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I'm making a slow cooked curry with venison in my dutch oven and I would like to know what temperature would be a good medium between what I need for a tender venison without overcooking the rest of the curry contents.

I've seen many higher temperature suggestions for the venison in recipes (375F-400F) but for curries much lower temperatures even to 225F. I plan on doing 300, would this suffice for a tender venison over 3-4 hours?

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In Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's river cottage cookbook, he says -and I fully agree- that venison, along with most game, should be minimally marinated in acidic things like lemon or vinegar as it gets pickled, hence tougher. He then makes a case for game being better and softer when braised rather than marinated.

Scottish venison definitely works like above, unless you have a very prime cut or the liver which are better eaten bloody. I would either forget about the curry and eat the prime cut with minimal spices/processes or I would follow the mantra brown-deglaze-braise if I had a stewing cut. It sounds like your curry would be ideal for the latter so why not just do that? Brown the meat in small batches in your dutch oven over very high heat so as not to get the meat boiling - it will stick off the hot surface when it wants to be turned. Then use some neutral alcohol to deglaze (or experiment if you feel like it - I had a beef stew I deglazed with port and south Indian lemon rice worked incredibly well with it!).

Finish with your curry recipe in 120 Celcius for however long it takes for the venison to be melt-in-your-mouth tender (for small size chunks 3-4 hours should be OK).

  • liver being eaten bloody??? – Neil Meyer Feb 29 '16 at 8:05
  • @NeilMeyer I was also squeamish of it at first. I come from Greece where you can't really mess with uncooked meat bits due to heat - especially offal. Then I tasted medium done (pink, really) venison liver here in Scotland and I was instantly converted. Here is a relevant article by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall! – Giorgos Feb 29 '16 at 10:01
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Slow cook it at 225 F for 2.5 hours. The curry will lose some aromatics, but it will be delicious.

Make it a stew rather than a roast.

  • It did end up being more of a stew than a curry, but it was still good. I'll update the answer with what I did. – JWiley Dec 3 '15 at 18:22
  • Next time you make it, try cooking the meat by itself for 2 hours first, then cut it up and finish it in the curry. I think you'll have better results. – Escoce Dec 3 '15 at 18:35
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It would have to be a very slow heat. Venison is meat from wild animals they are not fed anything they have to forage for themselves and all the predators in the wild they have to escape all by themselves.

So in the end venison is a very lean meat. So you simply cannot cook it at high temperatures or it will give you the unwanted car tyres texture.

So in closing a slow long cook is required and do not be afraid to add some fat like bacon or something similar to the meat just to introduce some fat to a very lean cut of meat.

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