Thursday, November 16, 2017

Shaggy Mane Omelette Soufflé

Shaggy mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) are a summer and fall mushroom in Nebraska. We found them growing in the grass by some campsites at Ponca State Park near the river, and they were everywhere. I wasn't sure what they were at first, but having read about them before, I was almost convinced they were shaggy manes. After some quick research and confirmation by mushroom experts on Facebook, I took a sackful home.

Further reading told me that shaggy manes do not keep well. Also known as an inky cap mushroom, shaggy manes turn black and basically melt into an inky pool when they turn. And once harvested, this process speeds up and you have to cook them as soon as possible. They also do not take being rudely jostled inside a bag too lightly. 

Shaggy manes should be harvested while they are still plump, fresh and the cap is tight around the stem. If most of the mushroom looks good and the edge of the cap looks like it is beginning to brown (see photo), just cut the dark parts off before cooking. I've read that although they're edible when black, they will turn into a goopy black mess in your pan and that is not appetizing. 

As late as it was when we finally returned home that day, I washed them and lightly sautéed them right away in olive oil to halt degradation. I then packed them into plastic containers and refrigerated them until I was ready to use them. 
When cooked, the smell was amazing. The whole house smelled like I was cooking a delicious omelette, and the texture was delicate and pillow-y. We're fans! I'm glad we now have another wild mushroom to search for after the excitement of morel season is over. Once you have identified them, shaggy manes are easy to spot, and they don't have a look alike, at least not in Nebraska.

This recipe is an adaptation of Bon Appetit's omelette souffle recipe. Beautiful and impressive, this omelette was surprisingly easy to make. I have yet to make a true soufflé, but this recipe gives me courage for the future. I thought the shaggy mane mushrooms would make this omelette extra special. For Bon Appetit's instructional video, visit:

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 8 shaggy mane mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 teaspoons of chives, chopped
- Your favorite shredded melty cheese, such as cheddar, gruyere, swiss, etc.

1. Cut mushrooms in half lengthwise and wash under cold water. Drip dry in a colander. 
2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown mushrooms on both sides in batches, giving them plenty of room to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Separate egg yolks (small bowl) from whites (medium to large bowl). Beat the yolks and set aside. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and whisk until they form stiff peaks. This could take 10-15 minutes. You can also use a mixer to save yourself some work. 

4. Gently fold the yolks and most of the chopped chives into the whipped whites. Try not to work it too much to keep the whites from breaking. 
 5. In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Evenly spread some of the mushrooms into the bottom of the pan and then pour the souffle mixture over the mushrooms. Make the middle of the omelette a little thinner so it will be easier to fold later. Add mushrooms and cheese on the top.

6. Cover the pan with a lid or another skillet. Cook for 3 minutes. 
7. Once the bottom is a nice golden brown, fold the omelette over. Carefully transfer the omelette souffle to a plate and garnish with remaining chives.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spicy Jalapeno Venison Chili

Hot and spicy, it is no wonder chili is a favorite recipe for fall and winter, but its peppery flavors also do wonders at hiding “older” meat from last season. You know when ground meat turns from bright red to brown from freezer burn and oxidation? Chili doesn’t care like hamburger does. Chili will welcome any ground meat in hearty embrace.

For this Spicy Jalapeno Venison Chili recipe, visit:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Venison Tostadas

No store-bought shells beat the taste of freshly fried tortillas. And on a busy weeknight, tostadas are the less fussy cousin of the crunchy taco. Get your oil hot and fry corn tortillas flat – there’s no tricky business of trying to keep those taco shells rolled into shape. Anything that you can think to put into a taco, you can put onto a tostada: wild game, beef, chicken, leftover meat ... whatever. 

For these tostadas, we topped them off with fresh guacamole, spiced ground venison, shredded romaine lettuce and crumbly queso fresco cheese. If you like refried beans, add that, too. We ran out of beans and forgot to buy some more. Although I didn't miss it, Rick certainly did.

Don’t forget the salsa/hot sauce and beer.

For this Venison Tostadas recipe, check it out on Outdoor Channel online:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Paleo Chicken-Fried Venison Steak

Our editor at Outdoor Channel specifically requested a paleo-friendly venison recipe for hunters, and this is what we delivered. While Rick and I don't personally prescribe to the paleo diet-- though we probably should-- this recipe was quite good considering there was no yummy wheat in it. We chose coconut flour because it's less expensive and widely available.  

