Sous Vide Venison & More
by Tiffany Haugen
Just when you think you’ve tried every way imaginable to prepare venison, a new gadget comes along. I’ve likely had food cooked “sous vide” (French for “under pressure”) at some point in a restaurant, but wasn’t even aware of the technique. It wasn’t until recently that home-cooks had this technology available at a reasonable price. I recently picked up my sous vide machine at Cabela’s, as well as the vacuum sealer and bags.
Meat prepared in the sous vide retains moisture, flavor and becomes tender as it par-cooks in a vacuum sealed bag under a low temperature water bath. The final step is a very quick sear in a hot skillet or grill. The result is a fork-tender steak, cooked to medium-rare perfection with a flavorful layer of caramelization on top and bottom. Venison steaks can even be cooked to “medium” without drying out or getting tough and gamey.
Sous vide also cooks fish and vegetables beautifully and allows for many dishes to be prepared ahead of time. Simply vacuum seal foods, par-cook in the sous vide then refrigerate until ready to warm up. Great for large dinner parties and creating camping meals, ahead of time.
- Ingredients are as simple as a little salt and pepper or a favorite rub to marinate flavor into the meat or fish.
- Vacuum seal in boil-safe vacuum seal bags.
- Bring sous vide to proper temperature and place sealed bag in water or refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Temperature for fish, vegetables and meat vary slightly. Cook venison at 134º-140º for 1 hour (backstrap or tenderloin) or 2 hours for steaks from other deer cuts.
- Remove steaks from bag and pat dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sear in a hot skillet or grill, less than 1 minute per side.
- Remove from heat and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.