It is that time of year again when we aim to empty our freezer of our game harvests. We think it is optimum to enjoy the meat within a year of the harvest. With hunting season officially underway, we set out to make sure that happened. We like to be generous with our game meat, and this year we had a lot to share. With an abundance of venison in particular, we also set out to prepare some of our favorite dishes, inspired by the bounty in our freezer.
Something about this time of year makes me think of comfort foods, and stew happens to be high on my list. This is a very simple recipe that pays off big with flavor. Putting together a beautiful stew requires great ingredients, and I like to use as many organic ingredients as possible.
Starting out with wonderful venison tenderloin, I carefully cut it into even-size chunks. I sautéed organic carrots, garlic, celery, onions, and potatoes in olive oil to get them a bit soft and added them to the crockpot. Next, I browned the venison, which has been generously sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper in olive oil and butter.
All the remaining ingredients are added, except for the sweet peas, which I added an hour before I served the stew so that they keep their bright color and don’t get too soft. I like to cook on low for about 7 hours. Serve with some crusty bread, and you have a meal that will be a family favorite.
1 medium venison tenderloin
1 large onion
4 celery stalks
Fresh garlic to taste
Carton of broth—enough to cover the veggies and meat
Tomato paste—⅓ cup
3 medium yellow potatoes
Spices: sea salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried rosemary, bay leaf to taste
What Else is Cooking?
Fresh Dove Poppers and Venison Sausage
No real recipe is needed with dove poppers or venison sausage. The doves are marinated in Italian dressing overnight, embellished with a slice of jalapeño pepper, and wrapped with a half slice of bacon. They are easy to broil in the oven, and you will know when they are ready when the bacon is crispy, usually about 10-12 minutes. Of course, they are amazing to grill outdoors as well. Absolutely delicious! Since venison sausage is already prepared with spices, it is simply placed on the grill or in the broiler and browned until it is cooked thoroughly. The sausage pairs up beautifully, and I usually serve it with garlic cheese grits and sliced ripe tomatoes.
Wild Turkey Breast in Mushroom Gravy
We harvested two large wild turkeys this spring, and you would not believe how many meals you can enjoy from these remarkable birds. Today, I am fixing turkey in mushroom gravy, and this dish is amazingly easy. After rinsing the meat, pat dry with paper towels, and then generously rub it with sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns. Heat up olive oil and butter to give it a quick braise, which adds flavor before putting it in the crockpot.
Finally, add organic chicken broth, Pacific organic mushroom soup, and fresh mushrooms to the crockpot. Let it cook on low for 7 hours. Perfect to serve with jasmine rice or homemade mashed potatoes. How easy is that?
I love to encourage my readers to learn about the many benefits of consuming proteins that have not been produced with harmful hormones and additives. If you are offered game meat, give it a try. And if you are interested in hunting, I will be happy to give you advice on how to get started. Happy Hunting!!!
As written for Waccamaw Outdoor Magazine, October 2018 Issue