The taste of the coconut was at the forefront, but it wasn't overpowering. If you don't like coconut, however, then this gluten-free flour may not be for you. Almond flour will work just as well, though it's more expensive. Don't expect coconut flour nor almond flour to taste as smooth as wheat flour, which was more noticeable in the gravy. But if you can't eat wheat, then they're not bad alternatives by any means. 

If you're practicing or thinking of taking up the "paleo" lifestyle, you may find this article helpful when deciding on which flours to use with your wild game dishes:

For this Paleo Chicken-Fried Venison Steak recipe, visit Outdoor Channel online:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Venison and Mushroom Patty Melt

This sandwich was AWESOME. It has everything I love about a good sandwich: toasty, buttery bread and ooey, gooey cheese like a grilled cheese sandwich, plus a thick, medium-rare, steak-like venison patty with jammy, savory caramelized onions and browned mushrooms. I told myself that I'd only eat half of it, but ended up eating the whole thing for lunch. Rick and I are getting married in a month, and it's a wonder why I can't lose any weight. 

For this Venison Patty Melt recipe, visit The Sportsman Channel online:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beer-Battered Paddlefish Tacos

The fish taco originated from the Baja California Peninsula. Surrounded by ocean, this northwestern Mexican region’s cuisine differs from mainland Mexico in its abundant use of seafood. Thus, the fish taco was born—freshly fried fish wrapped in a warmed tortilla, served with a creamy, spicy sauce and crunchy cabbage. But you don’t have to live on the West coast to enjoy this iconic recipe. Any white-fleshed fish will do, and it will taste just as good.

This is one of my many versions of the fried fish taco. I had some paddlefish in the freezer that needed to be used up before freezer burn set in, and for the filling, I used whatever was on sale at the grocery store. Green or purple cabbage, it doesn’t matter; I just thought that purple would add more color. If you have the time, make your own spicy pico de gallo, red salsa or salsa verde at home. Wash down tacos with cold cerveza (beer) or margaritas on the rocks.

For this Beer-Battered Paddlefish Taco with Chipotle Slaw recipe, visit The Sportsman Channel online:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to Pair Wine with Fish

I just recently wrote a story for the World Fishing Network on how to pair wine with your favorite fish. It's by no means a comprehensive guide, but it's enough information to get you started. Rick and I tend to drink wines in $10-20 range that most people can find at the grocery store, so expect no in-depth reviews of fancy and hard-to-pronounce French wines here. I discuss simple pairings for light, medium and darker fish. 

To read "How to Pair and Choose a Good Wine for Your Favorite Fish," visit:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wild Turkey Enchiladas

Rick grew up eating great Mexican food. His mother, Alicia, was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and when she married Rick’s dad, a Nebraskan, she did not forget to incorporate weekly family meals with good, homemade Mexican cooking. Alice and Joe Wheatley earned a quaint, yet honest living. And as a Great Depression survivor, she ran her household of seven with great economy – this was reflected in her cooking.

Enchiladas are an easy, inexpensive meal. It is so versatile – depending on the week, Alice filled her enchiladas with whatever meat the family could afford. It was one of Rick’s favorite meals when he was a kid, and as an adult, he continues to use his mother’s recipe. While a simple dish, I think Rick makes the best chicken enchiladas in the world, and better yet, his turkey enchiladas made with the legs and thighs of wild turkeys are just as amazing. This is any easy way to utilize these underrated turkey parts, although they do take longer to cook than breast meat.

Alice is no longer with us, but she did leave her son with many memories from a childhood blessed with delicious food. As fun as it is to create new recipes, it’s always a little more special when we can carry on parts of our loved ones in the traditions we keep and the food we cook.

To view this Wild Turkey Enchiladas recipes, visit The Sportsman Channel:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Snow Goose Kofta Kebab Pita Pocket

There is a bit of gaminess to snow geese, but it’s really not as bad as others make it sound. With conservation seasons that allow for high bag limits, we should all be thinking of different ways that we can enjoy this protein. It’s like free meat, falling from the sky! (That is, after all the permit fees, ammo, gear, decoys, time, travel…) 

Every year, people give us snow geese they don't want to eat. I bet many of you still have some in your freezers. If you did not enjoy snow goose in the past, try grinding it and loading it up with herbs and spices that will enhance the flavor of this dark, earthy meat. After, you can make burgers, taco meat, meatloaf, meatballs—anything with it. I chose to go Middle Eastern this time, a culinary tradition known for its heavy use of spices, which stood up to the snow goose meat well. Then to round out the flavors and add a bit of fat, I incorporated some pork to the ground goose mixture. Served in a pita pocket with tahini sauce and fresh vegetables, the goose went down real easy.

