Crock-Pot preparation works well for deer roasts because the low heat and slow cooking process result in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth roast. Typically, red meat is recommended to eat in moderation, but venison is naturally lean, making it a healthy alternative to beef. Deer meat tends to have a gamey flavor that is off-putting to some. Crock-Pot cooking allows you to infuse your choice of a wide variety of spices, vegetables and other ingredients to reduce the gamey flavor. Instead of slaving over a stove, simply fill the Crock-Pot and turn it on, and it does the cooking for you.
Place the thawed deer roast on a cutting board. Trim any excess fat from the roast with a boning knife. While it’s recommended to leave some fat on beef for flavor, much of the undesirable gamey flavor in deer meat is in the fat.
Place the roast in a plastic storage bag and pour a marinade over the meat. While a marinade is optional, it helps to tenderize deer meat and reduce the gamey flavor. Try a simple marinade with roughly equal parts water and buttermilk or tomato juice, using the acid in the liquids to help draw out the gamey flavor. Bottled marinades sold in supermarkets can also be used. Marinate the roast for at least 1 hour or overnight. Discard the used marinade.
Season the roast with your choice of dry spices and seasonings, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder or a dry rub seasoning blend. Onion soup mix is also commonly used to flavor venison roasts. Sprinkle half of a packet of onion soup mix over the roast and rub it into all sides. Retain the other half of the packet of onion soup mix to add to the Crock-Pot later.
Wash and cut your choice of vegetables to add to the Crock-Pot, using common pot roast vegetables such as quartered onions, celery, carrots and potato chunks. Vegetables are not required to make a good deer roast, but these aromatic vegetables flavor the meat and can be eaten to make a complete meal.
One of the major advantages of a Crock-Pot is that you can set the temperature and leave it untouched while it cooks.
Layer the bottom of the Crock-Pot with the half of the onion, if applicable. Place the deer roast into the Crock-Pot on the bed of onions. If you opted not to use onions, simply place the roast in the bottom of the Crock-Pot. Pour the rest of the vegetables into the Crock-Pot on top of the roast and around the sides.
Pour a braising liquid over the vegetables and roast, using enough to fill the pot to about half the height of the roast. If you use onion soup mix, mix the remaining soup mix with about 1 1/2 cup of water to make a broth for the roast. Other braising liquid options include beef broth, vegetable broth, plain water, tomato juice or a can of mushroom soup mixed with one can of milk. Feel free to mix different liquids to customize the sauce, such as a beef broth and tomato juice sauce. Set the lid on the Crock-Pot.
Turn the Crock-Pot switch to the low setting. Allow the deer roast to cook between 6 to 8 hours. The roast is done when the meat is cooked through and fork tender. The safe minimum cooking temperature for deer meat is only 145 degrees Fahrenheit or medium doneness, but a Crock-Pot deer roast with a low heat, slow cooking method is cooked to well done or about 165 F.
Lift the roast from the Crock-Pot with a spatula under each side. Place the roast on a plate and allow the roast to rest for at least 5 minutes to redistribute the roast’s natural juices.
Scoop the vegetables from the Crock-Pot into a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.
Things You’ll Need
Assorted seasonings and spices
Beef broth or similar braising liquid
Mushroom soup (optional)
It’s best to leave the lid on the roast as much as possible. One of the major advantages of a Crock-Pot is that you can set the temperature and leave it untouched while it cooks. If desired, though, you might occasionally remove the lid to spoon some of the juices over the meat and vegetables.