New Zealand Venison

venison

New Zealand venison is one of the healthiest – and most delicious – red meats you can eat and top chefs are now featuring New Zealand venison on the menus of some of the world’s finest restaurants. With no natural predators, besides hunters, wild deer populations in New Zealand have reached almost destructive levels in the native forests and hunters are encouraged to help themselves, so venison can be found on the dinner table year round. Wild venison is extremely low in fat (when was the last time you saw a pudgy deer?) and naturally free range and organic. Deer have recently been farmed in New Zealand for its meat, and the industry prides itself in exporting free range venison, raised in wide open pastures, that features a slightly less gamey taste than its wild counterparts.

How to Prepare Venison
Venison, whether farmed or wild, is naturally very lean so needs to be prepared with care to avoid turning it into a tough, dry tyre.

For prime cuts, like back steaks (also known as back strap), all you need to do is butterfly chops, season with salt and pepper, and add some chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.) if you’re feeling posh and sear quickly on the BBQ. The classic flavour pairing with venison is berries (cranberry and blueberry work well) and dried juniper berries, which is what gin is made from, if you want to serve a sauce on the side. 

For all other cuts, a venison casserole makes a filling winter meal. In a slow cooker, combine chunks of venison, small chunks of onion and carrot that have been lightly sautéed, cranberry sauce or chutney (preferably one of NZ artisan made Provisions chutneys), a generous swig of red wine and quality beef stock to cover. Throw in some fresh herbs and dried juniper berries if you have it. Let that cook on a low temperature for at least 5 hours for a hearty stew.

Venison is also delicious as Bambi burgers, sausages (often mixed with mutton or pork fat), or in a gourmet meat pie

Trip Reviews

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    Bonzer trip to the South Island

    Thanks to Greg and Mel for a memorable exploration of New Zealand's South Island. Need to come back to enjoy the wonders of this place.
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    – Tennessee, United States
    Tui, March 2017
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    Rimu - Awesome South Island trip!

    This trip is really a great way to experience the true beauty of the South Island. We hiked in beautiful areas with spectacular views, biked the Te Araroa track and sea kayaked in Milford Sound and in the Okarito Lagoon. Our guides, Ben and Emma, were absolutely great! They were cheerful, caring and attentive to our needs. They kept us well fed all along the trip even while hiking in remote areas with minimal cooking facilities. Accommodations were great and representative of the visited area. Thanks to one of our travel companions, we had magnificent weather for the trip duration… we cannot have asked for better temperatures.
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    – Ontario, Canada
    Rimu, December 2017
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    The Winter Rimu Trip was an unbelievable experience. It was the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation. Not to mention the food was phenomenal!
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    – Florida, United States
    Winter Rimu, July 2016
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    2017 Oct/Nov Rimu

    My 2017 Rimu trip was fantastic! Somehow our fabulous guides Ben and Emma arranged for clear sunny skies, a great mix of travelers, and an all around fun time. Seriously though, our group of 10/11 (we had a late addition) got along well from day 1 - we learned about each other's backgrounds, played cards and dice games, and shared bottles of wine. Ben and Emma worked tirelessly to make sure our travels were smooth - often 16+ hour days for them. Emma cooked wonderful meals for us and made sure everyone's dietary requests were met. Ben drove Whina (our bus) so well for so many hours to get us to our destinations - we'll never forget the tunnel! And they both were great guides on the hikes. Thanks for all the wonderful memories!
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    – North Carolina, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
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    Excellent NZ Adventures!

    My Rimu Active Adventure trip exceeded my high expectations. The hikes, backpacking, kayaking, and cycling adventures were thrilling, fun, and beautiful. Luckily for our group, we had absolutely perfect weather every day of the trip! Dani and Hilary were tremendous guides who taught me a lot about Kiwi life. Highlights for me were the 3-day backpacking tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park to Angelus Hut and kayaking in Milford Sound. I appreciated that we mostly stayed in local lodges, hotels, inns. I recommend this trip to anyone who wants to truly explore the stunningly beautiful South Island of New Zealand with wonderful friendly guides.
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    – Washington, United States
    Rimu, March 2017

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