Posts Tagged ‘recipe’



I’m often amazed at the people, deer hunters included, who tell me they just don’t like venison. That statement is usually followed by a qualifier: it’s tough; it’s gamey; it’s dry. And so on.

I’ve eaten a lot of good deer meat. But I’ve eaten some really bad deer meat, too. I’m only a self-trained butcher, but I process five or six animals each fall, and have been doing so for a decade or more.

I’m no Scott Leysath, either, but my wife and I do eat venison in some form two or three meals per week, year-round. I think we eat pretty good.

Some things consistently make venison really tasty. And some things will ruin the flavor, too. Here are a dozen of the worst offenders.

1. Poor Field Care

In the real world of hunting, things happen. We all make bad shots on occasion. And while we know not to “push” a deer that’s been hit marginally, realize that the longer it takes for the animal to die and the farther it runs, the more adrenaline and lactic acid builds up in the animal’s system and muscles. Ever had a glass of good-tasting acid? I didn’t think so.

The faster a deer hits the ground and can be field-dressed, the better the meat will be. Some of the best-tasting deer I’ve ever had have been shot in the head with a gun. The animal is killed instantly, and the meat is uncontaminated by blood and entrails from the chest cavity. That said, head shots are risky. The lungs remain the best place to aim.

click to go to the full article at Realtree

click to go to the full article at Realtree

2. Failure to Cool Quickly

Internal bacteria rapidly takes over after death, expelling gases and causing the animal to bloat. That’s the first step in decomposition. This process is accelerated in warm weather. Learn how to field dress a deer, and get to it ASAP. Removing those organs is the first step in cooling the animal down.

On a cold night—in the mid-30s or lower—a deer can be left hanging skin-on overnight. In especially cold weather, some hunters like to age a deer in such a manner for several days (more on aging in a bit). I live in a warm climate, and most of the deer I shoot in a season’s time are during early bow season, so I don’t have that luxury. When I find my deer and get it field-dressed, I plan on having it skinned, quartered and on ice within the hour.

3. Shot the Wrong Deer

Modern deer hunters are in tune with deer herd management. We’ve learned of practices that contribute to the health of a herd, including which deer to shoot. Given the chance, most of us want to shoot a mature buck with big antlers. Me included.

Old bucks are perfectly edible, but rarely the best. Muscles get tougher with use and stringy with age. An old buck that’s spent a full autumn fighting, rubbing, scraping and chasing does will be lean. Expect chewy steaks. Same thing goes for an old doe that’s burned all her summertime calories producing milk to nurse fawns. I usually make hamburger, sausage and jerky out of such animals.

For steaks, you can’t beat a young, crop-fed deer. Deer that spend a summer munching on corn and soybeans have an easier life—and more fattening food sources—than those that spend a lifetime wandering the big timber in search of scattered mast and browse.

The tastiest venison I’ve ever eaten came from a 1 ½-year-old fork horn shot through the neck near a picked corn field during early bow season. That young deer had nothing to do all summer except get fat. Am I saying to forgo everything the QDMA is teaching and whack every young buck that walks by? No. But I am saying if a deer for the freezer is your goal, young bucks from the early season are usually good eating, and have more meat than does to boot. If you want to shoot one and it’s legal, go for it. You don’t owe anyone an apology.


Read the rest of the tips at Realtree

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As a side note, IF you end up with terrible tasting venison, you can simply BRINE the meat to leach the nastiness out of it, then cook it however you like.   To brine the meat, mix salt, sugar, and water at room temperature, mix until the salt and sugar dissolve, then soak the meat for a few hours to overnight. You can also add in seasonings during the brining to help with the flavor.  – Niko


Venison backstrap from a gnarly ol’ buck brining in salt, water, and sugar


After slicing, marinating in soy, worchestershire and hickory salt, a few hours in the oven produced LOVELY jerky.

This is a fantastic, and simple, recipe – I make a Gorgonzola and cream cheese cracker spread, with garlic, green onions, cracked peppercorn, and a touch of sour cream to loosen it up….

a 12 gauge girl

BrandonDeer“They run like deer, jump like deer, and think like deer.” -Charles Barkley

I would love more than anything to have a prologue to this blog post. The prologue would be this great adventure of how I went out and hiked several miles, bow slung over my back, and I crossed creeks and hid in brush. After a long, exhausting day I would fall asleep in my chair at the campfire and have to be nudged to go crawl in my sleeping bag so I would be ready at 5:00am to cross more creeks and hide in more brush. I would love to say how I did that for three days before tracking down my buck, and then explain all the anticipation and nerves and adrenaline rushing through my body as I got my first buck. I would love to tell that story before posting this recipe.

