Instant Pot Venison Roast is an easy, comforting dinner recipe with only 15 minutes of prep time for you! All cooking time is hands off, as the pressure cooker cooks your venison to a tender perfection. This Instant Pot venison stew uses backstrap, potatoes and carrots, cooked in a rosemary and garlic broth. Venison is tenderized with salt and vinegar, then flavored with allspice and tomato paste. A simple meal perfect for a busy night and a fantastic way to cook your wild caught game.
This Instant Pot Venison Roast is a simple, cozy dinner that's easy enough for those who've never cooked with deer meat, yet delicious enough to make it seem like you're a pro.
Most of the hands on work for this recipe is the peeling and chopping of potatoes, along with rubbing the venison in spices.
There are no special tricks to this dinner. Just simple ingredients and simple prep.
What is Venison Meat?
Originally, venison was considered to be meat from any large game animal, such as moose, elk, deer, or the like. It's considered a high-end meat, not found in many locations. Today, in most cases venison refers specifically to meat of a deer and sometimes an elk depending on your location.
Similar to beef, venison is categorized into numerous cuts, such as ribs, tenderloin, and sirloin.
In the United States, venison is popular in the Southeast states of Tennessee and Georgia, and in the midwest. You may also find it in big cities, such as New York City and Chicago.
Mention venison in other areas around the United States and you'll get mixed reactions. Some may have no idea what venison is and others may joke that can find venison along the sides of the highway!
You may find venison in your local grocery store packaged and sold as "venison sausage". More commonly, it is often made into commercial dog food. Pups love deer!
Deer meat is said to best when cooked on the rare side of doneness. You'll often hear that it is best to eat it rare or medium-rare, as its true tenderness and flavor is most prominent then.
But rare, or even medium-rare meat dishes, are not enjoyed by everyone. It is possible to enjoy a venison meal that is cooked to medium or medium-well as long you ensure proper tenderizing of the meat prior to or during cooking.
It is important not to overcook venison, as it will become rubbery and difficult to chew. In this instant pot venison roast recipe, I'll give you 2 ways to tenderize your deer meat.
Is Venison healthy?
Venison is a wild game animal, raised by wild as opposed to human hands as beef and poultry. This gives it a nutritional advantage in some areas, when compared to other human-raised meat produces.
Venison is very low in fat. Compared to beef, it is lower in fat and calories. One of the biggest differences between venison and beef, is that venison is very low in saturated fat. Whereas many other red meats are high in saturated fat.
Venison is high in protein, has no carbohydrates, and is low in cholesterol. In fact, venison has 3 times less cholesterol than beef.
So whether you're looking for a healthier alternative to traditional red meats like beef, or just looking to give venison a try, you'll be adding a product with great nutritional value to your diet.
How to Cook Venison in an Instant Pot
Pressure cooking venison takes about 30 minutes per pound. It should be cooked on high, completely covered with water or broth.
The most simple way to cook venison in the instant pot is by covering it entirely in water, with an extra 3 inches of water above the meat. Setting to high for 30 minutes per pound will give you a moist and tender, fall of the fork venison.
Broth, stock, or water and seasonings can replace the water. This recipe uses a combination of stock, water, and seasonings to create a delicious broth.
The tenderloin or backstrap is arguably the most tender and sought after cut of venison. It's known as the "filet mignon" of deer. I find that it is the best for pressure or slow cooking, as it is for grilling.
However, the striploin, rump, and knuckle are also extremely tender. The least tender pieces of deer, and those that you want to avoid for this recipe, are flank steak and osso buco. Top round and bottom round fall into the medium tenderness category.
Before getting to the recipe, it's important to have a basic understanding of what spices, herbs, and flavors go well with a particular meat.
What spices go with venison? Allspice, bay, cardamon, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, garlic, ginger, juniper, mustard, nutmeg, orange, pepper, parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, and star anise all pair well with venison.
As for flavoring with a liquid, red wine, apple cider, and ale go well when cooking venison in a broth. Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth are great for simmering venison in, as is plain water and herbs.
While instant pot venison roast is an easy recipe for beginners and those of all skill levels, there are a few recommendations to make it even simpler.
To cut down a little bit on cooking time, cut the potatoes into 2 inch cubes and use baby carrots. Then they will only need 5-10 minutes of pressure cooking time at the very end.
For additional tomato flavor in the broth, add a can of diced tomatoes to the spices and broth before pressure cooking.
How to Tenderize Deer Meat
In this instant pot venison roast recipe, the venison is rubbed with a generous amount of salt. Then vinegar is added to the broth while it cooks. This is a quick way to tenderize the meat and eliminate "gamey" flavor.
If you have time and would prefer to tenderize the meat overnight, this is how to do it:
Soak the venison in salted water for 24 hours prior to cooking to aid in tenderizing it. To do this, add ¼ cup of salt to 4 cups of water. Mix to dissolve the salt and then pour over the venison. Let soak in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Once the venison has soaked in the saltwater bath, discard the water and cover the venison in white vinegar. Let sit for 1 hour.
Then begin following the steps for the recipe, but do not rub the venison in salt or add the vinegar to the instant pot.
To make instant pot venison roast you need:
While you can use any part of the deer, backstrap is my favorite. You know when you slow cook a beef pot roast and it becomes fall-off-the-bone tender? This is what happens to backstrap when cooked right.
As for the stock, use chicken, beef, or vegetable. I vegetable stock for this recipe, but it would be just as good with any stock.
Making instant pot venison roast is simple, taking about 15 minutes to prepare and 95 to cook.
The 95 minutes of cooking time is nearly all hands off for you, as the Instant Pot pressure cooks your dinner to perfection.
The first 60 minutes of cooking is for the venison alone, and the carrots and potatoes are added for 5-10 minutes at the end. This prevents them overcooking and turning to mush.
First, prepare the venison by rubbing it with the salt and allspice on all sides. Then rub with the tomato paste, again on all sides. It may seem like a lot of salt, but this amount is necessary to aid in tenderizing the meat.
Put the venison in the instant pot, along with the broth, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic cloves.
Add enough water so there is 3 inches of liquid above the venison. This is necessary to keep the venison submerged in the liquid while it pressure cooks. Add water will not decrease the flavor of the broth. In fact, it will help to distribute and absorb the high amount of salt.
Some of the broth/water will evaporate during cooking. So if there isn't enough and the venison becomes uncovered by the liquid. Those pieces could become tough.
Set the pressure cooker to high for 60 minutes.
When done, let it complete a natural release for 15 minutes and then quickly release remaining pressure. Add the cubed potatoes and carrots. Set to pressure cook again on high for 5 more minutes and then do another 15 minute natural release.
Remove the bay leaves and serve.
Instant pot venison stew is best served within a few days of making. Like any other roast or stew, it's perfect warmed and served with a side of vegetables and potatoes and a salad.
It can be kept in the fridge for around 5 days. Venison roast also freezes well for around 6 months.
And that is all there is to making this healthy and comforting dinner. I hope you enjoy it!
Instant Pot Venison Roast
- Rub the venison with salt and allspice, then with tomato paste on all sides.
- To the pressure cooker, add the venison, broth, vinegar, rosemary, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Add enough water so that it covers the venison by at least 3 inches.
- Set to pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Let complete a 15 minute natural release when finished, then quickly release remaining pressure.
- Add the carrots and potatoes to the pressure cooker. Stir, pushing the venison under the broth if it's become uncovered. Seal the lid and pressure cook again on high for 5 minutes. Let complete a 15 minute natural release, followed by a quick release of remaining pressure.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 7 days.