Monday, January 13, 2014

Crock Pot Venison Sloppy Joes

We are pretty excited about this recipe.  It's rare that our main dish is mostly meat but we were gifted some venison from the son of a friend of ours.  It was his first deer - how special (and generous) is that?!  Venison dishes are hit or miss with me.  I can sometimes pull them off and other times I'm left wishing it was more tender or more flavorful or more something.  This recipe fit the bill all the way around.

Venison Sloppy Joes (adapted from
Thaw your venison (and bacon if it's frozen) the night before in the refrigerator, so you're all ready to go first thing in the morning.  It needs a full 8 hours in the crock pot.
Serves 6

4 slices of bacon
2 to 2 1/5 pounds venison (stew meat or steak pieces)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a fry pan until crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel covered plate and set aside.  Brown the venison pieces in the bacon drippings (you don't need to cook them through, just brown the outsides of the pieces well). Crumble the bacon slices into small pieces directly into your crock pot.  Transfer the venison to the crock pot as well (leaving the grease in the pan).  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine everything.  Turn your crock pot on high and cook for 1/2 hour-1 hour (set your timer to remind you) then turn down to low for 7 hours.  A half hour before serving, transfer the venison pieces to a cutting board with a slotted spoon and pull the pieces apart using a fork and knife.

Put the shredded venison back into the crock pot for the remaining cook time.  Fill buns with venison just before serving.

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  1. This looks great! My brother gave us some venison meat, and I've been trying to decide how to prepare it since it's not a usual for us. I think my family would like this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your venison dish looks delicious. My husband is a hunter so we eat a lot of venison. I have found that if you soak or wash as much blood out of the meat prior to cooking it won't have that wild taste. When I soak it, I add salt to the water to help leach the blood out. I even wash then drain the ground meat. I also use generous amounts of garlic when preparing venison recipes .I love cooking with venison and prefer the crock pot or pressure cooker to cook it in. I also have started canning venison (it must be done in the pressure cooker) with great results. Blessings to you and yours! Linda B.

  3. Thank you Linda B. for all your suggestions. I have about 350 pounds of venison in the freezer that I just can't stand to part with but can't stand to eat, either. The men in my family will eat it but for some reason when it hits my mouth, all I can taste is iron. I will soak it in the future and see if that helps.

  4. This sounds like a great recipe - I'm going to give it a try this weekend! Thank you so much for sharing it ;)

  5. I used ground beef for this recipe, made a double batch and my kids said it was the best sloppy joes they had every eaten! Thanks for sharing this great recipe! :-)

  6. very timely post. We were just given a bunch of ground venison and I'm not really sure what to do with it all. I grew up on beef and just haven't developed a taste for game.

  7. Thank you for this. I struggle with how to cook venison. I mix the ground venison with ground beef, but I always ruin the roasts. They are dry and never tasty. This dish is wonderful. We have made this a few times now, and the whole family loves it. Most of our roasts are just shy of 2 lbs, so I adjust the sauce down by using 1 cup of ketchup and decreasing the other ingredients proportionally.


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