I would also…

View original post 1,474 more words

I just picked up “Duck, Duck, Goose” by Hank Shaw – the man behind Hunter Angler Gardner Cook and one of my go-to sources online for ‘how the HECK do I cook (insert wild game)’ moments.

Now, I haven’t read it through yet, just the introduction and a section on hanging upland birds and waterfowl, but I’m excited, happy with what I’m reading, and can’t wait to finish it and write an actual review.

This is just the heads-up that I will be writing one.

(Yep, I’m excited…)

Click to go to's  listing for the book

Click to go to’s listing for the book

From Food for Hunters:

From "Food for Hunters." Click the image to go to the post.

From “Food for Hunters.” Click the image to go to the post.

Whoo! It’s been so hot around here. Summer’s not over yet, so let the grilling continue! While hopping from country to country, this weekend took us to the tropical island of Jamaica, famous for their “jerk” spices.  These mouth-watering, meaty globs of venison will fill your backyard with aromatic, island smells of allspice, cinnamon, grilled red onions and sweet plantains. “Jerk” tastes different from anything we’ve ever done before, and we found that it pairs beautifully with venison. So stand back, and listen to the soothing, sizzling marriage of fresh meat over hot coals.

Servings: 6
Cooking time: About 40 minutes
– 1/2 cup chopped green onions
– 1 tbs. ground allspice
– 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
– 1 tsp. salt
– 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
– 2 tsp. soy sauce
– 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
– 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (or habanero, if you dare)
– 1-1/2 lbs. venison (thick enough for kebabs), cut into 30 cubes
– 1 red bell pepper, cut into 18 pieces
– 2 black-ripe plantains, peeled, and each cut into 9 pieces
– 1 red onion, cut into equal sized pieces as red bell peppers
– olive oil, for brushing
– diagonally cut green onions (optional)
– lime wedges (optional)
Visit Food for Hunters website for the rest of the recipe!

I found an eight pound Boston Butt at Kroger the other day and couldn’t resist, I had to make a pot full o’ pulled pork.  After reading half a dozen recipes, I just figured I’d wing it, as usual, and it really came out great.


One of the deciding factors in making this dish is the roaster – we found a Sunbeam 16 quart roaster on clearance at Super Target last week for $25.  I like these much better than the average slow cooker because of the specific temperature settings rather than ‘low, medium, high.’  Some slow cookers have temperature settings, true, but the one we have with that feature isn’t large enough to make a dish this size.

The recipe itself couldn’t be easier, rinse the roast off and pat dry with paper towels, drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the roast first, then a bit of the Liquid Smoke, then add garlic powder, salt and black pepper to taste.  I put approximately one cup of water in the bottom of the roasting pan.  The last step is to add the desired amount of Stubb’s Pork Marinade over the top of the roast, in my case I used a quarter of a bottle, because that’s all I had left.

This roast took up a good half of the pan, however I did decide to use foil to reduce the open space in the pan, forcing the humidity a bit higher and blocking the two vents in the lid.

I set the heat to 275′ and left for a few appointments, when I returned four hours later, a few quick pokes with a pair of forks turned the pork roast into the pulled pork pictured below.  The bone literally fell out as soon as I touched it.  Add some Bush’s Country Baked Beans on the side, and my wife dug right in!


One of the errands I ran this morning was picking up the wife’s birthday presents, a set of pearl earrings from Helzberg Diamonds along with a new ring in her birthstone, Aquamarine. I’d say the wife had a good day 😉

bday_pearls bday_ring

Ok – I’m winging this recipe.  The goal is to make a nice, shredded beef stuffing, top it with the white cheddar, slap ciabatta on either side with some horseradish sauce and eat hearty.  (Resisting temptation to quote ‘300’ at this point.)

