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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Thanksgiving and Tradition

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The week of Thanksgiving in the Deerslayer household brings forth favorite recipes, some on yellowed splattered paper from years of use. Another is scrawled on the back of a discount coupon from the year that SeaWorld opened in San Antonio.  A couple are from old newspapers.  I enjoy seeing the articles and headlines from way back when.

Of course, we’re having a turkey.   I plan to use Ree Drummond’s recipe for whiskey maple brine for the first time. I’ll take a vote before I commit, however. I’m almost as excited about the stock that I will make after the holidays, though!

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We’ll also have Cornbread Dressing with Pecans and Apricots.  It will allow me to use some of my Maple Wild Pork Breakfast Sausage.

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Cauliflower with cheese sauce and Junior Deerslayer’s broccoli/rice casserole will also be on the menu.  She will add some garlic mashed potatoes, too.

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The Garlic Mashed Potatoes will be made using my great-grandmother’s potato masher.  A little more tradition.

The whole family agreed that there will be chicken hearts thrown into the turkey pan.  Some will be chopped and added to the turkey gravy.  The rest will be nibbled while the turkey cools.

The meal will conclude with Deerslayer’s favorite Cranberry Dessert and  I’m hoping to try Ree Drummond’s  Gingersnap and Pumpkin Cheesecake with caramel sauce. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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It will be a wonderful day of foods that remind us of our many blessings:

Family, freedoms, full freezers, friends

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6 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Spicy Marinara Venison Burgers

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The other day, a wine-induced conversation ensued in the Deerslayer household regarding the best of all culinary goodness . Is pasta better than pizza?  Is seared venison tenderloin superior to chicken-fried venison steak? In our family, I have to admit that pasta, cheese, bread, and garlic topped the list since junior deerslayers were voting as well (only one is old enough to partake in the wine, however). Of course, because we are a deerslayer household, wild game made it into the top 10.

One of the daughters makes a killer spicy marinara that is a favorite addition to pasta and wild game alike. With that in mind, a little brainstorming resulted in the following recipe. Beautifully seasoned venison, sliced mozzarella, fabulously flavorful marinara, crusty ciabatta, and peppery arugula came together to create the perfect combination of flavors, the consummate burger.

Spicy Marinara Venison Burgers

(1 lb. of ground meat makes about 3 burgers)

The Sauce

Balsamic glaze is a good way to add intense flavor without adding too much liquid. Balsamic vinegar can be used but you might need to simmer for a few extra minutes.

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

1  28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

¼ red wine

a blop of balsamic glaze (about a tbsp) (I used balsamic glaze because that’s what I had.  Balsamic vinegar will be fine, too)

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a high-sided cast iron skillet, saute′ finely chopped onion in olive oil for a couple of minutes.  Add cayenne, white pepper, and oregano.  Stir around to let the olive oil work its magic on the spices.  Add garlic and continue to stir for about a minute.  Don’t let the garlic brown.

Add tomatoes, wine, balsamic glaze or vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer while you assemble the burgers.

The Burger

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1 lb. ground venison (or elk, nilgai, or wild pork)

2 tbsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 egg

1 tsp.dried oregano, crushed in your palms

fresh mozzarella, sliced, brought to room temperature

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Combine all ingredients expect mozzarella in a bowl.

Each burger will require two very thin patties of the same size. Place mozzarella on one patty. Leave room around the edge to seal shut.

Making the meat patties on plastic wrap allows me to shape and move them around easily.

Place one meat patty atop the other.

Press around the edges to seal the mozzarella inside.

The cooking method you use to prepare the meat is up to you. The burgers can be grilled or cooked in a hot skillet or griddle.  Because the meat is so lean, be sure to use a little oil to prevent the patties from sticking to the cooking surface.  I used a hot cast iron skillet, being sure to allow meat to sear, then lowering the heat enough to make sure that they heat through and melt the cheese.

Assembling the Burgers

Ciabatta Rolls

Olive oil

Cooked Meat Patties

Spicy Marinara

Arugula

Thinly sliced red onion (optional)

Drizzle olive oil on split ciabatta rolls. Toast under the broiler or on the grill for a few minutes.

Assemble burgers on a bed of arugula placed atop the toasted ciabatta. Liberally spread spicy marinara over the meat. top with thinly sliced onion, if desired.

 

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A Modest “Thank You”

Dear Veterans,

I see you at the store, at the gas station, all around town.  I should tell you every time I see you.  But I don’t.

Thank you for protecting my family, my freedom to worship as I choose and speak freely and bear arms.  Thank you for making this the best country on earth.

Most sincerely,

The Deerslayer’s WifeUsflag clip art

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Venison (or Wild Pork, Nilgai, or Elk) Stroganoff

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It occurs to me as I examine this photo that a sprinkling of chopped parsley might have enhanced the appearance somewhat.

Yesterday was the first day of deer season, and yet, here in South Texas, we’re still having days with temperatures that reach into the 90’s,  It’s comforting to know that I can open the freezer, grab some cooked venison, and go from there to prepare any number of tasty dishes for my family with little effort and not much strain on the a/c.  This is another great recipe that uses “Cook-All-Day” meat.  In this particular case, I used a combination of wild pork and venison which was conveniently packaged up in a 1½ lb, carefully labeled and dated freezer bag, cooked and ready to reheat.

During cooler weather, I planned ahead by cooking up 10-15 pounds of sinewy bits of neck meat, shanks and rib meat in my turkey roaster.  With a little bit of added stock, liberal amounts of salt, pepper, and garlic, and some added fat (pork in this case) I cooked it up for several hours in a 300° oven. The result was delicious, fall-apart bits of meat that would otherwise have been discarded by deerslayers who don’t know any better.

Venison (or Wild Pork, Nilgai, or Elk) Stroganoff

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2-3 tbsp. butter

½ medium onion, chopped

24 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms

2 large cloves of garlic

a little red wine (plus extra for drinking)

a liberal splash of Worcestershire sauce

½ cup full fat plain Greek yogurt

1 ½ lbs. cooked venison (or pork, elk, or nilgai)

salt, to taste

a few gratings of fresh nutmeg

In a cast iron skillet, melt butter and saute onions.

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Add mushrooms.  Allow to render out liquid. Pour in a glug of wine. (Maybe ¼ cup) and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.

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In a small bowl, combine yogurt with a little stock or cooking juices.  Whisk together. DSC_0231

fold into mushroom mixture. This will allow the yogurt to blend more easily into the onion and mushroom mixture. Stir gently until combined.

Add chopped meat.

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Heat through.  Serve over noodles. Serve with green beans w/ sauteed onions and bacon and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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A decent meal.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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