Venison Meat Vendors
If you want to taste premium processed deer venison, may we suggest: “Venison Summer Sausage with Jalapeno and Cheese” from Venison World. Or, Broken Arrow Ranch’s “Wild Boar Smoked Ham”, “South Texas Antelope Kabobs”, or “venison chili meat”.
Types of Deer Venison
Technically, any wild game meat is called venison. However, in common usage, the term venison has come to mean the meat of deer, and often, antelope. Sometimes you will hear Elk or Wapiti called venison, too.
At fine restaurants, always ask “what type of venison is it?” Knowledgeable staff can tell you or will offer to ask the chef. So you are in the know:
Axis Deer meat is the mildest and most like fine beef, but without the marbling and fat. Any fine beef recipe works well with Axis deer meat. Axis Deer are native to India but in greater abundance in Texas, Florida, and Hawaii in the USA. You’ll probably be getting Axis Deer venison in a restaurant from Broken Arrow Ranch which harvests the deer in the wild from many fine ranches in Texas and sometimes in Hawaii or your Axis may come from Venison World where the Axis are actually hauled from fine ranches to a humane slaughter facility. We understand that Australia and New Zealand are also getting into Axis venison production.
Elk venison meat is extremely popular in the mountain states and Canada. There are large Elk farms in the agricultural areas of many states. Typically, restaurant menus will say Elk, not venison. Restaurant Elk meat is typically served with a rich sauce or gravy and many times with hearty vegetables in the sauce.
Fallow Deer meat is an historical European choice. Fallow can thrive in colder climates and were the European venison of kings. Fallow venison is a stronger flavored meat and has many excellent recipes that are adapted to this flavor favorite. Juniper berries do nicely with this meat. Fallow deer are grown on deer farms all over the USA and abroad.
Red Deer meat is most abundant and much of the restaurant venison is Red Deer or Wapiti from New Zealand. This venison charmer is quite manageable with most fine venison recipes doing very well with it. Much of New Zealand Red Deer meat (and perhaps Wapiti and Elk) is marketed under the name “Cervena”. New Zealand feels this gives their venison an identifier like “Champagne” gives the image of a quality sparkling wine.
Sika Deer meat is probably the strongest flavored venison meat. Sika are or were prevalent in the Northwest USA, originally coming from China. Sika are a Chinese favorite and there are many Sika Deer farms in China and Mongolia.
South Texas Antelope venison is a mild and abundant favorite in restaurants. This antelope is a native of India and Pakistan and called Nilgai. It is very abundant now in south Texas, ranging freely on large ranches. The meat is natural like most venison’s, low in fat, chemical free, and delicious. Broken Arrow Ranch is main vendor here.
Important note: Never, ever, accept venison that is medium to well done…In venison talk…this is “over-done”.
Whitetail Deer and Mule Deer meat is rarely found in restaurants. it depends on state law. Whitetail Deer and Mule Deer are native to the USA and, in many states, technically owned by all citizens, so they are not allowed to be harvested for commercial sale. (No, we don’t know why Elk are.) People can hunt Whitetail or Mule Deer for their own use or you can often buy from processors the meat that hunters don’t pay for or pick up. Whitetail deer meat can be mild or strong depending on many factors: what the deer was eating when harvested (strong weeds can affect taste), how the meat was dressed, how the meat was harvested. A quick clean kill through the heart or head provides better meat than a chase.
Beyond Restaurants…you can purchase venison for yourself. Typically, vendors offer the prime cuts such as backstrap or tenderloin, T-bone steaks, ham steaks, and cutlets. Because every animal also produces lots of ground meat you can purchase it and use hamburger recipes or you can let excellent meat artists provide you with gorgeous chili, sausages, snack sticks, jerkies, and dried rings.