Wild Game Recipes – Venison Pot Pie

Wild Game Recipes – Venison Pot Pie

This is wild game comfort food at its best, and one of my most popular dinner recipes. Venison pot pie is a versatile dish; I hardly ever make it with exactly the same ingredients, but there are several constants. Experiment with the vegetables and seasonings as much as you like. The recipe below is my standard venison pot pie that always gets rave reviews. Enjoy! Ingredients for Venison Pot Pie About 2 lbs of cubed venison meat 1 large onion, diced About 1 cup of carrots, diced About 1 cup of peas, minced (just kidding, you can leave them whole) 3 medium-sized potatoes, chopped *if you want to add celery to your pot pie, that’s your prerogative, but I despise celery and it has no place in any of my recipes 1 cup beef broth 1 cup red wine flour as needed – at least 1/2 cup Venison or wild game seasoning, if you have it (a variety of brands are available, but I prefer Cabela’s Wild Game seasoning) Canola oil – at least a couple of tablespoons pre-made pie crust (I don’t recommend spending the time to make your own! It takes a long time and is not worth the frustration of rolling it out). 1 egg white parsley Directions 1) Heat up canola oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the venison and let it brown on all sides, stirring as needed – about 5 minutes. 2) Add the onions, potatoes, and carrots (if you are using raw carrots). Stir, and cook until they begin to soften. This should take 5 – 10 minutes. 3) Add the broth, wine, and peas. Bring the mixture to a boil. 4) Turn the heat down to a simmer and gently stir in flour until the mix reaches a consistency that you are pleased with. It should be viscous and thick, with bubbles slowly poofing through the mix. Add the seasoning at this point, seasoning to taste (you’ll need to taste it – use clean spoons and don’t over-season!) 5) When you are happy with the consistency (make sure it’s not liquidy), let the mixture simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should simmer long enough to let the potatoes become soft enough to be edible. 6) While the mixture is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 7) Lightly grease a pie tin and place the bottom pie crust in it. *Tip – let the pre-made pie crusts sit out on the counter for about 15 minutes before using them so they work with you better. 8) Let the pot pie mix cool down for at least 5 minutes before transferring it into the pie tin, otherwise it has a tendency to make the upper pie crust too soft. 9) Place the top pie crust on top, folding the edges together with the bottom pie crust to form a seal. Cut pretty slices in the top of the crust with a knife (as seen in my photo) to aid with baking. 10) Use a brush to apply egg white to the top of the pie; this will help it to attain that beautiful browned bakery look (you can do this with any other pie you make too). Sprinkle the top of the pie with dried parsley to make it look even more attractive. 11) Bake the pot pie for about 20 – 30 minutes, until the top looks nice and browned. Remember, the inside is already cooked, so you can judge “doneness” based on how the top looks. 12) After removing the pie from the oven, let it sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it – this will help the inside fall apart less once you cut into it. Take photos, and bring people in to admire it during this time of...

Simple Venison Stroganoff Recipe

Simple Venison Stroganoff Recipe

This venison stroganoff recipe earned me the pleasing compliment of “you’re going to make me fat” from my husband. This actually isn’t the most fattening thing I cook, but the quantity of the meal that my husband shoveled down his throat was rather prodigious. He would get fat if he kept up that pace every night. This recipe is great for a weeknight, or a weekend. If you are in a hurry, like I was tonight, take a shortcut by using a stroganoff pasta mix such as the one made by Bear Creek. If you are making weekend stroganoff, or simply have more time to spare, here is a great recipe for the stroganoff base: Ingredients: one package egg noodles, cooked (or cooked potatoes, or mashed potatoes, or rice, or bread) – whatever you use, this needs some kind of starchy base to be poured onto one large onion, diced 1 small package mushrooms (or as many or few mushrooms as you want) butter 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1 pound venison loin, fat and sinews removed, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 8-ounce container of sour cream splash of brandy salt and freshly ground black pepper – or Venison Seasoning Prepare noodles according to package directions (or prepare your other base, such as mashed potatoes). Meanwhile, fry the diced onion in butter (use canola oil for a more healthy option). Temporarily remove the onions from the pan.  Season the venison with the salt and pepper, or the venison seasoning. Turn up the heat in the fry pan and add more butter or canola oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to brown. Add the garlic and venison and sear for a few minutes, turning the meat chunks occasionally.   Add the splash of brandy – if you would like to, light it on fire! Only do it if you can do so safely. Add the sour cream and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour this mixture over the egg noodles and enjoy! If you choose to make the “weeknight” option, prepare the stroganoff mix according to package directions while the onions, mushrooms, and venison are frying. Add the extras to the stroganoff mix when both are complete. For some venison goodies, check out the links below. I use The Complete Venison Cookbook all the time and can attest to its greatness. <A HREF=”http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_cw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fwilderwaypoi-20%2F8010%2F1b81c2c2-5bb0-4495-b309-85dcc340b43c&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.com...

