Hunters, homesteaders, and culinary enthusiasts alike may have their curiosities piqued about how venison compares to goat meat or vice versa.
Goat meat (also called chevon) is one of the more common red meats eaten worldwide, particularly in South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean cuisine, though the North American palate might be less familiar.
Venison has long been a staple of many hunter’s diets, but for those less experienced in preparing their own meat, it may be a novel experience.
Without further ado, let’s look at some of the main arguments in the grand debate of venison vs goat meat.
Table of Contents
- Venison vs Goat Meat: Taste
- Venison vs Goat Meat: Nutrition
- Best Cooking Methods
- Venison vs. Goat Meat: Common Pairings
- Final Thoughts
Venison vs Goat Meat: Taste
Venison and goat meat actually have more in common than you might expect. Indeed in many ways, they are more similar than they are different, making for an interesting and useful comparison.
Let’s start by taking a look at how the meats compare in perhaps the most important way–how it tastes.
Both venison and goat meat have a reputation for being quite gamey when compared to other red meats like beef or lamb.
Goat meat will be more gamey than beef, but usually less than venison. Goat also tends to have a hint of sweetness to it.
If the goat was pasture-fed or if the meat comes from a young animal, then the flavor will be a bit different, typically less gamey and moister. Mature goat meat will have a more pungent flavor, but this can add a lot to a dish and is often sought out.
Venison is definitely gamier than goat and often has an earthy flavor. The fat and sinew of venison don’t taste great, so are typically removed when being prepared.
The flavor of venison can be impacted greatly by what the deer has been eating, how the meat has been treated, and the age of the animal.
Generally, here are some things that will affect the flavor of venison:
- Older bucks will often have leaner, more gamey meat
- Poor field dressing can increase the gaminess and even give the meat a sour flavor
- Grass-fed, farm-reared venison will be much less gamey and more tender
- Failing to properly trim the fat and sinew will add an unpleasant taste
Also, note that any meat that has come into contact with the contents of the animal’s digestive system during field dressing should be considered contaminated and discarded for your safety.
Texture & Consistency
Both venison and chevon are lean meats, especially when compared to the familiar texture of beef.
Venison is even leaner than goat, however, especially considering you will be removing most of the fat. When prepared incorrectly (usually when overcooked) venison can be particularly tough and chewy.
Both types of meat are also a fair bit drier than other red meats. Goat particularly has a tendency to dry out, and so is very well suited to uses in things like stews where the flavor can be well extracted while adding moisture.
Meat from younger animals tends to be moister and more tender than more mature animals and so will serve better for quick cooking methods like a steak.
Venison vs Goat Meat: Nutrition
Like any red meat, most doctors would likely recommend not eating a ton of venison or goat meat as red meat has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
That said, both venison and chevon are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and tend to be less fatty than many other types of red meat.
Below is a list of venison and goat comparisons given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All of the nutritional comparisons will be for 100 g of raw meat (roughly 3.5 ounces).
|Calories||120 kcal||109 kcal|
|Fat||2.42 g||2.31 g|
|Protein||23 g||20.6 g|
|Carbohydrates||0 g||0 g|
|Calcium||5 mg||13 mg|
|Iron||3.4 mg||2.83 mg|
|Magnesium||23 mg||0 mg|
|Phosphorus||202 mg||180 mg|
|Potassium||318 mg||385 mg|
|Copper||0.25 mg||0.26 mg|
|Sodium||51 mg||82 mg|
|Zinc||2.09 mg||4.0 mg|
|Manganese||0.041 µg||0.038 µg|
|Selenium||9.7 µg||8.8 µg|
|Vitamin C||0 mg||0 mg|
|Thiamin||0.22 mg||0.11 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.48 mg||0.49 mg|
|Niacin||6.37 mg||3.75 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.37 mg||0 mg|
|Vitamin B-12||6.31 µg||1.13 µg|
|Folate||4.0 µg||5.0 µg|
|Vitamin A||0 µg||0 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.2 mg||0 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.1 µg||0 µg|
Best Cooking Methods
Goat, as mentioned, is best served as a part of stews, sauces, or curry dishes. The leaner, drier, meat works super well in low and slow, wet heat cooking protocols.
Dishes like curried goat, goat biryani, and birria may sound familiar, and are well worth experimenting with at home.
Venison is an extremely versatile meat. Venison steaks can be a bit finicky, but when cooked to a nice medium rare are delicious. Grinding venison for burgers and sausages is also a common crowd-pleaser, as is the classic venison jerky.
Venison is more commonly cooked high and fast rather than low and slow, but can still be used to make some great stews and chilis. Such versatile meat provides ample opportunity to experiment in the kitchen.
Often when venison is ground, some source of fat–usually pork–is added to make the meat more tender, less gamey, and to impart some additional flavors.
Venison vs. Goat Meat: Common Pairings
Every meat has some other specific foods which it pairs with well. Just like wine and cheese, these two types of meat have some great pairings you can use!
Likely in part because of the fall hunting season and partly because of the natural aromas of venison, venison is often paired with autumnal flavors like apples, cranberries, squash, and brussels sprouts.
The gamey flavor of venison works really well with a tart but sweet fruit like blackberries and cherries.
Some herbs and spices that pair well with venison include:
- Bay leaves
- Star anise
- Black pepper
Of course, there are plenty of vegetables that pair well with venison as well, and staples like onion, bell pepper, and garlic are always welcomed additions as well.
Since goat meat has a more subtle flavor and because it is most often used in stews and curries, you commonly see goat meat paired with strong flavors like cumin, coriander, curry, pineapple, mint, and chilies.
Some herbs and spices that pair well with goat meat:
- Bay leaves
- White pepper
- Black pepper
Venison and goat are pretty similar in their texture and flavor. Venison tends to be a bit more gamey and lean and is a bit more diverse in its uses. Goat meat can dry out easily, so makes for great meat for braises, stews, and curries.
Whether you just prepped your own deer or goat meat or have recently purchased some from your local market, hopefully, this article has sparked some inspiration for your next culinary endeavor.
Thanks for reading!