One Simple Slow Cooker Venison Recipe—You’ll need some red meat before the turkey binge!
I’ll be cooking my turkey ahead of time. That way I’m a few days ahead of my friends and can relax on Christmas. Plus my family is getting together on Zoom, right about the time we’d be sitting down to dinner. (They’re all 2 hours ahead of me, and we don’t want to keep my 102 year old Mom up late.)
I love turkey leftovers, but I also have a few tricks to keep John happy—John who gets tired of the leftover turkey by day 2. First of all, I don’t cook all the side dishes for the big meal. We do baked sweet potatoes and creamed onions, with some sort of green veggie for carving day. But don’t make tons of them. That’s so each day of turkey leftovers we can add a new side dish to keep it interesting. And simple.
So day two we serve the leftover turkey with baked onions: a whole onion (sweet, yellow or red) peeled and trimmed top and bottom, then slashed on top, with butter salt and pepper, then wrapped in foil and baked at 350 for 1 hour.
Next day, some homemade Mac&Cheese, with a spoonful or two of leftover turkey gravy on top, but only if we’re out of creamed onions. By the third day I’m craving leftover turkey in a healthier Waldorf Salad type dish: chopped turkey, celery, onion, apple and walnuts, served cold, with a side of romaine lettuce, tomato and, definitely, no gravy.
But by then, we’re both feeling like it’s a lot of white meat and out comes a big venison roast, the slow cooker and Slice of the Wild. With 100 of my own favorite venison recipes in the book, I use it often and keep it right by the stove for easy reference. And this is one of those easy venison recipes. As for the nopalitos, you’ll find them mixed in with the cans/jars of chopped jalapenos, salsa, and enchilada sauce.
Easy Slow Cooker Venison Recipe: Tex-Mex Pulled Venison
The unique flavor in this slow cooker venison recipe comes from nopalitos: pickled cactus leaves. Of course, the serrano peppers they’re pickled with add to the thrill. If you’ve ever been stuck by prickly pear while stalking antelope or wingshooting sage grouse on the prairie, this is your revenge. Yes, the meat takes a long time to cook, but with two of the three major flavors coming pre-packaged, there’s not a lot of actual prep time. For a moderately to very tough venison roast, let this cook 12-18 hours for truly pull-apart venison. And if you’re pressed, serve the meat without the tortillas. Just don’t forget the sour cream. (As usual, I used mild taco seasoning; use hot if you use tabasco sauce like ketchup.)
The acid in the Bloody Mary mix is a very effective marinade for venison cold, but adding heat to the acid just makes this venison marinade work a lot faster. So dig out the toughest venison you have, brown it and drop it into the slow cooker. This may just get added to your personal favorite venison recipes book.
For the slow cooker venison recipe:
- 2 cups prepared Bloody Mary mix (no alcohol needed)
- 1 cup beef bouillon
- 2 cups water
- 2 pound venison roast
- 2 tablespoons oil
- To Finish:
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 2 red sweet bell peppers, sliced
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 1 to 2 cups drained nopalitos
- 6-8 corn tortillas
- Sour cream
- Start a 3 to 5 quart slow cooker on high, and add the Bloody Mary mix, bouillon, and water. Cover the crock. Meanwhile, brown the roast on all sides in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, and transfer to the slow cooker.
- Cook for 1 hour on high, then turn the slow cooker down to low. Cook until pull-apart tender, 12-18 hours.
- Once tender, pull the meat apart, saving the cooking liquid. Set the meat aside. In a large skillet, sauté the onion and peppers in the oil over medium heat. Add the seasoning mix and continue cooking until the onions are tender. Add the pulled meat and enough slow cooker liquid to keep the meat looking very moist. (You may end up using more than half of the liquid.) Continue cooking until the meat is hot again, and then gently toss the nopalitos into the mix. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes until the nopalitos are hot.
- Arrange the meat mixture on the tortillas as you would for tacos, add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy. Or make the Tex-Mex version of a grilled cheese sandwich: a pile of pulled meat, salsa, and sour cream between two tortillas, fried golden brown.