I love going out for Mexican street tacos, whether it’s from a taco truck or at a hole-in-the wall restaurant. Seasoned meat that’s hot off the skillet, fresh cilantro and onion, and a squeeze of lime juice on top, all served in a slightly greased, warm tortilla—it’s so simple yet so delicious. A taco is such an awesome vehicle to deliver so many flavors. Most days I prefer my tacos spicy with good salsa or hot sauce, paired with the coolness of fresh guacamole. Sometimes, I sprinkle queso fresco cheese on top for extra richness. And you can use virtually any type of meat in a taco, and one of my favorites is venison.
Venison is a great protein to serve in tacos. Heavily seasoned, sliced thinly and cooked hot and fast to medium-rare, this preparation is suitable for tender young deer or even tougher, older deer. It’s also a good opportunity to use up meat from the quarters, especially after you’ve eaten all the loins. Since the meat is cut up so small, use a roast, but make sure to remove as much silver skin as possible.
To make your Venison Street Tacos complete, serve tacos with Mexican rice and refried beans. But sometimes I skip the sides for a quick meal. Washing your tacos down with good Mexican beer or margaritas is a must.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
– 1 pound of venison, silver skin removed
– ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt
– ¾ teaspoon of chili powder
– ¼ teaspoon of cumin
– ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
– Pinch of cayenne pepper
– 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
– ½ cup of onion, diced
– ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
– Corn tortillas
– 1-2 tablespoons of manteca (pork lard)
– Taco fixings: lime wedges, salsa/pico de gallo, guacamole, hot sauce, cheese, etc.
– 1 can of Mexican refried beans, warmed
– 1 cup uncooked white rice
– 1 tablespoon of oil
– 5 green onions, chopped
– 2 cups water
– 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
– Salt, to taste
– chopped cilantro
- To prepare Mexican rice, heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Cook chopped green onion until slightly toasty. Add rice and toast for about 5 minutes, making sure all seeds are coated with oil. Add tomato sauce and water. Then turn the heat to low and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Take pan off the heat, and fluff cilantro into the rice. Add salt to taste.
- While the rice is cooking, shave the venison into thin, small pieces. Place in a bowl and mix with kosher salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté venison in batches to medium-rare. In another skillet, melt some pork lard—just enough to thinly coat bottom of pan— and warm corn tortillas on both sides.
- Combine ½ cup of chopped onion and cilantro. Divide venison onto warmed corn tortillas and top with the onion-cilantro mixture. Serve tacos with lime wedges, Mexican rice, warmed refried beans and your favorite taco fixings.