12/23/2013 11:28 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

8 Great Ways to Prepare Reindeer Meat, Just in Time for Christmas Nightmares!


You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen... but did you know that they're all absolutely delicious? People the world over feast on reindeer year-round, and for many cultures, Rudolph is the main course on Christmas. So, in honor of each of Santa's hoofed helpers, we've unearthed eight tasty preparations for reindeer that you can actually find in restaurants or make at home. And before calling morbidity, remember that you also eat eggs on Easter. You monster.


CREDIT: Flickr/Alpha
Where to find it: The Reindeer Ranch in Kalamazoo, Michigan; pretty much every country store in a deer-heavy area

Santa's gotta munch on something for energy while flying around, and subsisting on cookies alone would result in a sugar crash. So why not just use the remains of the original Dancer, who got put down last year, and make some amazing and lean jerky?


CREDIT: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski
Reindeer Heart Tartare
Where to find it: Chicago's Nellcôte; Bambi's nightmares

The Grinch's heart may have grown three sizes, but it has nothing on Dancer's, which is just generally huge. So use it to whip up some delicious tartare, topped with one of the geese a-laying's eggs from that horrible song!

Where to find them: They've been known to drop on the specials menu at New York's Meatball Shop, plus on plates throughout Denmark, Sweden, and Finland

Reindeer meat's a mainstay at the Swedish Christmas feast, so it's really no surprise that Prancer often ends up in meatball form. His antlers, on the other hand, might be on sale at Ikea on Boxing Day.

Reindeer Roast
Where to find it: Seasonally at wild game restaurants throughout the Midwest, or order your own via Bur Oaks Red Deer, then say you shot it yourself

Reindeer has a lot of the same qualities as cow, but you don't get a name like Vixen by being covered in fat (unless maybe you're a day-shift stripper). That's why roasts are a great choice for preparation; the process keeps all the gaminess and juice in tact, but unlike, say, prime rib, it's got only a fraction of the fat.

There's plenty of other ways to prepare some tasty reindeer, and they're all in the full story on!