Friday, February 25, 2011

Venison Tacos with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce

We're big fans of Mexican food at my house and since I have a freezer full of deer meat, I came up with a quick and easy recipe for deer tacos.  And since I can be seriously lazy in the kitchen, all the magic happens in a crockpot so I'm not slaving over a hot stove.

Now listen up and listen up good.

-If you don't have venison you can use beef.  I've done it thousands of times.  (Slight exaggeration there.) A chuck roast will do nicely.  Or a cheaper cut of steak.  Just change the name to beef tacos and don't worry your pretty little head about it, okay?

-The seasonings are completely adjustable.  Do what you like.  Like what you do.  That's what I always say.

-There is no need to add any liquid to the meat in the crockpot.  The venison gives off enough juice to baste in while it cooks.  I wouldn't put the crockpot on high and go spend the day at the mall, though.  The juice will eventually evaporate out.  I speak from experience.

-I like cilantro.  Do you like cilantro?  I just don't understand the people who say cilantro tastes like soap.  I don't get that at all.  To me, it's not a taco unless it has cilantro on it.

-The sauce can be processed in a food processor which is how I prefer to do it, but my mini food processor bit the dust the other day and I had to throw it away.  Note to self:  spend more than $8.00 on a mini food processor next time.  Also, I put my sauce in a squeeze bottle to make taco assembly move a little faster.

-I strongly recommend squeezing a wedge of lime juice onto your taco.  In fact, I demand that you do.

- I prefer corn tortillas for a more authentic flavor, but they can tear easily, so I usually use two corn tortillas per taco and double wrap them.

Venison Tacos with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce

1 1/2 pounds venison ham, shoulder, or backstrap
2 heaping teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Cilantro-Lime Sauce:
1 heaping cup sour cream
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup very finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Warm flour tortillas, and/or corn tortillas that have been lightly fried in vegetable or canola oil just until soft
Shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack), finely chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges for topping

Cut the venison into very small cubes.  Place in a slow cooker.  Add the chili powder and next five ingredients; stir well to combine.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until tender.

To make the sauce, whisk together the sour cream and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until needed.  The sauce can also be processed in a food processor.  (I like to transfer my sauce to a squeeze bottle.)

Fill tortillas (use two tortillas if using corn to prevent tearing) with meat, then add cheese and sauce.  Top with chopped red onion and chopped cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

Think small when you're cutting up your deer meat.  It will shrink quite a bit during the cooking process, but it needs to fit nicely in a tortilla.

Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat, then give it a stir.  Easy.

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  1. Just found out that this is your blog--I am a huge fan of venison (much harder to get here than when we lived in the Midwest, where my family could hook me up). These look amazing.

  2. You have a second food blog? I LOVE it!! Yummy yum yummy. I love my husband the vegetarian, but I curse him too. Although we're a little short on the venison since we left Montana so I guess it's a moot point.

  3. OMG, these were fantastic! MAJOR brownie points from the better half when I made 'em for Christmas dinner ;)