Slow Cooker Venison Roast Recipe

My apologies to the vegetarians and vegans amongst us. You might want to divert your eyes. How about a lovely black bean soup?  or sweet potato chili? maybe a vegetarian shepherd's pie? oooh! I've got a vegetable no-noodle lasagna for you!

did they leave?

is the coast clear?

I cooked Bambi. Our neighbors, Sandy and Sherman ( you remember them, they brought us Potluck Beans) hunt (well, Sherman hunts-- I think Sandy tolerates.) and were very generous with their last bounty. Venison is pretty lean meat, and has a tendency to be tough and dry if not cooked in a moist environment--

like in a slow cooker.

The Ingredients.
serves 4-6

2 onions, sliced in rings
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds venison roast (if you have a bigger piece, that's fine, too!)
1/2 pound bacon
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup butter, sliced (to add later)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Peel and slice the onions, and separate the rings. Place them on the bottom of your slow cooker. Rub pepper and Worcestershire sauce directly into the meat, and place it on top of the onion. Wrap bacon slices around the roast, overlapping if necessary, and tuck in the ends of the bacon underneath. Pour on the beef broth.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 10 hours, or until meat has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will become. If the center of the meat isn't as juicy as you'd like, cut the meat into a few pieces, then return to the pot to cook on low until it begins to break down. Dry meat isn't the sign of over-cooking, it's a sign of under-cooking.

Slice, meat, and dot pieces of butter on it to melt. Serve with mashed or baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) and something green.

The Verdict.

All Bambi jokes aside, this was quite delicious. Venison does not taste like beef or pork. It has a different flavor--many describe it as "gamey" which means that it has a different feel to the tongue, kind of tangy and more savory than sweet (beef and pork taste sweet when eaten right after). I liked it, and so did Adam and the baby (the big kids ate leftover mac and cheese (boxed, Trader Joe's)). I added the bacon and the butter to inject a bit of fat and moisture. 

I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately on Netflix Streaming (we downgraded our cable package, but now have Streaming-- not sure we're actually saving any time or money--- gah.) related to food politics. When I think too much about where our food comes from, and why this or that is priced the way it is, and why this other thing costs so much more my head hurts.

and I want to dig a hole and hide.

I'm not sure where I'm headed with this---- I just know that while I was eating this meal I had an odd (and kind of morbid) satisfaction that I knew where this meat came from. What it ate, how it died, and who butchered and packed it up.

and that's all I have to say about that!

it's back-to-school season--have an itch to get organized?

Have a wonderful week. xoxo

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at August 15, 2011

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What they say about this article

  1. Thanks for sharing! My family are all hunters, so our freezers are generally full of deer, moose, and elk.

    For pretty much any four-legged game, you can really reduce the "gamey" flavor of by using a can of beer in place of some of the beef stock. You don't end up with beer gravy or beer flavored meat, it just kills that slight flavor that some folks find so different from beef.

  2. We are always looking for good venison recipes. I have found that if I stick a frozen roast in a brining mix for at least 24hours it make the roast WAY more moist and takes away that gamey flavor. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Firstly, I'll take free-range deer over any (factory)farm-raised animal.

    Secondly, that "gamey" flavor isn't something to be avoided -- there's nothing wrong with it, and you'll notice more of that same flavor in grass-raised beef as well. It's just different and more flavorful than most of the meat we're used to.

    I've heard of folks raised on venison having a steak at a restaurant and wondering why it seemed flavorless, asking if something was wrong with it for it to taste that way.

  4. That looks pretty good. I'm not a huge venison fan, but I have eaten it before. And I know it's not the "in" thing, but I kind of like seeing meat in plastic wrap on styrofoam trays. It weirds me out to know it came from my nephew's hog or the bison my sister and her husband raise. It doesn't stop me from eating it, but it's kind of mind over matter. Of course, eating plastic-wrapped meat is also mind over matter...

  5. I love venison. I wish I had hunter friends. Maybe I need to suck it up and BECOME the hunter friend. Except I don't know the first thing about it. Love that if I get the opportunity to have a venison roast, now I'll have an idea of how to cook it! And I don't think having satisfaction of knowing where your meat comes from is a bad thing - I much prefer that than the mystery, CAFO-raised, often over-grown, over-sized, bland stuff from the grocery. (my husband would be calling me a meat snob for saying this, but honestly, he agrees with me too - mostly cause the grass-fed stuff or the game meats taste better!)

  6. Hunted meat is the ultimate in free range. :)

  7. must have been thinking the same thing we have deer roast last night. YUMMY have never tried it wrapped in bacon I will try that next time.

  8. Darlene8/15/2011

    I didn't care for the venison I have tried in the past,but that looked so good I may have to try it again!

  9. My husband is an avid hunter. He says hanging the deer properly has a lot to do with whether or not it tastes "gamey". Food for thought. :) This recipe looks delicious.
    (I, too, prefer venison steak, from the tenderloin or back strap, to beef steak any day!)

  10. *giggle* I prefer to live in sweet ignorance! Don't tell me, I don't want to know! On a different note, enjoying your's never ever occurred to me to clean my remotes!

