Venison Parisa Recipe

Hailing from Castroville, Texas (just southwest of San Antonio), this amazing raw meat preparation incorporates cheese and, naturally, jalapeños.

This is deer camp power food and can be eaten extremely fresh off the animal. Traditionally, parisa is made with ground beef like a tartare, but I much prefer a hand chop that yields a silkier texture.

Remove any sinew or fat from the meat before you chop. Use something that is fairly tender—the loin, top round, or eye round—but there is nothing better for parisa than the tenderloin or heart. I’ll freeze the meat for about 20 minutes prior to chopping, then let the dish marinate for an hour or two before serving.

Cheddar cheese is a safe option, although I’ve used pepper jack with success, too. The olive oil is non-traditional, but I feel it gives it a better texture and added richness.

Serve this with either Ritz or saltine crackers, but never both. There are two distinct and contentious camps in the parisa cracker world, so you must pick a side. I'm on Team Ritz.

Serving size

4

Time to make

15 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. venison, finely chopped

¼ cup pickled or fresh jalapeños, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice and zest of 2-3 medium limes

1 tbsp. olive oil

5 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

Ritz or saltine crackers to serve

Also works with

Any red meat

Special equipment

Cheese grater, microplane

Method

  1. Freeze the meat for 20 minutes, then cut it into 1/4-inch slices. Cut these into strips, then dice the semi-frozen meat. Chop the meat with a sharp knife, using the blade to turn the chopped meat over.
  2. Once the meat is almost chopped to a ground consistency, add the jalapeños, salt, and pepper and give it a couple more passes with the knife.
  3. Transfer the seasoned meat and jalapeños to a bowl and add most of the lime juice, the olive oil, and cheese.
  4. Check the seasoning, adding the remaining lime juice and more salt if needed. Wrap the parisa tightly in plastic wrap and set aside, refrigerated, for at least an hour before serving.