I also can’t reiterate enough the importance of proper field care and storage, especially with waterfowl. Get yourself a proper vacuum sealer—storing waterfowl in frozen tap water makes the meat taste off-putting. This is the last thing you want to do with such a richly flavored meat.

For the full recipe of this Snow Goose Kofta Kebab Pita Pocket, visit The Sportsman Channel online:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wild Turkey and Mushroom Meatloaf

Ground wild turkey is healthy and easy to cook. Debone the tougher leg and thigh meat and grind with the breasts, and you won’t have to fuss with complicated cooking methods and cooking times had you kept them whole. Instead, what you get is a lean, flavorful protein that can substitute any ground red meat in your favorite recipes, including burgers, meatballs, casseroles, and even meatloaf. We use the same spices, cooking times, and methods, and heartily find that ground wild turkey can stand well on its own. 

Morel mushrooms, left, and dryad's saddle, right.
This recipe is the healthier version of classic meatloaf. Lower in fat and with a good helping of chopped onion, carrot and celery blended in, maybe this is the recipe that will get the pickiest of diners at your table to eat their vegetables. And the mushrooms that speckle the loaf also contribute a savory, toothsome bite to the dish. If you have access to wild mushrooms, it would make the meatloaf even better. We recommend dryad's saddle/pheasant back mushrooms, but only pick them while they're tender and young. 

We enjoy this dish best the day after—so it’s great for making ahead— when the loaf has cooled in the refrigerator and is easy to neatly slice. Then brown the slices in a hot pan with some olive oil, which adds a flavorful crust. This was some damn good meatloaf. 

To view the recipe for Wild Turkey and Mushroom Meatloaf, visit Outdoor Channel online:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Crappie Fish Tacos

Everyone loves fish and chips, but at your next fish fry, wow your guests by offering a taco bar. You don’t have to do anything different with your fried fish. Fry it like you’ve always done, but serve it with warm tortillas, freshly made creamy guacamole, crunchy shredded Brussels sprouts (or cabbage), hot sauce and queso fresco cheese. Make it a buffet by laying out all the ingredients on a table. People can fix their tacos any way they like. 

Fish tacos remind me of the West Coast, of where I lived for many years. While I no longer reside there, I do miss the warm summer evenings by the beach and having tacos and margaritas late at night. So for old times’ sake, and because it’s delicious, I try to recreate that experience here in the Midwest. I throw small, intimate taco parties with friends, and we drink beer and margaritas on the rocks. And for some reason, tacos always taste better when eaten outside in the open air. We may not be near an ocean, but we do have some nice lakes in Nebraska. And I’d say that the fresh fish we catch ourselves tastes just as good if not better.

To view the recipe for Crappie Fish Tacos with Spicy Guacamole, visit the World Fishing Network:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thai Curry and Coconut Walleye Stew

Here’s a different way to cook up your walleye — an Asian inspired stew that is spicy, creamy and full of vegetables. Not only is it easy to make, but it will also add a different spin to your spring catch. You can use any white fish for this recipe, but I chose walleye because it is so mild that it will easily take on whatever flavors you apply to it. And with a bigger catch, you end up with nice, thick chunks for the stew. 

The brand of curry I used may be difficult to find. If so, I recommend the brand Mae Ploy, which makes very nice curries that are simple to use. Other curries — instant or not will work fine, but be sure to read the directions on the packaging and add it to your stew accordingly. Also, use whatever vegetables and starches you have on hand. 

To view the recipe for this Thai Curry and Coconut Walleye Stew, visit Outdoor Channel online:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scandinavian-Style Fish Cakes

If you live by the ocean, chances are there is a fish cake tradition floating about. New England, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seoul, Dan Nang or Cornwall… just about every culture has its own version of the fish cake. 

In the mostly water-bound reaches of Scandinavia, this is no exception. Fiskekaker is a true Scandinavian meal, an everyday dish symbolic of the seafood-heavy Nordic diet. But what if you live in the Midwest, as I do? While you won't find haddock or cod in this recipe, you will find potatoes and white-flesh freshwater fish. I chose Missouri River paddlefish for this recipe; it’s firm and fatty, resembling ocean fish. I have found it tastes quite close to tuna.

If paddlefish meat is not accessible, I suggest catfish, but any white-fleshed fish will work just fine. The beauty of this dish is that it's also fantastic with fish that you may not want to eat otherwise, such as carp, drum or bass. The seasonings in the recipe are merely suggestions; flavor your fish cakes with any herbs and spices you like.