Ruffed Grouse – Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse – Bonasa umbellus

If you have ever walked along trails in the woods in northern Minnesota, you have likely spooked a Ruffed Grouse, sending it flying away in a sudden explosion of sound. It is very easy to walk right past these birds and never see them unless you scare them up, due to their coloration. As you can see in the photo above, they blend in very well. The Ruffed Grouse is a popular game bird in Minnesota, and are similar in size to a small chicken (about 12″ tall and weighing roughly 1.5 pounds).  They are found in roughly the eastern two thirds of the state, with a preference for aspen forests and early succession mixed deciduous woods. Both males and females have a short crest on their heads, although the males’ crest is slightly larger. Their tails appear rounded in flight. Male Ruffed Grouse are often shown in photos displaying their large neck ruffs, which is a courtship display. Along with displaying their neck ruffs, Ruffed Grouse are known for drumming during spring courtship. The males find drumming logs – a fallen log on which they can beat their wings in rapid succession, producing a low, quick drumming sound. I often feel the drumming before my ears register it; it starts out as a slow thumping and then speeds up. Follow this link to view a video from the Minnesota DNR of a Ruffed Grouse drumming. The sound is produced by air being compressed under the birds’ wings. The males drum in hopes of attracting a female to mate with. Males may mate with multiple females, and do not participate in raising the young. In Minnesota, the peak of mating season is late April. Ruffed Grouse eat mostly plant matter – they prefer the buds and twigs of aspen, and also eat leaves, catkins, ferns, fruits, insects (the primary food of the chicks) and acorns. Many animals prey on Ruffed Grouse, including Great Horned Owls,  Northern Goshawks, Canada lynx, foxes, fishers, and bobcats. In general, however, the Ruffed Grouse is a short-lived bird; few make it past the age of three. Once grouse are no longer chicks, they are generally loners (except during the mating season). We happened across this inquisitive lone Ruffed Grouse on a trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area...

Weeknight Venison Beer Stew

Weeknight Venison Beer Stew

This is a versatile recipe, if there ever was one. I consider stews to be fantastic catch-all dishes for whatever leftovers you happen to have that need to be used up. This was a spur-of-the-moment meal for me tonight. I had ambitiously taken venison out of the freezer over the weekend, and it desperately needed to be used. I happened to have one potato, various canned goods, and of course, beer, so this recipe was born. As usual, I came up with an idea and started cooking before looking in the pantry to see what ingredients I actually had. It turned out well though, since I happen to keep some basic items in stock that are great in all sorts of last minute dishes, including onion soup mix, onions, minced garlic, and canned carrots. Last-minute Venison Beer Stew Ingredients roughly 1 pound venison (I tend to choose the tougher cuts of meat for stew, as there is no sense wasting a good tenderloin in a meal that will be boiled for at least an hour) 1 – 2 onions (Do you love onions like I do?  Then add more onions. I figure that onion soup has been a well-received dish for who knows how long, so the more onions the merrier) 1 – 2 tablespoons minced garlic (I keep a large jar in the fridge. Those with the ambition to cut up fresh garlic – by all means) Olive oil – however much you think you need. 1 – 2 tablespoons should do it 1 can beer (Woohoo!!! Take a sip before pouring it in, whydon’cha!) As much water as you feel is necessary – really this is up to you. Many recipes specify a quantity. Just keep in mind, the more water you add, the more seasonings you will need. This is as simple as a couple extra dashes of salt and pepper. 1 packet dry onion soup mix (this should be a pantry staple) seasonings – I like Cabela’s Wild Game Seasoning. You can also use salt and pepper to taste, with the optional bay leaf thrown in for good measure. They make the stew taste good, but the key is to remember to fish out the leaves before serving. Carrots – fresh or canned (I added one can of diced carrots because I didn’t have fresh ones in the fridge) Optional mushrooms – I added two handfuls of portobello mushrooms Directions Cut the venison into bite-sized chunks and brown in olive oil (or vegetable oil, or canola oil, or butter) in a Dutch oven or a pot. While this is browning, dice the onion(s) and throw them into the pot. Let these brown nicely (this will add a good flavor to the stew). After these have browned for awhile, add the beer, garlic, onion soup mix, water, seasonings, and optional mushrooms. If your carrots are fresh, add them now too. Let this cook on low for at least one hour. If you are using canned carrots, toss them in at some point before you eat the stew (make sure to give them time to warm up!). Add additional seasoning before serving, if necessary. Enjoy!  Serve with a salad, garlic bread, and red wine – or...