  11. I just love your blog. I've been trying out recipes for a week and a half straight, getting rave reviews from my husband. (I am trying this slow-cooker thing in an effort to stay sane with a new baby and getting meals on the table each evening.) Thank You! I am gluten free too, and these recipes are life-savers. Our favorite is the BBQ pulled pork. Off to find a bean recipe. :)

  12. I have to agree with John Bratzell. Wild venison (and pork and duck for that matter) are in a league of their own when it comes to flavour. Once you've tasted wild, farmed just doesn't compare.

  13. Kristin W8/17/2011

    We LOVE Venison at our house also. We make shredded BBQ for sandwiches out of it. Slice deep cuts into roast and stuff with onions and slabs of butter. Wrap tightly in several layers of tin foil. Put in crock pot. Add enough water so your foil packet floats. Cook on low all day. Take foil packet out dump juice out of crock pot, open foil packet and dump roast and some of the juice from your foil packet into crock pot. Shred and add BBQ sauce. We eat these as sandwiches or on backed potatoes.

  14. Courtney L8/17/2011

    What is it that has so many of us streaming those documentaries from Netflix right now? I've watched several in the last couple weeks, and my brain is hurting too. I feel like we can't win...must be healthy, must be local, must be organic, must be...ugh! My favorite though was No Impact Man.

    Anyway, not sure I could eat bambi, but think it is great that you scored some great, free meat!

  15. Looks so yummy. Thank you for sharing good recipes. I make a try with this.

  16. I always have venison on hand and prefer it so much more than anything store bought. I substitute is often for beef in recipes. I actually just used it in the Peppercorn steak recipe in your cookbook and it came out great.

  17. I love venison in all its forms, jerky and roast being my favorite. Darn, now I'm craving venison. :\

  18. We love venison here too. I normally cook the roast with either a beef or pork roast then shred & add bbq sauce for sandwiches. Even my picky eater loves it. As for the steaks, we either grill them or fry in garlic butter.

  19. Thanks for sharing. I had to laugh at your post,I loved your correctness in the beginning. We love venison. And just like you with all the netflix food documentaries, it is getting harder to shop in the store.

  20. In the slow cooker now. Can't wait!

    You can always marinate venison in 1)milk or 2)beer to remove any perceived gamey flavor. I usually put the frozen meat into a ziploc bag with beer while thawing (the milk turning red oogs me out) and that flavors and kills the slight flavor.

    My husband hunts, but a neighbor got us a deer and a half, we just paid for processing. The sausage is amazing, the steaks are so good. We just cook as you would a lean cut of beef.

  21. I love venison!! My dad and brother used to hunt every fall season, so we would always have a freezer with venison--I definitely miss it. But your recipe looks delish!!

    Haha, I always have to laugh, because I always used to think, "I'm eating Bambi" too...but it was so good!

  22. Made this a couple of nights ago, it was excellent! I cooked it for about 10 hours, I would cut the cook time down next time, but it was well flavored and very tender.

  23. The addition of the bacon and butter made me think that you’ve been watching the movie, FATHEAD, on Netflix. That’s one of my favorites in that food documentary genre. I love your recipes and can use quite a few of them within a Paleo framework. Knowing they’re already gluten free is halfway there! Thanks for everything you do.

  24. Hmm, always just grilled it on the cooktop with some onions and garlic, hadn't thought to try the slow cooker. I LOVE venison, to the point where I may have to talk husband into hunting again so we can have more.....

  25. Could you add potatoes and carrots like a regular pot roast? A friend gave me a venison roast and I've never cooked one before, so I need some help:)

  26. Brooke-

    Yes, you can cook potatoes and carrots with it.

    But if I really had the choice, I would take elk or moose over deer any day!

    Gravy ALWAYS tastes better from an elk, moose, or deer roast than a beef roast!

    Also, wild game meat is so lean and good for you.

  27. WorkingMom9/23/2011

    I used really thick elk steaks and put potatoes under them. This was my family's favorite crock pot dish I have made. There was not a scrap left & we only have 4 in the house. ツ

  28. SparkBunny4/12/2012

    If you want all-natural, antibiotic free, free-range grass-fed meat, venison is where it's at. The most mistakes made with venison is over seasoning, and whether you get a doe or a buck. Most hunters like having the ''rack" of a buck, but the meat is not as good because they're overmuscled and tough. Meat hunters know that does are much better to eat. When i make a venison roast, i put 1 cup water in the bottom of the crock and rub the roast with 1T mrs. Dash and 1T onion flakes. That's it. Overseasoning is actually what makes it taste "gamey" because the truth is that you need to season it just like you would any other meat. Try overseasoning a beef roast and it'll taste weird to you as well. When we make venison burgers, we use the exact same marinade and seasonings as we do in beef burgers. We've fed them to people without telling them it's venison, and after the fact they admit they can't tell the difference.

  29. sounds amazing I'm using this recipe now for a nice backstrap from a doe i harvested yesterday. Thanks for share this It already smells great :-)