For the full recipe, visit World Fishing Network online:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fried Tacos with Wild Turkey and Chipotle

Most hunters I know just don’t know what to do with wild turkey legs. It’s true— these legs are tough, especially from a dominant, old tom turkey, and the pin bones can be intimidating to cook. For this reason, these underrated parts are often thrown away, and that’s a shame because that’s a ton of meat wasted; from just two turkey leg and thighs, I was able to make about 25 tacos for this recipe. And just because turkey may be considered a “white meat,” don’t be fooled. Wild animals are a different and their leg meat is dark and flavorful. However, you do have to put in some work to make them fit for the table. 

If you have a slow cooker, then you can cook turkey legs. It’s as easy as seasoning the legs and throwing it into the crockpot for a few hours to tenderize—no more difficult than slow cooking a roast. After 6 to 8 hours, the meat will be so tender that you can do anything with it. Use the meat in your favorite casseroles, soups, stir fries, BBQ sandwiches … or tacos. 

These turkey and chipotle fried tacos are by no means healthy, but I promise that they will be gobbled up so quickly. Remember those fast food Jack in the Box or Burger King fried tacos? They were filled with a weird meat paste that was so disgusting but also so addicting at the same time. Well, these tacos are all crunchy, greasy goodness—filled with wholesome ingredients hunted by you.

For the recipe, visit Outdoor Channel online:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Cave Tools Hook Rack

The folks at Cave Tools contacted us a few weeks ago about reviewing their BBQ/grilling products. They gave us a wide range of tools to choose from, and we chose their hook rack because we actually needed one. If your kitchen is like ours, then it's limited in space and bursting at the seams in kitchen gadgets. Sometimes it's hard to stay organized, and things are just haphazardly shoved into whatever drawer has space. We were looking for something that would be able to hold our bigger grilling tools and free up some space in our drawers. The Cave Tools Stainless Steel 5 Hook Rack fit our needs. 

The hook rack measures 14.25 x 2 inches and has a polished stainless steel finish. Its design is neutral and will fit into many applications, from the kitchen to garage to bathroom to duck blind to "man cave." 

Packaging came with a screwdriver, although we didn't use it. We used our power drill, and it was easy and quick to install onto the side of a cabinet. 

The two screws that came with the rack were long and substantial for holding weight, but we thought it could've been made with a better quality material as it was beginning to show signs of stripping during installation.Two covers were included to snap over the screws to give the rack a clean, slick look.

The hooks seem sturdy and heavy duty. You won't have a problem hanging heavy coats, towels, gardening or home improvement tools on it. If you're a hunter, use this rack to organize your game calls, hunting clothes or dog training gadgets. Durable stainless steel makes it ideal for both outdoor and indoor use. 

The best part about the Cave Tool hook rack is the price and 100% satisfaction guarantee. For a 15% discount on this Cave Tool hook rack, enter HOOKRACK15 at

Monday, May 8, 2017

Morel Mushroom Dolmades

Fried, sautéed or simmered in a hearty stew, I haven’t found a recipe where I didn’t like morels. But as a food blogger, I’m constantly challenged to find different ways to utilize wild ingredients every year. This recipe was inspired by one of my good friends who served Greek dolmades at a dinner party last spring. Her husband is Greek so these delicious morsels of tender rice, minced lamb, onion and herbs stuffed in grape leaves show up at their dinner table often. As an appetizer or side, dolmades are supposed to be served cold or at room temperature. This is a great dish if you need to begin preparing dinner the day before.     

When thinking of a new way to prepare morels this year, I thought of Libby’s dolmades dish and how morels, known for being rich and meaty, would make a great alternative to minced lamb. I was right— I made a large batch and they were gone by the next day. The morels added a nice umami element to these little bites. I didn't miss the meat, but the great thing about this dish is that you can fill them with whatever you want. Here’s my simple version of dolmades developed for Outdoor Channel.

To view the recipe, visit Outdoor Channel online:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Venison Steak 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:

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
- 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


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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Buffalo Pheasant Cheese Dip

Shout out to our horsey friends Brit Vegas and Adam Gengenbach for the inspiration behind this appetizer. Brit and Adam belong to the mounted foxhunting club North Hills Hunt with us, and a dish that they often bring to brunches and parties is buffalo chicken dip. It is soooo good. I'm super picky when it comes to appetizers, but this stuff is addictive-- warm, cheesy and spicy. After hunting in the winter, we pile this onto our plates with lots of tortilla chips. 

