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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Chinese Venison with Broccoli and Sugar Snap Peas

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No, this is not an authentic recipe. No, I don’t know if the Chinese eat venison at all.  I DO know that this is a recipe that uses venison in its purest form, seared and deliciously rare. It also incorporates Asian flavors like fresh ginger, garlic, sesame, red pepper flakes and soy sauce that compliment the meat.  That is VERY important. Like most of my dishes, this one has evolved.  It started out as a recipe from a friend who prepared it using beef for her family.  It required the dredging of beef strips in flour and flash-frying.  If you prefer it that way, go ahead.

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You will need:

one venison tenderloin, cleaned of sinew and fashia

salt & pepper mix

oil

1 bunch broccoli crowns

2 handfuls sugar snap peas

1 bunch chives, green parts chopped in 1 inch slices (cut on the diagonal if you want it to look pretty and if you’re O.C.D. like I am)

2 tbsp. chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 350°.  Season tenderloin liberally with salt & pepper mix.  Add oil to the bottom of a deep cast iron skillet.and heat oil on high.  Sear tenderloin on all sides until beautifully crusted.

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 Place in oven-safe dish and bake for 10-15 minutes. While meat rests, steam broccoli and sugar snap peas just until tender crisp, about 15 minutes.

In the same cast iron skillet, saute′ garlic and chives.

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For Sauce

In 2-cup jar, combine and shake:

1 3/4 cups beef stock

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp. corn starch

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Add later:

Sprinkling of red pepper flakes

Sprinkling of sesame seeds

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Pour all but 1/2 cup into skillet.  To the remaining 1/2 cup, add cornstarch and shake.  Add to skillet and stir. Turn on heravioli, chinese venison 013at to medium high.

Add steamed veggies and red pepper flakes . Continue stirring until sauce thickens.  Add  sliced tenderloin. Stir to coat with sauce. Add red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.  Serve over rice. Enjoy.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Hunting, Recipes, Venison

 

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Rubbish Muffins Revisited

More muffins 4-11-13 007We in the Deerslayer household were very pleased with the Cranberry-Rubbish Muffin results.  I made them again this morning.  It was a perfect day for rubbish muffins; fresh pot of coffee, chance of rain, a new batch of cereal crumbs.  Most of my recipes are a work in progress.  This morning, I made several changes to the muffins that turned out well and added to the healthy aspect as well (always a plus).  I hope my readers will agree that the changes are good ones.

 

I substituted 1 cup of white, whole wheat flour for the 1 cup of all-purpose flour. I used King Arthur Brand.  I also added 1/2 tsp. salt.

I used 2/3 cup of dried cranberries instead of 1/2 cup and added 1/2 cup of pecans.

The muffins were very hearty and the extra cranberries and pecans  were nice.

 
 

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Pecan Crusted Venison Steaks with Mustard Sauce

More muffins 4-11-13 012I was so excited when I came up with this recipe the other day.  It turned out well enough that I’d be willing to serve it to guests.  Once again, while it’s relatively simple, it requires the ability to “think outside the box” regarding what can be done with wild game.  I was particularly pleased that it didn’t require backstrap or tenderloin.  For this recipe, I used the large,oblong muscle from a hind quarter.  See my January entry entitled “Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Venison Roast” for a tutorial on processing out a hind quarter.

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Pecan Crusted Venison Steaks

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5 or 6 pounded venison steaks

fresh ground pepper & kosher salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup pecan oil (if you can find it)

3 eggs

1 1/3 cups flour, divided

2/3 cup ground pecans

1. Pound out 5 or 6 venison steaks from a hind quarter muscle.  I always pound out my steaks in a plastic bag.  It’s less messy and the steaks seem to hold their shape better without becoming torn up.

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 Of course you could prepare this recipe with backstrap but I was pleased to find another recipe that lends itself so nicely to the use of the lesser used cuts of meat.

2. Season steaks with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

3.  Pour about 2/3 cup of flour onto a paper plate.

4.  On another paper plate, mix remaining 2/3 cup of flour with ground pecan meal.

5.  Lightly whisk eggs in a pie plate.  I always wrap a rubber-band several times around the handle of the fork that I use, near the end, to whisk eggs even for things like french toast.  It prevents the fork from sliding into the mixture.

