Why Chefs Love Wild Venison!

As Taste of Game Great British Game Week kicks-off we celebrate wild venison – One of the great winter ingredients that offers so much for chefs to get excited about in the run up to Christmas.

Wild venison deserves pride of place on any menu at this time of year because it is abundant, in season and has exceptional credentials.

The Chefs’ Forum visited Curtis Pitts Deer Farm in Devon to create some fantastic content for our Chefs’ Forum Academies, enlisting the help of Michael Nizzero and Charlotte Vincent to showcase some stunning venison recipes.

Michael Nizzero is Roux trained and acquired a Michelin-star at just 26 while working in France.  He is a huge fan of venison, he elected to cook a fantastic dish of Roasted Venison Loin with Nutcellars Macadamia Crust & Grain Mustard Sauce.

Charlotte Vincent from The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon created a show-stopping Venison Wellington, she loves Curtis Pitts’ venison as it is so fresh and local. She follows his Instagram @curtispittsdeerservices to see exactly where it comes from.

Curtis Pitts said

“It is great to be working with these fantastic chefs in our field kitchen at the larder to create such amazing dishes, showcasing our fantastic venison in its best possible light.  The loin is so tasty and worked so well in both dishes produced.  I would love to hear from any chefs who would like to discuss supply and we can arrange supply on a nationwide level.”

Fast Facts on Venison that all chefs should know:

One of the main benefits of eating wild Venison is that is it one of the healthiest meats available. It is low in fat and cholesterol. Because deer roam free so, in turn, they do not store so much fat meaning their meat is lean.

What fat they have contains Omega 3. Venison has an optimum ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, making it one of the healthiest sources of good fat.

Venison is a powerhouse of nutrients such with plentiful levels of iron, Vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and linoleic acid – all of which play a role in a healthy heart.

Venison is ideal for those following a paleo diet and for those wishing to lose weight as it has fewer calories than other meats.

Venison is high in protein which is good for muscle growth and repair, hormone production, brain function and sleep.

Venison is wild, natural and untamed. It is harvested from natural landscapes such as forests, farmland and moorlands, which means a natural diet and this gives venison its distinctive delicious taste.

It is hormone additive free and contains no supplements or medication.

It is good for the countryside and wildlife and has positive effects on the ecology of our natural landscape. The wild venison industry plays a fundamental role in managing the populations of deer in the UK; without the work of estates and stalkers, populations would increase to unsustainable levels.

The management of deer ensures woodlands, including ancient woodland, are not destroyed or damaged. On average five species of wildflowers are found in unmanaged woodland. In managed woodland an average sixteen species can be found. Deer need to be managed to avoid starvation and maintain healthy herds.

Venison has low carbon miles. As these animals are not intensively farmed and are often locally sourced, the carbon footprint of the venison industry is relatively small, with very few miles from field to fork.

It is delicious and tasty. Venison a great alternative to beef and makes a great steak meal. There are six different species and all taste different.

It is easy to cook. Game meat is lean so it must not be overcooked, which means unless you are using a tougher cut or planning a casserole it is quick to cook.

It is versatile. Venison can replace beef and in most recipes will give much tastier results.

It is easy to buy. Venison can be found at most farmers markets, farm shops and even if your butcher does not have it on his counter, he can certainly obtain it. There are several online suppliers now and supermarkets stock have venison in season.

You can buy Curtis Pitts venison online in his shop here: www.curtispittsdeerservices.co.uk

Please let us know what venison and game dishes you have on your menu and fill in the survey here to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize of game butchery masterclass with Curtis, a BASC deer stalking experience, a whole deer carcass and a target shooting day with a BASC accredited instructor.