Tasty and healthy, venison is set to take over your dinner table

October 24, 2011 2:16:19 PM PDT
To indulge your love for red meat without detriment to your health, venison is the meat choice for you. Grilled, pan seared or smoked, venison is the new "it" food, according to Chef Brad Farmerie and he should know. At his Soho restaurant Public, he prepares and serves about 10 thousand portions of it each year.

"I know for a fact, this is going to be a rockstar meat going forward, next year, the year after and everywhere from then on," he says.

He cooks with cervena venison. It's farm raised in New Zealand, grass fed and one of the most popular dishes from his kitchen.

"It goes with Mediterranean flavors, it goes with American flavors, goes with Southeast Asian flavors, there is no real season for New Zealand venison so it can be eaten year round."

Even health food experts agree. Heidi Skolnik, a nutritionist for the New York Knicks, calls it a nutrient powerhouse, pointing out the cut is packed full of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

"There are less calories, less fat and more nutrients than in a chicken breast and we think of chicken as healthy, which it is but this is like all of the benefits of a red meat with a fifth of the fat of beef," Skolnik explains.

Because this particular kind of venison is grass fed, it also tastes significantly less gamey than wild deer, making it both a treat for your body and your taste buds.

"I've worked with athletes for years and year and I've put it on the training table and sort of my big thing now is to move it from the training table to the kitchen table," Skolnik says.

Possibilities for venison preparations are endless. Chef Brad whips up a batch of sliders using ground venison, but since it's so lean, he mixes in a bit of beef. With a loin, he keeps it simple with some olive oil and sea salt, allowing the flavor of the venison to speak for itself. After a quick sear in the pan, he pops it in the oven for about 8 minutes.

You can find cervena venison at places like Fairway, Citerella, Kings, Balducci's and Grace's. The price varies but a pound will cost you about 30 dollars, the same as a filet mignon.

For more information on cervena venison, visit www.cervena.com.