Southern Cuisine: Smoked Venison Roast
I've always enjoyed deer hunting and venison. Some people don’t care for venison because they say it was a “wild” or “gamey” taste. I say they haven’t tried BBQ cooking their deer meat! When prepared properly, deer meat tastes like good lean beef. Cooking on the smoker for several hours is a wonderful way to get smoky flavor into the flesh, and it always comes out tender and moist.
For this BBQ cooking recipe, I usually use a deer ham, but a good sized shoulder will work, too. Make sure you remove all the fascia – the white covering – from the meat, and wash the roast well with cool water.
Using a sharp knife with a narrow blade, cut small deep slits in the meat and insert bits of garlic. Mix meat tenderizer with water and use a syringe or meat injector to place the tenderizing solution in the slits, also.
Make a paste of flour, meat tenderizer, garlic salt, black pepper, and Italian dressing. Rub the entire roast with a generous amount of the paste. Let the roast sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
Venison doesn’t have much fat, so you’ll need to add some. The best way I’ve found to do this is to do your BBQ cooking or smoking along with a cured ham. Place the deer roast on the bottom rack of the smoker, and the pork ham on the top rack. As the ham cooks, the fat will drip onto the venison. If you don’t want to cook a pork ham AND a venison roast at the same time, wrap the venison in bacon instead, and secure the bacon slices with toothpicks.
After the roast has rested, place it on the smoker. Use pecan wood, applewood, oak, hickory chips, or mesquite to give the meat a wonderful taste and aroma.
Be sure to keep the water pan full. You can use water or apple juice, or a combination of both. This moist heat prevents the meat from becoming too dry.
Depending on the size of the roast, we usually smoke it from ten to twelve hours on our electric smoker.
When the meat’s done, remove it from the smoker and let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving. Use any leftovers in soups or stews, or shred it and mix with barbecue sauce for great venison barbecue. BBQ cooking works great with venison!
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