Every year about Thanksgiving time, when food is on the minds of many of us, I dredge up some old standby family venison recipes. If you follow this column, they may have a familiar ring. Still, they are so good they are worthy of a recycle. Trust me on this. Besides, dusting off an old column for a rerun frees me up to spend more time in the November deer woods. You understand.
At the Reynolds place, we ALWAYS process our own wild meat. And Diane and I, having eaten our fair share of tough venison, increasingly grind a larger portion of our deer into burger. It is so tasty, easier on the teeth, and so versatile in the kitchen. Here are some tried and true recipes that really put ground venison to good use.
Diane's Deerburger Soup
2 pounds of ground lean venison
4 garlic cloves minced
1 big onion chopped
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1-2 cups diced carrots
corn cut from 4 frozen ears ( or 1 can whole kernel corn drained)
4-5 whole frozen garden tomatoes ( or 1 large can of whole tomatoes)
one can of low sodium beef broth, or 2 beef bullion cubes
1 tsp. Worcestershire
bayleaf, basil, ground pepper, salt
1 tsp. sugar
To prepare, heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add garlic, onion and meat. Cook on low heat for few minutes until meat is browned and onion is transparent. Then add broth and a small amount (cup) of water. (You might need to add more water later). Add remainder of recipe and simmer until carrots are tender.
* Diane suggests experimenting with your favorite herbs. She believes that the herbs and veggies from the home garden and freezer really make the difference.
5 C. deer meat (neck meat if possible)
7 C. apples
1 C. suet
1 orange (skin and all)
2 1/2 C. molasses
3 C. sugar (part brown sugar)
3 C. cider
2 C. vinegar
4 t. salt
4 t. cinnamon
4 t. Gloves
1/2 t. pepper
2 pounds raisins
Cook deer meat first and remove from bone. Grind deer into deerburger.
Cook deer meat, apples, suet, and orange until apples are soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook till browned up and glazed over (about three hours). Place hot into sterilized jars. Makes about 11 pints.
The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He isalso a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program "Maine Outdoors" heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network (WVOM-FM 103.9, WQVM-FM 101.3) and former information officer for the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his new book is "A Maine Deer Hunter's Logbook."