the blood and fat, trim and clean everything). Beer will tenderize meat, but doesn’t dilute flavor. If a particular meat is incredibly strong then you might be better using it in a dish with lots of overwhelming spice and flavor like spicy Mexican, Creole, Indian cuisine (curry), a braise with fennel bulb, or turning it into jerky or smoked meat sticks (Worcestershire, soy sauce, molasses, vinegars, sugar, clove, pepper, ginger, garlic, etc are good at accompanying strong dried or smoked meats, and both methods have potential to either mask or enhance game flavors so experimenting is recommended before committing to a recipe/combination.