Thursday, November 1, 2012

Venison Stir Fry

One of my favorite uses of venison steaks is to make a quick weeknight stir fry.  Because I know my family eats a ton of this healthy dinner, I use two 2 lb. packages of frozen venison steaks.  I only partially defrost the steak (this makes it easier to slice thinly) in the microwave (usually 3 minutes per package).  Then I remove it from the package and rinse.  On my cutting board, I slice the steaks thinly across the grain.  While I am slicing, I put a large skillet on medium-high heat with a good splash of extra-virgin olive oil (venison has no fat of its own so you have to use a little fat or it will be too dry).

I add my sliced venison all at once to the pan and season it with salt & pepper.  Venison cooks quickly so you have to start adding your other ingredients as it cooks or it will be tough and chewy by the time your veggies are cooked through.  If using fresh veggies, I start with the onions and peppers and any other harder veggies and add them to the pan as I get them sliced.
In this case, I used frozen veggies so I added them when the meat was about 1/2 browned.  When using frozen veggies, do not cover the skillet or it will retain too much liquid and you will have mushy veggies and runny stir-fry.  Once the ice on the outside of your veggies is melted and the liquid starts to reduce, you can add a packet of stir-fry seasoning mix and a little water if needed.  Bring this to a simmer and continue simmering until the sauce thickens.
In this particular case, I tried something new - Chinese noodles.  They were a big hit with the family and were easy to add to the stir fry.  I think it is also a good way to expand the stir fry if you have guests to feed.    I started my water boiling for these when I was defrosting my venison steaks.  The noodles only boil a couple of minutes so they were ready to add straight to my stir fry as soon as my sauce started to thicken.
Serve over rice or as-is.  Makes awesome lunch the next day too!

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