Canned Venison Risotto with Smoked Gouda and Toasted Walnuts

What to make with my last quart jar of canned of 2013 venison before making a new batch? Risotto of course! Given my background, I can’t go more than a few weeks without making risotto. I have made risotto in many different ways with many different additions of vegetables, cheeses, and meats. Even making risotto cakes with leftovers makes the enjoyment of risotto last longer.
And canning meats is a great way to not only tenderize them, but more importantly, preserving them. I was a bit suspicious using this last jar, that somehow made it’s way to the back of the pantry, unnoticed until last night. Luckily we use a pressure canner since canning with a pressure canner is better for safeguarding against nasty, sometimes deadly bacteria, such as clostridium botulinum. After inspecting the jar, and finding the seal intact, I opened and took a whiff. It smelled great, and looked fine. Then I took a small bite, delicious! For this risotto, I decided to forgo my traditional addition of blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms, for smoked gouda and toasted walnuts.  The smoked gouda gives it that smokey flavor and walnuts are perfect for texture. I encourage you to change up this recipe to suit your personal taste!


Canned Venison with Smoked Gouda and Toasted Walnuts
Serves 4
Creamy delicious risotto is made even better with canned venison. I encourage you to make it your own, by changing the type of canned meat, cheese, vegetables, toppings, even the wine. Experiment!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1 Quart jar Canned Venison, drained (substitute elk, cairbou, boar, antelope)
  2. 6-7 cups Beef Stock, heated to boiling, kept hot
  3. 1-1/2 cups Carnaroli Risotto Rice (or Arborio)
  4. 1/2 cup minced onion (or 2 minced shallots)
  5. 1 cup red wine Pinot Noir Red Wine (open a bottle for risotto and drink the rest with dinner!)
  6. 1/4 cup Grape Seed Oil
  7. 3/4 cup Smoked Gouda, cut into pieces
  8. 1/3 cup Walnuts (toasted)
  9. 2 Tbs. Butter
  10. Fresh Ground Pepper and Sea Salt to taste
  1. Heat stock to boiling, then turn down to low simmer.
  2. Add grape seed oil to a large, heavy bottom wide top pot.
  3. Chop onion or shallot and add to the pot.
  4. Saute the the onion on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the risotto rice and sauté until the rice turns opaque, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the red wine, and stir until it's almost evaporated.
  7. *This is when I set my timer for 15 minutes, and start adding stock, a 1/2 cup at a time and STIR, STIR, STIR.
  8. Keep stirring after each addition of stock until it's almost evaporated and then add another 1/2 cup.
  9. You want to adjust the heat to create a low boil so the starches release from the rice.
  10. It's the release of starch that makes it creamy.
  11. When the 15 minute timer goes off, check the rice, you want it "al dente" (depending on elevation, the risotto may need additional time and/or broth.
  12. Once the rice is creamy, add the canned venison, gouda and 2 tablespoons butter and set the timer for 3 minutes, to warm the venison and cheese through the risotto.
  13. Once the timer goes off after 3 minutes, turn off the pot.
  14. Check for seasoning, spoon into a bowl and top with walnuts.
  15. Serve.
Tips for the perfect risotto
  1. 1. Make sure the broth is boiling hot!! If the stock is cold, the starch will not release from the rice properly.
  2. 2. Constant stirring is crucial so be ready to stand at the stove for this one.
  3. 3. Elevation does make a difference in cooking time, so I'd suggest making the risotto on a day when you have time to experiment and take notes. Once you get past the learning curve, you'll be an expert at risotto in no time.
  4. 4. There are different risotto rices available, and I prefer carnaroli rice, but you may substitute arborio since it's more widely available.
  5. 5. Risotto should have the consistency of a soup/stew. Meaning, you should be able to eat it with a spoon.
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