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How Do I Choose the Best Sauce for Venison?

Selecting the perfect sauce for venison is about balancing flavors. Consider the gamey taste of the meat and opt for sauces with bold, complementary notes like tart berries or rich red wine reductions. A harmonious pairing enhances the venison, elevating your culinary experience. What's your favorite venison dish, and how could the right sauce transform it?
Jen Ainoa
Jen Ainoa

Choosing the best sauce for venison involves considering personal taste, cuisine, and the occasion or event planned around the meal. Teriyaki sauce would not be appropriate when making a Mexican menu, for example, nor would a marinara go with stir fry. Personal preference also plays a major role into the selection of sauce, especially if hot or spicy sauces are disagreeable or unpleasant to diners. Any sauce that is used for beef dishes can also be used for venison.

The sauce choice is often not as important as the preparation that goes into the venison. Venison is deer meat, and factors that influence flavor include the species, sex, age, and even geographic location or diet of the animal. When venison meat has a strong wild or gamey taste, a more intensely flavored or spicy sauce can help mask the gaminess. Many people, particularly those who were raised eating game meat, disagree and actually enjoy the wild flavor.

Venison can be treated with the same sauces used for beef.
Venison can be treated with the same sauces used for beef.

Garlic and peppers are common ingredients which can form a simple sauce for venison. Another simple sauce that goes well with venison is a combination of salt, black pepper, powdered garlic, Worcestershire sauce, wine, and sugar. A sauce such as this can be used as a marinade before cooking or as a dipping sauce afterward.

Asian-American sauces such as sweet and sour, teriyaki or sweet chili sauce are good choices for venison that has been cooked in Asian-inspired dishes such as stir fry, teriyaki steaks, sweet and sour spare ribs or beef and broccoli, where venison has been substituted for beef. Any dish that can be made using beef can also be made using venison, and the same sauces used for the beef dishes often suffice.

Gravies are also tasty options when choosing the best sauce for venison. Venison can be tough, so tenderizing cuts of meat with a mallet, then breading, battering, and frying can yield a chicken-fried style venison steak. A cream or white gravy is commonly served with beef prepared in this way, and it is also a good choice for venison. When venison has been slow-cooked or simmered in gravy, as with a roast, the gravy also makes a delicious sauce.

Since venison can be prepared in so many ways, and since every person has a unique set of likes and dislikes when it comes to flavor, there really is no best sauce for venison. One way to discover the best sauce for venison is to try several styles of cooking and experiment with many flavors. If a favorite brand of sauce is preferred with beef, chances are it will be a favorite for venison too. Venison is a wild meat, so even the best sauces will not change the fact that the flavor and texture is unique.

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    • Venison can be treated with the same sauces used for beef.
      By: awhelin
      Venison can be treated with the same sauces used for beef.