So while trying to think of a wild game recipe for The Sportsman Channel during game-day party season, it made perfect sense to recreate Brit and Adam's appetizer with pheasant. It turned out great! For the recipe, visit:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chicken Fried Elk Steaks with Brown Gravy

This elk steak came from our good friends Nick and Lindsay Tramp of northeastern Nebraska. I believe Nick shot this elk in Wyoming, and they were so kind to share some with us. After tasting it-- and it was a our first time-- Rick and I began pining to go on an elk hunt. The meat was so delicious. And it's amazing how big these animals are. Think of all that meat! One day ... 

If I had to give up beef for elk, I would be perfectly happy. It's such a well-balanced, flavorful meat. I find it richer than venison. I thought the fat also tasted good.

So if you have some elk steaks in the freezer, here's another recipe for you. We wrote it for Game and Fish Magazine here with step-by-step photos:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mexican Street Tacos with Rice and Beans

If I have people coming over and still have lots of venison roast in the freezer, one of my favorite dishes to prepare is venison street tacos. You can really stretch the meat far and feed a lot of people, and taco meat is also so fast and easy to season and cook. There's no need to use prime cuts such as tenderloin or loin for this dish. Just make sure that you remove as much silver skin as possible for your roast, because that won't break down, and then thinly slice the meat.

Cook rice in large batches and we like warmed canned refried beans just fine. But for homemade refried beans, check out our recipe for it here:

Make it a taco party by offering all the fixings at the "bar"-- chopped onion, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole, your favorite salsas, hot sauces and cheeses. Be sure to have a cooler of cerveza ready. And if you want to really have some fun, keep plenty of tequila, limes and margarita mix on hand.

Find the venison street tacos recipe at Game and Fish Magazine:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How To: Butcher Venison Shank for Osso Buco

Ahhh... osso buco. Everyone's talking about it. And for good reason: it's FREAKING delicious. 

What is it? Osso buco is an Italian dish that is traditionally made with cross-cut veal shanks. The shanks slowly simmer in a rich vegetable, white wine and tomato broth, and when it comes out, the meat is succulent, the sauce deep, and served over polenta or rice, you'll think you died and went to heaven. Better yet, I actually think it's more delicious made with venison, which is good news for meat hunters.

We developed a venison osso buco recipe for Outdoor Channel recently, which you can find here: Sure, you can make the same recipe using the whole shank or even stew meat, but it's the cross cut that makes osso buco-- osso buco. Not only is taste important here, presentation also reigns. And you wouldn't want to miss out on the prized deer marrow, which Rick and I fight over.

But how do we get that cross cut? We once tried to cut through deer bone with a meat saw. Maybe we just really suck or our saw sucked or we didn't have the teeth placed in the right direction, but it was waaaay more work than we wanted to put into it. It would've taken us all day. It was pathetic. So we abandoned the effort, until we saw a YouTube video on Facebook that showed someone cutting through deer bone with a reciprocating saw, which was a tool we already had on hand! It looked way easier than slaving over a hand saw. I can't remember who the good Samaritan was who made that video, but thank you! It worked out great. 

So, if you're looking to butcher for venison osso buco, here's one way to do it. This will work with either front or rear shanks.

- Sharp knife
- Reciprocating power saw, cleaned and sanitized
- New, clean blade (size?)
- Cooking twine
- Tooth picks/small brush (for cleaning saw)

1. With a sharp knife, cut into the meat all the way around the bone into 1 1/2 to 2-inch sections. Do not try to cut through both meat and bone with the saw. Saws are made for cutting through hard materials, not soft and chewy. It will be ugly if you do this.

When you get towards the end, there won't be enough meat to cut, so save those "drumsticks" for stock or something else. You also shouldn't remove the silver skin. It will soften and give the meat a nice texture when cooked. 

2. Once you have sectioned off the shanks with a knife, nestle the blade of your saw inside each cut. Anchor the shank against something so it doesn't move, but be careful not to cut through anything you don't want to underneath. Turn on the saw and cut through the bone as straight as possible. 
3. These were hind shanks and we averaged 3 pieces of osso buco per shank. 

Next, brush and/or wash off as much bone fragments and dust as humanly possible. But be gentle and try to keep the pieces intact -- they'll want to fall apart. We don't have one and have never used one, but a bone dust scraper tool may be worth looking into if you're going to do this frequently.

(It was also a bit of a pain to clean the saw after, but I was able to get all the bone dust out of the nooks and crannies with some toothpicks and blowing into the holes over the trashcan like the big bad wolf. That came out weird.)

4. To keep the osso buco intact when cooking, tie cooking twine around the circumference of each piece. The twine should just be finger tight.The cooking twine will also help the meat cook evenly. 

For Venison Osso Buco Recipe, visit:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...