Black Friday deals, Christmas lists, Thanksgiving hangovers, turkey comas, football, your best Christmas tree ornaments, ugly sweater parties, scads of family, religious faith and church services … it’s that time of the year again to get stirred up about all these wonderful things.
Deer season, of course, is part of the mix. We’re jumbled into the wonderful time of autumn and winter with a fantastic season underway. Big bucks have been dropping throughout the country and happy hunters are smiling. It’s been a good year despite the problems with EHD, drought and severe winters in the last couple of years.
Now that you’ve been at deer camp looking at your kitchen, or maybe at home where you do most or all of your cooking, take a gander at these five things you should have for your venison processing and recipes:
If you’re unable to adequately break down your deer then you may end up with cuts of meat that aren’t as good as they could be. Using the right knife to debone and cut up portions is a key element to any good butcher shop, as well as in the kitchen. You may have a favorite knife that is 18 years old, has a decent edge and has worked. But others may work better. Do yourself a favor and buy some good knives. They’re tools to use just like a rifle or bow, shovel for food plots and ATV to get the deer out. Good knives, good investment.
A Great Grinder
After you’ve cut up your deer meat, you likely will have leftover scraps and probably some tougher pieces that you want to turn into burger. A great grinder is the best way to do this, of course, and especially one with enough power and accessories for different sizes of grinding. Figure out what amount of fat you want to include, add any spices or leave it plain, and get to grinding!
Yes, I want recipes. I want the expert knowledge and years of experience crammed in these books because these folks have been there and done it. Now they’re telling us about it. More than 600 recipes, super tips and suggestions, and probably much more that will help me put better tasting food on the table this season.
Oh, and Santa, please stick one of these cool dehydrators in my stocking this year so I can make some great jerky. Thanks! Keep those reindeer in blaze orange and fly safely.
Here’s a great venison chili recipe from Scott Lesath, author of several books including Better Venison Recipes. This one’s easy and delicious. Try it!
Fast Venison Chili
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2- 3 pounds ground venison
1 medium onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers, roasted
2 Anaheim peppers, roasted
2 cups prepared salsa
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano flakes
1 quart cooked pinto beans, drained
3 – 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 fresh lime, juice only
*** salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat oil and cook venison until lightly browned. Add next four ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Add salsa and next three ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cilantro. Heat to warm beans. If you want to thicken the chili, add additional tomato paste. Season with lime juice, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Makes 8-10 servings