01 May 2011 by Robyn Campbell

Venison with no ‘R’

South African’s love their venison and look forward to those months of the year with no ‘R’ in them (May to August) when venison is freely available. Seasonally, the timing’s perfect too - think warming winter potjies (stew) roasts and pies.

Game is high on the menu in South African establishments, and venison has become the meat of choice for health-conscious consumers because it’s low-fat, versatile, and delicious when it’s well prepared.

Delicate fillets are best seared or pan-roasted quickly over a high heat and eaten rare to medium rare. Tougher cuts like shanks, neck and shoulder, become meltingly tender when slow-cooked in an aromatic stew.

Furthermore, our game animals, although are farmed, are virtually fee of antibiotics, graze naturally, and because they don’t require much water and don’t deplete grasses and soils, are therefore kinder to the environment.

In South Africa, venison extends to both deer and antelope species, with kudu, impala, ostrich, springbok and guinea fowl the most popularly eaten in restaurants.  Less common, is eland, hartebeest, blesbok, and warthog. We absolutely draw the line at the Big 5, anything endangered, and waterbuck are a no-no because their glands can taint the meat.

If you’re carnivorously inclined, and on schedule to visit South Africa in winter, try a variety of our free-range venison - it’s a treat.


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