What Cheese Goes Best With Venison? My Recommendations!

Venison can be made into a variety of dishes or simply enjoyed with just a few ingredients.

If you’re planning on spicing up your meal, how do you decide what cheese goes best with venison?

After reading this article, you will be a cheese and venison, combination expert!

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What Cheeses Goes Best With Venison?

Cheddar, Havarti, Pepper Jack, and Smoked Gouda are some of the top favorites that most people enjoy with their venison. Cheddar is typically ground with venison sausage, while the other options are excellent additions to add to a burger or a charcuterie board.

These cheeses are the best to bring out all the flavor that venison has to offer without being too overpowering.

What Cheese Goes Best With Venison? My Recommendations!

Best General Cheeses with Venison

When it comes to pairing cheese with venison, American or Cheddar cheeses are generally the first choice for most people.

However, there are a plethora of other options to expand your palette. While the above choices are not frowned upon, you are limiting your flavor profile.

To enhance the texture or flavor of venison, people generally buy the following cheeses:

  • American 
  • Cheddar
  • Havarti
  • Gouda

Havarti cheese has a semi-sweet, smooth flavor with buttery aromas that compliments almost all venison dishes.

Gouda, whether smoked for long or not, provides a creamy and savory flavor, regardless of what venison meal you choose.

Best Cheese for Venison Burgers

When preparing venison burgers, there are a variety of spices that you could use to enhance your meat. The cheese you choose to compliment your burger will depend on what you used to season it with.

For example, you cannot go wrong with melted Havarti on a burger due to its buttery and neutral flavor profile. It will add more texture than disrupt flavors. The same goes for Gouda, adding in a smoky element. 

Venison burgers with cheese

Stracchino is also excellent with a thick creamy flavor. It might be harder to obtain since it lasts up to two weeks when made, so check multiple grocery stores.

If you enjoy a little spice, try throwing in pepper jack cheese.

For those that love blue cheese, consider grounding the burger patties with crumbles and grilling them together. This will add a sharp and salty flavor without having to use many spices.

Best Cheese for Venison Snack Sticks

Venison snack sticks are the most convenient way to eat venison since you can eat them on the go.

But if you have time to choose the right cheese to pair, it might benefit your taste buds.

Sliced Colby jack, pepper jack, and cheddar are three standard pairings with venison snack sticks. They each provide a mild flavor and creaminess, or a hint of spice if you go with pepper jack.

If you are looking for something mild, soft, and slightly nutty in flavor try out muenster. This is a great alternative if you have already tried Havarti.

Best Cheeses for a Venison Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards are extremely popular for parties or get-togethers with family and friends.

When it comes to venison charcuterie boards, you have to be a little creative and enjoy taking the time to prepare them. Here are some of my favorite venison charcuterie meat options below:

Charcuterie with various meats and cheeses
  • Jerky
  • Sausage/brats
  • Summer sausage
  • Smoked steak

Once you have all the meats prepared for your venison charcuterie board, it is time to select the perfect cheese pairings.

Sausage or Brats with Havarti

Venison sausages and brats are typically packed with a ton of flavor. In most cases, they are very salty and rich.

The general rule of thumb is to avoid cheeses with too much moisture and stick to cheeses that are semi-hard and dry.

You need a melt-in-your-mouth cheese with a buttery flavor that does not add to the salty elements of the sausage. in this case, Havarti or Muenster are good choices for this situation.

Summer Sausage and Cheddar

Traditionally venison summer sausage and cheddar make a great pair. They are usually ground together to add firmness to the sausage, but also a creamy element.

If you happen to have one ground without cheese, consider pairing it with smoked Gouda, Asiago, or chunks of Parmesan.

These pairings are great since you get a slightly salty and sweet combo with a smoky flavor.

Smoked Steak and Parmesan

If you have smoked venison that you can thinly slice, this will be similar to prosciutto.

This will be a slice of salty and light meat, so pairing it with a cheese that does not overpower the meat is crucial.

Smoked venison and cheese pairing

You can play it safe with Havarti or go bolder with Parmesan. If you are wanting crumbly cheese, try goat or feta since they are dry and the smoked steak is likely juicy.

Venison Jerky and Alpine-Style Cheeses

Jerky and cheese go together like two peas in a pod. Jerky is dry, so you need cheese that is firm, but not too dry.

You’ll want to select a cheese that compliments the salty, earthy, and smoky flavors of the jerky without drying it out further.

Alpine-Style cheese is excellent for drier meats, offering a nutty or slightly sweet flavor. This will also allow you to taste the jerky without being overpowered by the cheese.

Best Cheese for Various Venison Dishes

There are plenty of venison dishes that require cheese other than burgers or snack sticks. These include casseroles, roasts, and steak.

For casseroles, you will likely use a cheese you are most familiar with. Traditional recipes typically add something like shredded cheddar, colby jack, or even gouda.

For roasts, some people add cheese as an additional layer on top or within their bowl once they serve it.

Softer cheeses like goat cheese or burrata are excellent for adding a smooth and velvety texture without messing with the flavor of the roast.

For venison steaks, you can simply add dry blue cheese crumbles on top for some added zing without ruining the flavor of the steak.

The important part is to experiment and have fun! Thanks for reading.

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