Onions, peppers and garlic simmering in merlot and beef drippings

Onions, peppers and garlic simmering in merlot and beef drippings



I’ve already browned this cut up chuck roast in canola oil with salt and pepper. The roast was marinated in Brisket Sauce and Liquid Smoke for an hour.


No explanation needed.

The recipe is pretty basic: marinate a cut of beef, in this case a cut up chuck roast.  Brown it fast in canola oil, with salt and pepper, then deglaze the pan with red wine, add onions, peppers and garlic, more salt and pepper, and when the vegetables soften, return the beef to the pan and pour Coca Cola over top until level with the meat.  I also added (roughly) one teaspoon of thyme, four cloves, and one teaspoon of basil.  I’ll cook the beef in my heavy Dutch oven at 315 for 6-7 hours, then shred, and the wife and I can add whatever sauce we prefer (she prefers none) to the meat before making our sandwiches.


Beef roast (or flank steak, it can be a cheap cut really)

1 onion

1 bell pepper

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp basil

1-2 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)

2-4 cloves

1 cup red wine

1 cup water

1/2  to 1 can of Coca Cola (or soda of choice, I like Coke for the acidity)

Dash of canola oil

heavy pot or Dutch oven

This is from, and it was delicious.

Image from – click to visit the original page

This recipe is simple – season your salmon with garlic powder and lemon pepper, then marinate the salmon in a four part, easy to make in almost any kitchen marinade:

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup water

Mix those ingredients until the sugar dissolves (which happens really quickly due to the soy sauce), then place the salmon in the marinade for 2+ hours. I marinated two salmon filets for about five hours.

Cook on medium-high on a pre-heated grill for approximately 6 minutes per side. The flavor is mildly sweet, not overpowering at all.

I served baked potatoes with chive-sour cream and shredded cheddar, starting with a light salad with garlic-ginger wontons.

Here is a link to the video for this recipe.

I’m off all week – and as has been proven many times, I get bored.  Since I love to cook, letting me anywhere near a grocery store when I’m bored is a recipe for…. I can’t really say ‘disaster,’ because I’ve just about given up on making bread at this point, but how about a recipe for surprise? (I’ve made bread many, many times, what I can’t seem to do is use the same recipe twice and get the same results. I measure the ingredients by weight, follow all of the recommendations, I have a LARGE collection of baking cookbooks… I just seem to have a talent for NOT getting the bread I want.  The brown sugar walnut bread was amazingly tasty, just very, very dense.  The artisan wheat bread was very tasty as well, you just needed an industrial laser to get through the crust. etc. etc.)

Yesterday, walking into Kroger on Thornton Road just outside Atlanta, I saw some Georgia coastal shrimp on sale.  My wife loves those shrimp, and off I went.  Snow crab legs, red potatoes, corn on the cob, all went in the cart.  I had intended to make a small (4 oz. or so) steak to go with this, because I didn’t want to add smoked sausage this time, but what I really made was a simple crab pot.

I used:seafoodBoil

1 pound raw jumbo shrimp

5 medium red potatoes, cleaned, skin on

2 crab leg clusters

1 ear of corn, cut into thirds

Louisiana Crawfish Shrimp & Crab Boil


Cookery doesn’t get much easier than this: in a large pot, bring about four inches (or twice the height of the potatoes) of water to a rolling boil. Add some of the seafood seasoning, potatoes, and corn.   (Since this was a small batch, I only used about 1/4 of the bag of seasoning.  I also had two tablespoons of a ‘Low Country Boil’ seasoning from Jekyll Island left over that I tossed in the mix) Boil for eight minutes, then add the shrimp, wait four more minutes, then add the crab.  Boil for 4-8 more minutes (I tend to go for longer time when there is ANY question on the freshness of the seafood) then turn the heat of an leave the cover on the pot.  This is where the seasoning comes into play – the longer you leave the food in the pot, the more of the hot seasonings the seafood will absorb.

Drain, place in a large dish, and serve with butter on the side.  Or course, for a low-country boil, add smoked sausage (kielbasa).



I made one mistake – when I grabbed the shrimp, I didn’t notice that they weren’t deveined.   I would prefer to cook this recipe with the shrimp still in the shell, it really adds to the flavor, but having to devein the shrimp I shelled these. It makes the shrimp faster to eat anyway. 🙂


I’ve had a package of Bear Creek Minestrone in my cupboard for about a year.  I don’t remember if I picked it up because it was on sale, I wanted something different in the cupboard, or if an evil spider monkey threw it in my cart and I didn’t notice.