Wild Game Recipes: Bacon-wrapped Venison Tenderloin

Wild Game Recipes: Bacon-wrapped Venison Tenderloin

Wrapping an already tender cut of venison meat in bacon helps keep the meat juicy, and the taste is practically unparalleled. Marinating the meat first is not necessary, but if you are serving venison to someone for the first time, there is no way they won’t like this recipe if they are a person that eats meat. Here is an amazing recipe for the venison virgin: Ingredients: Soy sauce Ginger (fresh or powdered, both are good) brown sugar venison tenderloin or venison back strap, cut into “medallions” about 1 1/2 inches thick. Remove any silvery bits of tendon thick-cut bacon Directions Marinade the venison in a mix of soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar for at least an hour. You can let it marinade overnight if you wish, but the soy sauce does soak in rather quickly so this is a good last-minute concoction. I almost never cook with a measuring cup, but I estimate that I use around a cup of soy sauce, a 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, and maybe 1/3 cup brown sugar. It’s a marinade, so you don’t need exact quantities. After the meat has had time to marinade, wrap a piece of bacon around each medallion and secure with a skewer or toothpick. If you will be pan-searing the meat, a toothpick will allow for more maneuverability. With the grill, I like to use metal skewers criss-crossed through the meat, which helps the bacon stay in place. Wooden toothpicks also work great if you soak them in water first, to prevent them from catching on fire. Whether you cook the meat on the grill or in a fry pan, ensure that it is heated up before putting the meat on, and sear each side for about 5 minutes, or until done. The brown sugar from the marinade will create an indescribably delectable glaze on the meat after it has cooked, whether you use the grill or a fry pan. I suggest serving it with potatoes, grilled green beans or a salad, and a good red wine. Find venison recipe book...

Wild Game Recipes: Parmesan Alfredo Venison Sausage Pasta

Wild Game Recipes: Parmesan Alfredo Venison Sausage Pasta

Parmesan Alfredo Venison Sausage Pasta This recipe is ideal for the leftover bits of venison sausage that you may have after stuffing venison sausage links. Another versatile recipe, this can use many types of mildly flavored venison sausage. This is actually less recipe, and more general meal guidance as particular ingredients aren’t necessary – the perfect leftover meal! Ingredients: Venison sausage – this could be in many forms. Leftover sausage link stuffing, leftover cut-up brats, or sausage links. Basically any type of venison sausage with a mild Italian flavor will do, or unseasoned venison sausage. Pasta Alfredo sauce, or alfredo sauce mix Minced onion (optional) Parmesan cheese Salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste (optional) My venison sausage is usually a mix of venison chunks and ground pork sausage. I may also add beef chunks to increase the volume, from time to time. When I created this recipe my venison sausage leftovers (from the Italian sausage links we had just stuffed) consisted of mostly venison with about 1/3 ground pork sausage. First, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the venison sausage and onion while the water boils – they can be cooked in the same pan if you wish. Boil the noodles, add the seasoning, and add the meat and onion mixture. Season to taste. Such a simple recipe for venison sausage...