Venison is a very lean meat that you can tenderize using a variety of basic cooking techniques, such as allowing a brief aging period before cooking or using a meat tenderizer or mallet. Alternatively, you can utilize a higher quantity of fat in both the marinade and cooking process.
Due to the herbivorous nature of deer, venison is contains more muscle fiber and connective tissue, which often results in tough meat. The first step to preparing a moister product is to age the meat in the refrigerator for two to three days. This allows the enzymes to break down and soften the protein and amino acids found in the tissue. Using a meat tenderizer or mallet before marinating venison also aids this process by tearing apart fibrous tissue.
Finally, when cooking deer meat, it is essential to marinade and cook the meat with higher amounts of fat. Because venison is lean, it does not have enough fat to naturally tenderize the meat during the cooking process, as beef does. However, using a flavorful, briney marinade with lots of oil will make the meat juicier.
The cooking technique is also crucial, as it is easy to overcook deer meat. Braising or roasting for long periods of time at low temperatures often yield more tender venison.