I find it very interesting when I hear the statement, “I don’t like venison, it has a funny taste to it”. In response I usually say, “Then you have never had much venison or wild game”. I am notorious for feeding venison to people who don’t like it and changing their minds. Very often the dislike of game meat is a mental thing not a taste thing. So when a person does not know they are eating venison they give you an honest reply to your preparation of the food. This is one of my favorite recipes that does not taste like anything other than beef and is a great way to introduce the idea of eating wild game.
Most deer is prepared the same as beef if the cook is aware that there is less fat content in any wild game so it is rather dry( unless we are talking bear) and needs a moist heat to keep it tender and flavor full. Soups and Stews are fast easy ways to enjoy the meat and not battle its natural low-fat qualities.
Venison Barley soup
By this photo can you tell this is venison? I am sure that most people are unable to tell the difference. The aroma is also beefy, due to the use of beef stock or broth, so you maybe the only person even notices the difference.
Venison Barley Soup
1. 1# Pound venison stake in small cubes
2. 5 Cups of water/ 1 cup added with barley
3. 4 Bouillon cubes beef flavor
4. 2/3 cup Quick Barley
5. 1 teaspoon salt
6. 1 bay leaf
7. Pepper to taste
8. 1 Cup Carrots diced
9. 1 Cup onion diced
10. 1 Can petite diced tomatoes
11. 1 Cup frozen peas
12. 2 tablespoons cooking oil
I made this last week while the snow was flying and the house was cold. We usually serve it with fresh made corn muffins or hot rolls with lots of butter.
So to start with brown the deer steak cubes in the oil, I use canola oil. I used left over tenderloin for this batch of soup but any cut will do.
browning of deer steak
While this is cooking over a lower heat I get my 4 cups water and bouillon cubes put together to soften them.
this photo shows 4 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes. I add one more cup at the addition of the barley
After the meat is nicely browned I add 1 cup carrots and 1 cup onion and soften them for a couple of minutes in the broth that forms from the venison.
carrots, onion, and venison
Then it is time to add the broth, Bay leaf, canned tomatoes, salt and peper.Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes before adding Barley or frozen peas.
soup before adding peas and barley
After the 3o minutes of simmering add 2/3 cup QUICK BARLEY not the regular barley. If you are unable to find the quick barley you need to add it to the soup earlier in the simmering process and allow another 15 to twenty minutes to the cook time. I also add one more cup of water at this point in thin the soup a little. If you would rather have it as a stew then omit this cup of water. I also add the frozen peas and allow to simmer on low heat covered for about ten minutes following the quick barley directions on box, checking for thickness as time passes.Quick baley does continue to thicken your soup even after removed from the stove so beware.
Venison Barley Soup simmering on stove
If the soup appears thick enough then remove bay leaf and serve. This recipe feeds about 5. If you are lucky and don’t have a 22-year-old son who will eat you out of house and home then maybe 6 average size portions. Cooking time is about 40 minutes.
Cooking this on a cold winter afternoon warmed that inter house. I serve the soup with warm cornbread and a lite salad and home canned peaches making this a very country heart healthy meal. Enjoy!