I didn’t grow up in a family of hunters and the idea of eating venison (deer) was a little outside of my comfort zone. I’m not really sure what part of eating venison was the issue for me, since I’ve always been a proud omnivore it wasn’t an opposition to eating meat… Nor did I have a strong moral conflict with hunting, when done responsibly and compassionately.
It was just different from what I was used to and I think so many people fear the unknown, I was no different. Not long after I started dating my husband (in 2000) he got his first deer of the season. At first I avoided the whole-cute-deer-that’s-now-dead hanging in a tree completely, but since I understood that he didn’t kill for sport, it wasn’t done with anger and aggression, this deer would be used as food.
And to me a deer killed swiftly and used to nourish your body is better than suffering needlessly on the side of the road after dancing with a fast moving automobile.
And I was raised to never turn my nose up at food that’s offered to me, you ALWAYS politely try what’s served to you. You can politely say you don’t like something after tasting it and giving it an honest try.
The first venison I ate was Venison Jerky and, well, I LOVE jerky and venison jerky was so good – it was undeniable! After that my hubby had me try his grandmothers breaded venison steaks (just like a traditional breaded Austrian Weiner Schnitzel, only made with venison instead of pork or veal) and again, there’s no denying that it tasted AMAZING.
Over the years I’ve transitioned away from just venison jerky and breaded deer steak to using a variety of cuts of venison in my kitchen – even using the bones for bone broth! (we also butcher our own deer so we have complete control over the cuts of meat and how it’s packaged) However, a Venison Neck Roast has become our favorite!
It’s just as it sounds, it’s the section of meat/bones in-between the head and shoulders. So you only get one per deer, on a good year we’ll have 4 neck roasts at then end of hunting season. Nothing scary or strange, just another hunk of meat at the end of the day.
Obviously the neck is a part of the deer’s body that is used a lot – it’s muscular and has fat marbled through the meat – which means it will be best when cooked for a long time with moist heat – you Crock Pot is the perfect way to cook a Venison Neck Roast. Just stick your neck roast in your crock pot, season it up and and some water – cover and let it cook all-day-long. It’s seriously that easy. No need to baste or anything special.
At the end of the day (8-10 hours on high) the meat will be fork tender and you’ll have some amazing broth in the bottom of your crock pot to drizzle over your meat.
We just love to eat it as is, with a side of risotto and a green veggie. and have leftovers in tacos/fajitas/lettuce wraps. And don’t forget – after you take your roast out of the crock pot, leave all those yummy bits & juice in your crock pot, toss back in the bones, onion/celery/carrot and more water and let it simmer for a couple days on low to make amazing venison bone broth!