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 allrecipes.com)
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.
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.