6.  Pour canola and pecan oils into heavy cast iron skillet.  If you can’t find the pecan oil, the recipe can be prepared with just canola or cooking oil.  I happened to have the pecan oil and it seemed to add a depth of flavor to the steaks.

7.  Create a work station for dredging steaks in plain flour, dipping in egg, dredging in flour/pecan meal mix and setting aside to rest before frying.

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8.  Dredge each steak in plain flour, egg (allow to drip), flour and pecan mixture, then return to cutting board to rest for several minutes before frying. I find that allowing the steaks to rest with the coating on helps keep a nice crust on the meat.  Before I fried the steaks, I patted a little extra flour & pecan mixture on each.

9.  Heat oils to medium high. Fry steaks in skillet until golden brown on each side but be careful not to overcook.  Remember that this is venison and that it is better cooked medium rare. Place in an ovenproof dish and set in a warm oven until sauce is prepared.

Mustard Sauce

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1/4 cup beef stock

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 heaping tbsp. course ground mustard

salt & pepper to taste

1. Place beef stock, yogurt, and mustard in a blender.  Mix, taste, add salt & pepper if needed.

2.   Pour into a saucepan.  Warm on stovetop. Usually, I use the Plochmann’s Coarse Ground Mustard.  Since I couldn’t find it at the market, I bought the Grey Poupon Course Ground.  It worked just fine except that it definitely has a saltier taste.  I didn’t need to add any salt to the sauce.

3.  Serve over pecan crusted steaks.  I served mine with quinoa and sauteed spinach with bacon and caramelized red onions.  Enjoy!

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Hunting, Recipes, Venison

 

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If I Could Save Time in a Bottle…

the first thing that I’d like to do … is buy several cases and hide them under my bed!

This little hint has turned into a real time saver.  Every so often, I slow-cook up a roasting pan full of venison and/or wild pork (Check out how to do it in my entry, “Come and Take It”).  About a week ago, I cooked up about 10 pounds of wild pork.  I divided it into one-pound portions, bagged it up, and froze it.

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 Zip-lock has a product that sucks the air out of the special bags. (The glass of wine is optional but present in most of my kitchen ventures.)

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Most of my recipes use about a pound of meat.

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This little gadget is so much faster than pulling out the vacuum-sealer.  The special bags are available in two sizes.  I always stock up right before hunting season.  As I cook up meat later in the year, however, I also use these bags for packaging up portions of cooked meat for recipes such as Wild Pork and Guinness Stew, Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Venison Pot Pie, and many others. It’s so easy to thaw out a bag of meat in a bowl of water while I grab the other ingredients.  Hope this saves you some time, too.

 

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Cranberry-Rubbish Muffins

Cranberry-Rubbish Muffins

One of my favorite movies is Sabrina, with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.  Audrey has always been one of my idols.  Stunningly beautiful, graceful, the definition of class, and she can make a souffle out of cracker crumbs and tomato juice!  There was that scene in the movie where Sabrina, during a visit to Linus’ office, discovers some crackers, an egg, and some tomato juice in the kitchenette. (He has a pretty large office.)  She takes the few ingredients and decides to make a souffle.  Gotta love it.  She never actually makes the souffle (probably much to the relief of Linus) but the fact that she knew she could was inspiring.   That is the epitome of awesomeness.  That ability to create a dish out of practically nothing is a gift that is particularly valuable today in these troubled times.  I like to think that, if I had an 18 inch waist and a designer gown and some killer pumps, that I, too, could create something tasty from practically nothing.

I don’t think that anyone out there isn’t concerned about spending too much, saving for a rainy day, or wasting our resources, at least anyone who is reading this blog.  These things are always in the back of my mind, which is why I recycle, eat exclusively wild game, rarely eat out, and buy groceries in bulk to save money. I hate to throw away food.  I carefully plan meals for the week so that nothing is wasted.

