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Coca-Cola Cowboy Slow Cooked Smoked Deer Roast Recipe | A Smoking Hot New Way to Cook Venison

Cowboy Deer Roast
It’s that time of the year again. ‘Tis the season for bagging deer. Not reindeer, but White-tailed deer. We cannot put ol' red-nosed Rudolf in harms way until after the Christmas holidays, now can we?

The annual ritual of processing the White-tailed quarry into venison roasts, steaks and sausages has evolved into a near art-form, especially for many of the old timers I personally know who have been at this wild game for a long time. 

New ways of preparing and cooking deer meat is always a welcomed delight, too--especially if the end result is truly outstanding. It's got to be like a number 1 hit country song in my humble opinion--like this recipe.

Speaking of number one hit songs, perhaps you have already heard the country classic “Coca~Cola Cowboy” recorded by Mel Tillis [Released 1979; Label MCA ] who sings about his love interest--a woman who refers to him as a Coca-Cola cowboy with “an Eastwood smile and Robert Redford hair”. (If you haven’t heard the song you may listen to it by visiting the link provided below.)

So, what does this song have to do with cooking a dear roast you may be asking?

Well, not much quite frankly, except I was hoping the title might be catchy and a nice attention-grabber since I do use Coca-Cola Classic, and a couple of other secret ingredients, which gives the slow-cooked deer roast a nice smoked taste and helps to bring out the other wonderful and natural flavors of wild game. And, we can do it all without using an outdoor smoker or BBQ pit.

Let me show you how easily it is done.


  • 4-6 lb. deer roast, tenderized
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small bottle Colgin Liquid Smoke
  • 1 pkt. Lipton’s Beefy Onion Soup mix
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola Classic
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into slivers
  • 1/2 garlic pod (about 6 cloves) cut into slivers
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


  1. tenderize the deer roast or ham on all sides (I use the Jaccard Supertendermatic to tenderize mine.)
  2. add 1/2 bottle of Colgin liquid smoke, making sure all the meat absorbs some of the liquid
  3. in a bowl mix the brown sugar, Coca-Cola Classic, salt and the remaining liquid smoke
  4. pour the brine-sugar-liquid smoke mixture on all sides of the roast and rub in firmly
  5. use the tenderizer again so that the mixture may absorb deeply into the cut of meat
  6. turn the meat over every few hours and reapply the syrupy brine mixture on top
  7. marinade for 12 hours as you repeat step 6
  8. gently wash the marinade off the venison using cold running water (do not over do it)
  9. using a sharp knife create enough pockets or 'slits' throughout the roast for stuffing
  10. combine the onion, garlic, ground cayenne pepper and half the Lipton Soup Mix and mix well
  11. stuff the slits (pockets) of the roast with this mixture until all of the stuffing is used up
  12. sprinkle a generous amount of garlic and onion powder, ground black pepper and remaining soup mix on all sides of the roast
  13. tightly wrap the entire roast onto a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  14. position the roast in a large enough roasting pan so the sides of the roast does not touch the sides of the roasting pan
  15. begin roasting in the oven at 275º F. for 3 hours, then at 300º for 2 hours
  16. let the roast cool down before carving (slice against the grain)
  17. make gravy with the drippings

    How to Make Venison Roast Gravy?

    Cooking deer meat slow and low, while it is wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, will produce a liquid which is filled with all of the seasonings which were added to the roast in the first place. This is where our gravy will come from. 

    Keep in mind that the liquid will also tend to be a little salty from our brine-sugar marinade, some of which is embedded an inch or more inside the muscles, and the Lipton Beefy Onion Soup mix. That shouldn't be much of a problem if you dilute the liquid in a medium sauce pan with more liquid and a thickening agent.

    We can do this by dissolving a couple tablespoons of all-purpose flour, or cornstarch, in about a half-cup, or more, of cold water. Bring the original liquid up to a slow-boil then slowly add the thickening liquid to the sauce pan while stirring at the same time. In a minute or two the gravy will begin to thicken. Turn off the heat and it's ready to serve. 

    I like to use this gravy on homemade creamed-cheese mashed potatoes. Talk about good! 

    Ahheee!! C'est bon!... Enjoy! 

    "Coca~Cola Cowboy"... song by Mel Tillis

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