Venison is similar to lean, grass-fed beef with a finer texture. It's very low in fat, and because it is denser than beef, you can fill up on less. Cookbook author Hank Shaw likes to use ground venison for his British take on cocktail meatballs. He seasons them with warming spices and herbs and leavens them with ground oats—a Scottish twist that also makes them gluten-free. Because ground venison tends to be quite lean, Shaw includes the succulent fat from thick-cut bacon, which lends a pleasing richness and rounded flavor, and serves the meatballs in his version of the classic Cumberland sauce
. You can find frozen venison in many Whole Foods markets and also independent butcher shops. Texas-based Broken Arrow Ranch
and New Jersey–based D'Artagnan Foods
sell venison online.