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Venison Cuts


Venison is the lean, rich meat obtained from deer. Just like beef and other red meats, it comes in many cuts and sizes, each with a different taste, texture and quality, not to mention appropriate cooking methods. Such variety can be overwhelming for those new to the world of venison, so here's a run-down of the most common cuts, along with examples and cooking recommendations.

Chuck: a cut from the lower neck/shoulder area, typically used for roasts or stews

Cutlets: thin slices taken from the upper leg or rib area. Best cooked quickly

Chop: a thick cut of meat from close to the spine, usually including a rib (or part of one). Example: Venison Loin Chops, Bone In

Flank: taken from the lower belly area, this cut is often used for steaks or ground meat. Example: Venison Flank Steaks

Heart: a large organ considered one of the tastiest parts of deer

Loin: from around the spine and back area, these muscles are used sparingly by the animal during its life, so they have a tender, exquisite quality, making them the most coveted cuts. See: sirloin, strip loin, tenderloin

Medallions: steaks cut into round or oval portions. Example: Venison Medallions

Noisettes: small round pieces of lean meat, usually from the loin area. Best cooked quickly

Osso Bucco: taken from the legs, the Osso Bucco is distinct for its flavorsome meat that surrounds a bone with a hole in it. Best cooked slowly, such as by braising. Example: Venison Osso Bucco Fore Shank

Ribs: found between the ribs of the animals, these muscles contain some of the tastiest meat of the animal. Because they're high in collagen fibers, it's best to cook ribs slowly. Example: Cervena Venison Frenched 8 Rib Rack

Roast: these are large cuts of meat, usually taken from the deer's rump or hindquarters. They can be cut into smaller cuts of meat, or roasted/slow-cooked whole

Round: a thick disc of meat usually obtained from the hindquarters or haunches. Comes in three sections: Top Round, Bottom Round and Inside Round (or Knuckle). Example: Venison Bottom Round, Cap On

Saddle: an all-encompassing term for loin muscles, or muscles surrounding the spine/back area. Example: Cervena Venison Saddle, 14-16 lbs

Shank: meat from the lower legs or shins. Best cooked slowly in soups, stews or as ground meat. Example: Venison Leg Shank On, Boneless

Shoulder: meat from the shoulder is often used in roasts or as ground meat. Example: Venison Shoulder, Boneless

Sirloin: a tender cut that's also flavorful, great for roasts and steaks.

Stew Meat / Stew Chunks: These small cuts are usually from the lower neck/shoulder area, and are also known as trim or trimmings. Since they're quite tough and sinewy, they're usually diced into smaller pieces, seasoned and slow-cooked or stewed. Example: Diced Venison Stew Meat

Strip loin: from the short loin, a tender cut best cooked rare to medium-rare. Example: Cervena Venison NY Strip Loin

Tenderloin: one of the tenderest cuts of venison, taken from between rib and sirloin; best cooked quickly at rare or medium-rare. Example: Venison Tenderloin

Trim / Trimmings: see Stew Meat / Stew Chunks

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