It doesn’t matter.

Until Sunday, I hadn’t even LOOKED at the instructions on the package, I’d just shuffled it around digging for Progresso or Campbell’s soup cans over the year.   Sunday, I made some Johnsonville bratwurst patties with caramelized onions and cheese, and wanted a soup to serve with the sandwiches, something different.

Then I read the instructions. “Bring 8 cups of water to a rolling boil, whisk in soup, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Serve.”

Ah! Dummy-proof!

Bear_Creek_minestroneNo surprise, it actually took about 25 minutes for the carrots to properly rehydrate.  The soup was very tasty, and if I’d had some beef or fresh tomato to add in, I’d have given it some zing, but I didn’t, and I was curious enough to just leave it exactly as it came from the package.

Now, of course this isn’t proper ‘cooking’ for the house, and normally I’d rather make food from scratch, but now I have another fantastic CAMPING and HUNTING product to toss in the tote for trips.  It doesn’t GET much easier than this for 1/2 gallon of soup, enough to feed up four people.  You can carry cans, but they get HEAVY, particularly if you’re going to backpack in or carry the tote over and over again.  This, you still need to have the water, but I carry CASES of water in my truck usually.

I had half of a fresh-baked garlic loaf left over from the day before (steak and chipotle-chili-lime shrimp that night) so I reheated it in the oven, sliced it into decent sized chunks and put butter on it to serve with the soup.

Watch where you buy it from though – I can’t remember the price at Kroger’s, but Wal-Mart advertises this soup at $3.18, which is the cheapest I’ve found it.

This is a great product to have in your pack or camping gear. Depending on how you’re boiling the water, half an hour from start to finish for very tasty soup.

I caught just a bit of a recipe on the television, oh, maybe five months ago, where the chef involved (I can’t even remember if it was Alton Brown or what) was ROASTING Brussels sprouts.

I love Brussels sprouts.  My mouth is watering writing about them.

So, the other day, I decided “time to try this out.”  I Googled a few recipes and, hey look, the common denominator was ‘roast them,’  go figure.

Image from - click to see that site's 'roasted Brussels sprouts' recipe.

Image from – click to see that site’s ‘roasted Brussels sprouts’ recipe.

The basics are very, very simple. Get fresh Brussels sprouts, trim the stem off along with any narsty looking leaves, cut them in half, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and anything else you want to toss them with (I added a bit of fresh minced garlic) and roast at 400′ for 35-45 minutes.

Other ideas would be – pine nuts, almond slivers, minced bacon, etc. etc.  Use your imagination!

In addition to being one of my favorite vegetables, Brussels sprouts are very healthy:

Health benefits of brussel sprouts (From

  • The sprouts are one of the low-glycemic nutritious vegetables that should be considered in weight reduction programs. 100 g brussel sprouts provide just 45 calories, nonetheless, contain 3.38 g of protein, 3.80 g of dietary fiber (10% of RDA) and zero cholesterol.
  • In fact, brussels sprouts are a storehouse of several flavonoid anti-oxidants like thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together, these phytochemicals offer protection from prostate, colon, prostate, and endometrial cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol is found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-γ” receptors.
  • In addition, brussel sprouts contain glucoside, sinigrin. Early laboratory studies suggest that sinigrin help protect from colon cancers by destroying pre-cancerous cells.
  • Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C; 100 g sprouts provide about 85 mg or 142% of RDA. Together with other antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A and E, it helps protect the body by trapping harmful free radicals.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in sprouts, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula-lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide anti-oxidant and protective light-filtering functions from UV rays. Thus, it helps prevent retinal damage, “age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD), in the elderly.
  • Sprouts are the good source of another anti-oxidant vitamin A, provides about 754 IU per 100g. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for acuity of vision. Foods rich in this vitamin have been found to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 177 µg or about 147% of RDA. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain and thereby, preventing or at least, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Further, the sprouts are notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for substrate metabolism inside the human body.
  • They are also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. 100 g fresh sprouts provide 25 mg (1.5% of RDA) sodium and 389 mg (8% of RDA) potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Brussels sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.