At this point, I’d like to share just how cheap, thrifty, and un-Audrey-like I really am.  This is the point where many followers may just step back, shaking their heads and walk sadly away.  But difficult times call for creative measures. I’m sure that each of us has a story about reusing a coffee filter (or using a small square of t-shirt as a coffee filter, Jr. Deerslayer!) or squeezing  a second or third cup of tea from a single sad teabag.  This is the same kind of thing.

For many years, I’ve kept most of my kitchen staples in glass jars to keep them fresh, keep them close at hand, and keep bugs out (We lived in east Texas for a while) .  If you look closely at most of my photos, you’ll see the jars in the background.  I’ve always kept our cereal in the jars as well, Shredded Wheat and Fiber One.  No more, no less, no frivolous sugary cereals!  I discovered that, upon finishing up the cereal,  there were always cereal crumbs left in the bottom of the jars. While I couldn’t convince my family to eat the cereal dust, even with starving children in India  I couldn’t condemn the cereal debris to the rubbish bin either.  I began collecting the crumbs to use in muffins.  High fiber and all.  I have a recipe that I have adapted for use with cereal debris.  No need to crush perfectly good cereal for muffins.  Every couple of weeks we end up with enough crumbs to make a batch. I collect the crumbs in a plastic container until I have enough. Everyone is happy… and regular!

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Crumb Topping

3 tbs. packed brown sugar

1 cup cereal crumbs

2 tbsp. flour

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

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Muffins

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cereal crumbs

1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or dried cherries)

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

To prepare topping:

Combine brown sugar, cereal crumbs, flour, melted butter, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl.  Set aside.

To prepare muffins:

 Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray w/ flour.  Combine flour, cereal, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl.  Combine buttermilk, egg,  vegetable oil in a separate bowl.  Add to cereal mixture all at once, stirring just until moistened.  Divide batter among muffin pans.

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 Top each muffin with about a tbsp. of crumb topping.

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 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until beautifully browned.  Makes 12 muffins.

These muffins are perfect for taking on a hunting/camping trip.  They’re also great to take out to the hunting blind!

 
 

Venison and Wild Pork Lasagna

I must say that I, like countless others, cannot imagine life without pasta.  It simply wouldn’t be worth living.  Bread, too.  And anything with gluten.  That said, I questioned whether or not I should even bother providing this recipe.  Surely, everyone has a recipe for lasagna!  Perhaps you do.  Not the frozen kind in a box!  Not even the kind with cottage cheese!  The real deal.  With real ingredients.  Why not include meat that you have harvested yourself!

I have discovered in talking to other deerslayers and their wives that they simply haven’t broadened their scope of wild game recipes to include pasta dishes… yet!  Everyone chicken-fries backstrap and a few grill some tenderloin.  Many send their meat to a processor and bring home some summer sausage and some packaged steaks.

I’ve said from the start that it’s been my goal to broaden the culinary horizons of  deerslayers and their families.  Venison and wild pork are wonderful in so many recipes.  I mentioned before that this year we mixed all of our ground venison with pork, 50/50, mainly because we ended up with less venison than pork.  The wild pork is still pretty lean but adds a nice complexity of flavor that I really like.  In addition we ground plenty of 100% pork because I love breakfast pan sausage. Packaged in one-pound zip bags, labeled, pressed flat for easy storage, and frozen, these become an easy go-to for countless meals. Meatloaf, hamburgers, spaghetti, lasagna, meatballs, or anything that you would use ground meat for.

Venison and Wild Pork Lasagna

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1 lb. ground venison/wild pork mix (or beef)

Tommy’s salt & pepper mix

9 lasagna noodles

olive oil, a few glugs

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. dried thyme approx.

28 oz. crushed tomatoes (2 cans)

red wine, a splash

red pepper flakes

32 oz. ricotta cheese

2 eggs

salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp. Italian herb mix

16 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn

fresh basil

1. In a hot cast iron skillet, saute garlic and dried thyme in olive oil.  Add crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, red wine, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat.

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2. In another skillet, brown ground meat, seasoned with salt and pepper mix.  Ground venison does not need to be drained. There is no fat to render out.  It will, however, release some water.  I always leave it in since it is like a delicious stock. Add  tomato mixture to browned meat.  Continue simmering.

