Simple Gourmet: Deer Coconut Korma

Although it’s very yellow, this coconut korma is a delicious and creamy sauce that pairs well with game meats.

It’s almost Fall, and as you root around in the freezer looking for meat you discover the last deer roast from last season. Oops. It’s actually the last deer roast from three seasons ago. 2017 was a fine vintage.

It’s a little freezer burned, and it’s definitely not fit for the grill. Freezer burned meat is just a little dry and it has that metallic taste. It’s totally safe to eat it, but it no longer tastes like high-quality meat.

This recipe is the perfect thing to utilize some meat that over stayed its welcome in the freezer. It’ll tenderize it and rehydrate it.

It’s also not exactly a low-fat meal. It’s excellent for cold Autumn nights in camp after a long day hunting. Just freeze the leftovers in a ziplock bag and then warm it in a pot of water for dinner — or in the microwave if you’ve got an RV in camp. It’s thick and warm and a little spicy with sweet bits of raisin and tasty cashews.

If you go to an Indian restaurant, order coconut korma with Lamb and you’ll have a good idea of what this dish could be like with deer. This is actually delicious with any red meat or game bird.

What You Need

  • ~1 lb. Meat, bite-sized cubes. I used Mule Deer, but you can drop in anything you’ve brought home in the last while. I found that freezer-burned meat ended up just fine
  • Coconut Oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 2 Onions, or four smaller garden-sized onions. Chop 1/2 of an onion for chunks in the sauce, puree the rest
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt (or Sour Cream)
  • 1 Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk/ Coconut Cream (if you use cream, you may need a little more chicken stock)
  • 1/2 Cup Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins (optional, but tasty)


  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Corriander
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (more to taste)

What You Do

Puree the onion, garlic and ginger. Just drop them in the food processor and add a tiny bit of water. You can also use a blender, or just try to chop it as finely as possible. In the food processor it comes out like a paste, and that’s perfect.

Puree the onions and garlic into a very fine paste.

Brown the meat. Before you cut it into cubes, pat it dry with a paper towel so it will brown. Season the meat with salt. Preheat a skillet on medium-high heat and use some oil to brown the meat thoroughly all over. Don’t stir too often or it won’t get a good brown. Remove the meat from the pan.

Brown the meat in a hot pan.

Reduce the heat and sauté the chopped onion with a little more oil. After the onions get soft and brown (5 minutes or so) add all the spices and stir.

Sauté the onions.

Pour the onion puree into the pan and simmer for five minutes or so. You want the onions and garlic to start softening.

Add the coconut milk and return the meat to the pan so it can braise in the sauce. After five or ten minutes add the yogurt. Let the whole thing simmer until it thickens and the sauce is soft and creamy in your mouth.

Add the cashews and raisins just before serving so they don’t get mushy. Serve on rice or as a stew with a loaf of crusty bread.

About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

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