Friday, April 28, 2017

Venison Tartare

Steak tartare is dish made of raw minced meat mixed with fresh herbs, spices and a raw egg yolk on top. It's usually served on crostini as an appetizer-- crackers aren't the same, I tried it-- and is tasty with a glass of red wine. When you cut into the yolk, it creates a velvety sauce that adds a much-needed richness to the lean meat. Additions such as shallots, mustard, parsley, lemon, capers and freshly cracked pepper impart a fresh, pungent bite.

Some of you are probably looking at this and thinking: "Ew." It's not for everyone. Rick wouldn't touch it-- he doesn't find eating raw meat and eggs particularly appetizing, but I was perfectly happy to eat it all by myself-- a little raw meat every once in awhile adds excitement to my life. And it was also a fun opportunity for me to photograph this pretty dish with the woodland violets I've collected in the woods. We've been doing lots of morel mushroom hunting and woodland violets are a common sight this time of year. They don't really have a taste, but they do pretty up dishes and salads quite nicely. And try to use farm fresh eggs-- they look and taste much better than mass produced grocery store eggs. I used eggs from my friends Bre and Dave who keep their own chickens.

Of course there are health risks if your meat and eggs are not top quality. However, if you know that your meat was properly handled and your eggs came from a good source, you should be fine. Never use venison from a deer that was shot in the gut, though. I used Hank Shaw's recipe as a base for mine, and he offers a great guide to making venison tartare on his website: http://honest-food.net/venison-tartare-recipe/

I also took an extra precaution. I salted the venison prior to placing it in the freezer to firm up, and then rinsed off the salt before mincing the meat. The salt kills bacteria present on the meat's surface. 

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound venison loin
- Kosher salt
- Half a shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of juniper berries, toasted and ground
- Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Coarse ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- Woodland violet flowers for garnish, optional
- 2 egg yolks
- Capers
- French bread, buttered and toasted

Directions:

1. Trim off any silver skin and fat on venison. Cover liberally with the kosher salt and set in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, soak minced shallot in red wine vinegar. When venison is firm, rinse salt off the the venison and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, finely dice the meat. Transfer meat to a bowl and keep cold.

2. Drain shallots and combine with minced meat, ground juniper berries, Himalayan sea salt to taste, coarse ground pepper, chopped parsley, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste for seasoning. 

3. Divide meat into two serving bowls and make a depression in each. Lay an egg yolk into each bowl and garnish with lemon zest and woodland violets. Serve with capers and thinly sliced buttered, toasted French bread.

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BBQ Wild Turkey and Kimchi Sandwich

Pulled pork sandwiches are boring without the tangy crispiness of coleslaw, but when my butcher mentioned that he likes kimchi on his sandwiches, I thought he was a genius! What’s kimchi, you ask? Think of kimchi as the sauerkraut of Korea, except it’s colorful, spicy, and bursting with flavor, and tastes brilliant with the sweetness of BBQ. But we don’t have weeks or months to wait for real kimchi to ferment, so I offer a quick kimchi recipe below. Or you can find it premade in jars in many Asian grocery stores and on Amazon, as well as the coarse red pepper flakes (gochugaru) needed to make this iconic Korean side dish from scratch.  

What we have here isn’t pulled pork, thoughit’s wild turkey, which dries out easily, so braising it is a good way to keep the breast moist. This is a dish best made the night before. Make the kimchi and let it marinate overnight. Then pop the turkey into the slow cooker before you go to bed or before you go to work and it will be ready in a few hours. With just 1 breast from a big tom, we were able to get about 8 sandwiches. Use 2 breasts to double the servings.  

To view the recipe, visit: http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=51490&articletype=article&key=bbq-wild-turkey-and-kimchi-sandwich-recipe

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rabbit Cacciatore over Pesto Orzo

Here's one of our latest for The Sportsman Channel: Rabbit Cacciatore over Pesto Orzo. If you've been hunting rabbits this winter, give this recipe a try. It's a traditional Italian dish usually served with chicken, but rabbit is so much better. Find the recipe here: http://www.thesportsmanchannel.com/2017/02/wild-rabbit-cacciatore-pesto-orzo-recipe/

For step-by-step instruction on how to hunt, field dress and cook rabbit, check out our book Hunting for Food

An exciting update! We're super psyched to partner with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha to celebrate its Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art exhibition. In addition to assisting the museum to develope a wild game hors' douevres menu for their patrons and public event on Friday, April 7, we are also giving a pheasant cleaning and cooking demo at the patrons event. While our demo is private, we'll hang out afterward for the public event, which will feature a lecture by Lily Raff McCaulou, author of Call of the Mild, at 7 p.m.

If you're in the Omaha area, come out to try some food, drink, mingle and walk through this amazing collection of works that feature our favorite subjects: hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The museum store is also offering autographed copies of our book Hunting for Food for sale. Reservation is required for the public event. It is $10 for Joslyn members and $20 for the public. Make your reservation here: https://www.joslyn.org/forms/one-time-ticket-event-purchase-3.aspx

The exhibit: Wild Spaces, Open Seasons is the first exhibition of its kind in the country, featuring a variety of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes, including iconic works by Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Paul Manship, and John Singer Sargent, as well as pictures by artists who specialized “in the field,” such as Charles Deas, Alfred Jacob Miller, William T. Ranney, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. The exhibition also sheds new light on modernist studies of sporting subjects by Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Max Weber. Together, the 64 works in the exhibition illuminate changing ideas about community, environment, national identity, landscape, and wildlife, offering compelling insights into one of our most familiar shared adventures. Entry into the Joslyn Art Museum is always free, but this special exhibition is ticketed, with special pricing for kids, members and students. For more information: https://www.joslyn.org/collections-and-exhibitions/temporary-exhibitions/details.aspx?ID=367

Monday, February 27, 2017

Bluegill Po' Boy with Curry-Lime Mayo Spread

Most of what we catch while ice fishing is bluegill. Some days, we'll catch a whole pile of them. Other days, we only catch a few. While they're really tasty battered and fried on their own, they're also delicious in a sandwich. Bluegill fillets are perfect for this prep because they're thin and crispy, adding that extra crunch that's needed. 

These are bluegill that we still had in the freezer from last year's ice fishing. Unfortunately, we didn't get out at all this year. With this 50-, 60-degree weather in February, ice fishing in Nebraska is over. For the recipe for this bluegill po' boy with curry-lime mayo spread, visit: http://www.thesportsmanchannel.com/2017/02/fish-recipe-bluegill-po-boy-curry-lime-mayo-spread/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rosemary-Thyme Venison Chops

While watching Food Network, a Giada De Laurentiis rerun introduced me to the Florentine beefsteak, which is a giant, 2 inch thick porterhouse steak simply seasoned and cooked to rare. With a spritz of lemon juice over the beautiful crust, it made my mouth water. I made the dish that very same night. (Sure does help to keep a well-stocked pantry.) If we ever make it to Italy, we're definitely having one! Those Florentines do know how to eat their meat.

Though it may be difficult to get the porterhouse cut off a deer, our version is made from venison loin cooked to a perfect medium-rare (or rare, if you'd like) with pungent rosemary and thyme. If you're out of loin, use steaks from the hindquarters instead. But remember that younger deer are tastier, more tender deer. 

Find the recipe here along with a simple recipe for riced cauliflower: http://www.thesportsmanchannel.com/2017/02/paleo-diet-friendly-rosemary-venison-chops-cauliflower-rice-recipe/


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