3.  In a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, two eggs, salt, and thyme until smooth.

4.  Prepare 9 lasagna noodles according to package directions

.*PLEASE NOTE THAT MY JUNIOR DEERSLAYER, BLESS HER HEART, ACCIDENTALLY PICKED UP LASAGNA NOODLES THAT DON’T NEED TO BE BOILED AHEAD.  FYI…. DON’T USE THESE. We found them lacking in texture and “toothiness” that pasta lovers know and recognize.

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Set up a work station with noddles, ricotta mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella

5.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, layer 3 lasagna noodles across the bottom. Spread half the ricotta mixture atop the noodles.  I use a rubber spatula for this.

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Cover the ricotta with  approx. 1/3 of the meat sauce, followed by a layer of torn mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella should be dried on a paper towel.

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Continue the layering process until the 3rd layer of lasagna noodles has been spread. This is the top layer and should be spread with remaining sauce to cover noodles completely.  It is important that the noodles be covered completely so that they do not dry out.  Mozzarella should top the lasagna to your liking.

6.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or bubbly and cheese is melted.

7.  Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow lasagna to set so moisture can be reabsorbed and cutting will be easier.

8. Enjoy!

 

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Waste Not Want Not

Waste Not Want Not

Venison Bolillo Tortas (Sandwiches)

I’ve said before that, when it comes to hunting, it’s important to me to use as much of a harvested animal as possible. While my part in the hunting process is limited to preparation of the meat, I feel strongly about not having any waste.  If an animal is harvested, we should use every bit.   My recipes reflect this philosophy as much as my family’s choice to process our own meat, making use of every possible cut.

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Previously, I’ve shared my recipe for bacon-wrapped garlic venison roast.  It’s a favorite with my family.  Often, we will have leftovers.  I created the following recipe to use any leftover slices of roast. The slices should be rare to medium rare.  Any end bits are too overcooked for this sandwich recipe and can be thrown into a zip bag and frozen for later use in soup, stew, or pot pie

*On a separate note, it has been brought to my attention by an unnamed junior deerslayer that sometimes my recipes have not photographed as appetizingly as they are in real life.  Apparently, I will be editing some of my previous posts (this one, included) by producing some more visually-appealing photos.  Stay tuned.

Venison Bolillo Tortas (Sandwiches)

pronounced bo-lee-yo

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Thinly sliced venison (leftover from a roast), nice and rare

Bolillos (Mexican Rolls)

1 large onion, sliced

Approx. 20 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced (2 bags)

1 1/2 sticks of butter

Tommy’s Secret Salt & Pepper Mix

Sliced avocado

Thinly sliced Swiss or cheddar cheese (enough for each sandwich)

Spicy, stone ground mustard and/or

Horseradish sauce w/ mayo

(You may notice that there is no avocado in the photo.  I make no excuses.  Sorry, I forgot.)

  • 1.  Thinly slice leftover rare venison roast, carefully removing any sinewy and gristly   bits

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2.  Sauté onions in butter in a cast iron skillet until caramelized.  Season with Salt &    Pepper mix.

3.  Because I have a junior deerslayer who isn’t a devotee of onions, I set the onions aside in a bowl while the mushrooms sauté in the same pan.  Apparently, it’s okay for the mushrooms to benefit from the flavor of the onions as long as ne’er the two shall meet.  If you’re okay with sauteed onions WITH the mushrooms, the mushrooms can be added to the caramelizing onions in the skillet.

4.  Slice bolillos in half. Place, cut side down,  on a hot, well-buttered griddle.  Smear around to coat cut edge with butter and toast until nicely browned.

5.  Assemble the sandwiches.  Start with mustard or horseradish/mayo spread.  Top with venison, sautéed onion (if you can stand it), mushrooms, avocado, and a slice of cheese.

Place sandwich bottoms (assembled part) on a cookie sheet and broil until cheese melts.

Add top of toasted bolillo, slather with extra spread if desired, and enjoy.  Delicioso!

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