When Lewis and Clark set out on their Corps of Discovery they struggled to find fresh meat, especially during the coldest winter months. The meat they obtained came from hunting and fishing, through trade, or through the kindness of American Indians. The Corps ate everything from dog, to whale, to horse, and because fresh meat spoils after a few days without refrigeration, what they could find needed to be preserved.  Corning was one way to do it. This consisted of meat laid in a salt brine for several weeks, which allowed it to be stored for much longer.

This St. Patty’s day, I figure a little twist on the traditional is in order… Corned Venison to be exact. In this case I used Axis Venison, which is a beautiful red and slightly sweet.

It takes 3 weeks to truly brine this meat… but since St. Patty’s day is a bit sooner than that, I give you permission to shorten that time frame if you want to try this.

After it brines and is ready to cook, slice some onions!

Add them to the pot and cook for quite a while until the meat is tender to the bone and shreds a bit.

Give this a try sometime! Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a big kiss for all you Irish.

Here are some other fab St. Patrick’s Day treats from across the web:

Homemade Bailey’s

Green Eggs and Ham

Irish Soda Bread

Homemade Corn Beef

And other St. Patrick’s Day treats

“Corned Axis Venison”

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 8 -10 servings


  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns cracked
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed cracked
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed cracked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 5 pounds elk brisket
  • 2 onions sliced


  • In a large non-reactive pot, heat 1 cup of water, salt, sugar, and spices and whisk together until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  • Turn off the heat and add the remaining water. Place the brisket in a large plastic brine bag. If using a bowl, weigh down the meat with a plate so that it is completely submerged.
  • Place in the refrigerator to brine for 3 weeks.
  • After 3 weeks remove the brisket from the brine and rinse well. Discard the brine. The elk is now corned and ready to be cooked.
  • Place in a large pot and barely cover with water. Add the onions and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover pot, and simmer for 2 ½ hours, or until meat is tender. To serve, slice the meat across the grain. Serve with homemade sauerkraut and homemade mustard.