The buck starts here

By Paul LePetit Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-10 17:18:01

New Zealand venison bounds onto menus in Shanghai

There's a new meat in town - move over beef, lamb, pork and poultry. New Zealand venison has just arrived in Shanghai and has already made appearances in some of the city's restaurants.

New Zealand began exporting its unique farmed venison in 1988 and since then it has grown to become the largest exporter of farmed venison in the world.

Last year, New Zealand exported 23,340 tons of venison around the world.

The biggest buyers are in Germany, which took some 34 percent of the total output but there are good markets also in Belgium, the US, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

The New Zealand Consul General in Shanghai, Guergana Guermanoff, said venison was a good example of the way New Zealand was offering quality food to international standards.

"New Zealand food exports are about value and quality. Carefully prepared, quality products like venison are an important part of the New Zealand quality brand - so is NZ wine, which is not about bulk and discount, but about premium quality and value."

New Zealand began exporting its unique farmed venison in 1988 and since then it has grown to become the largest exporter of farmed venison in the world. Photos: Courtesy of Hunter McGregor and Mountain River

Slow cooking

Guermanoff has tried the venison herself and recommends slow cooking in red wine. "We put it on in the morning and after 7 hours it's a really delicious and tender dinner," she said.

Although deer has been imported to China in the past, this has mostly been deer products like velvet (the soft downy skin on antlers) and sexual organs, which are highly regarded and much used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Hunter McGregor is the managing director of a New Zealand trading company in Shanghai that imports the venison.

Several leading city restaurants have already put venison on their menus.

Individuals can buy this venison from the Kate and Kimi food website, and McGregor said the company was in talks with other retailers.

It's also working with a New Zealand food company to create a venison pie.

"New Zealand venison is sold around the world as a premium niche product, McGregor said.

"Overall we are off to a positive start and it has been well received by chefs and consumers, but, for China, there is a lot of consumer education required.

"With this venison coming from younger farm-raised animals, the taste is very different to people's expectations and that's very positive."

McGregor said it took some time and there were difficulties bringing venison to China.

"Importing meat products into China is not easy. On the Chinese side there is a detailed process and it takes time to go through. We understand this as we were involved with the first-ever shipment of venison into the South China a few years ago," he said.

Farm to plate

"We also shipped the first sea freight shipment of venison into Shanghai (there had been air freight shipments), so Chinese customs have had a detailed look at our products. It is important to operate in China with all the correct licenses and to follow the correct Chinese government processes, as we do," McGregor added.

Graham Brown is the executive chef for Deer Industry New Zealand. He emphasized that this venison was naturally free range farmed, and processed in special deer plants with strict adherence to food safety and hygiene.

"Best practice is to serve venison medium rare," he said, and underscored that the meat was processed with the highest possible food safety conditions.


Easy Venison Stir-fry

Serves three. Preparation: 10 mins. Time to cook: 10 minutes


  • Two tbsp oil; one clove garlic, crushed; one tsp finely chopped ginger; one onion, sliced; half red capsicum, deseeded and sliced; half orange capsicum, deseeded and sliced; two cups broccoli florets; one courgette, sliced.
  • Add quarter cup water; one tbsp oil; one tsp finely chopped ginger; three spring onions, finely sliced; 250g stir-fry farm-raised venison; half tsp salt; one tbsp soy sauce; one tsp sugar; two tbsp water.
  • Heat the oil in a wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add onion, red and orange capsicum, broccoli and courgette. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add water, cover and leave to steam for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from wok and keep warm.
  • Heat second measure of oil in the wok with the ginger and spring onions.
  • Add venison and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add salt, soy sauce, sugar and water.
  • Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.

Venison ragout

Serves four. Preparation: 30 mins. Time to cook: 1 hour


  • 400g diced venison; salt and cracked peppercorn mix; mushroom powder; four cloves of crushed garlic; two cups of red wine; one tbsp red wine vinegar; two cups of meat stock; one tbsp Dijon mustard; one tbsp tomato paste; half tsp of thyme; one tsp of chopped parsley; half teaspoon of chervil; two bay leaves; 12 small potatoes; salt; two sprigs of fresh mint; 100g butter.
  • Season the venison with salt, pepper and mushroom powder, and sear in a heavy saucepan with a knob of butter and crushed garlic until brown. Ensure the venison is seared on all sides and that the meat remains rare. Remove and reserve in a warm place.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine and red wine vinegar. Reduce, add the meat stock, mustard, tomato paste and the fresh herbs.
  • Add the venison and place in a moderate oven for about 1 hour. Uncover and allow to reduce before removing the bay leaf.
  • Serve with new potatoes and vegetables.

Posted in: Food, Metro Shanghai, About Town

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