When I get asked what my favorite venison recipe is, it’s tough to come up with just one answer. There are so many amazing cuts and ways to cook venison, I can’t pick between them all. However, one of the easiest recipes I enjoy is not only great, but it will also sway any of my friends or relatives who are reluctant to try venison at all. In fact, if you don’t tell them it’s deer meat, I doubt they will ever detect any difference in taste.
For background, my dad is a first generation hunter, and my mom was not raised in a hunting family. I recall my grandmothers on both sides of the family were extremely skeptical about trying venison. One evening when I was a kid, my grandparents came over for a birthday dinner and my mom made venison parmesan. She didn’t tell anyone what it was. After a few bites, my grandmother’s decided that venison was, in fact, pretty darn good. I think you’re family will too.
I feed my family a schnitzel version of my mom’s recipe as well. They are both basic (and delicious) meals that are equally good.
- 1-lb venison steak, sliced into ¼” thick pieces
- 2½ cups of Italian breadcrumbs
- 1½ cups of all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups of milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lemons, sliced into wedges
- Oil for frying
- Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the venison steaks to an even 1/8-inch thickness.
- Creating an assembly line of three bowls, whisk together the eggs and milk in one bowl. In a second bowl, add the flour and in the third bowl add the breadcrumbs.
- Dredge the steaks, one at a time in flour until fully coated. Then, dip in the egg wash and lastly into the breadcrumbs. Pat the steak down into the breadcrumbs, making sure that both sides are fully coated. You shouldn’t be able to see any meat through the crumbs. I would like to make a note at this time, that you can use panko breadcrumbs, however it won’t be the same and won’t give you the same even coating that traditional breadcrumbs do.
- Lay the steaks in a single layer on a baking sheet or platter until you have coated all of them.
- In a large skillet, heat about an inch of oil over medium high heat. Test the oil with a few breadcrumbs, if they sizzle then the oil is ready. You don’t want to have the oil on high heat as the steaks will burn on the outside while the inside will be raw.
- Add the steaks a few at a time to the hot oil, making sure not to over crowd the pan. I generally do three or four pieces at a time depending how large the skillet is.
- Once the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown, flip the steaks to fry the other side. Once both sides are browned, set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
- After all steaks are fried, garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges. Squeeze lemon over the individual pieces before eating.
Read Next: The Best Ways to Cook Every Cut of Venison
If you want to take this dish to the next level and create the venison parmesan dish that my mom served, here is the recipe.
- Marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Follow the directions for venison schnitzel, frying the steaks as directed. Transfer from the paper towel-lined plate directly to a large baking dish. Keep the steaks in a single layer. Pour marinara sauce over the top of the steaks, enough to cover them but not enough to fill the pan.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top of the sauce.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve over spaghetti, with fresh parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.