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Wild game suitable for variety of recipes

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

 

As we usher in a new year, everyone’s ready for something different – I know I am. If you have game hunters at home, now’s a good time to try one or two recipes from this week’s feature.

Before preparing wild game, a little knowledge is helpful. These tips from an old L.L. Bean cookbook will improve the taste of the meat. For better tasting venison, hang the carcass with the skin on and age for a week in a cold and airy place such as a garage (30-40-degrees) to allow the tissues to break down. Aging venison in the deep freeze is another alternative. If the deer is skinned – cut it up, package, and freeze it immediately when you get it home.

Wild game is leaner and tougher than domesticated game. Initially, prepare the venison by removing any cartilage. Remove all blood by soaking the venison in cold salt water with a little baking soda and continuing to change the water until it remains clear. The final saltwater bath should be left overnight in the refrigerator.  Your meat is now ready for the marinade.

Marinating venison is a good idea to break down tough fibers, but 24 hours is not enough. About 4 days under refrigeration is required. Avoid aluminum pans and use crocks, glass, or porcelain due to the acidity of a marinade.  The meat should be cooked in a liquid and/or fat covering such as bacon strips.

For you trappers out there, I discovered a 75-year-old recipe for cooking raccoon.

VENISON BENEDICT

¾ cup Teriyaki sauce

1 lb. venison tenderloin

¼ cup red cooking wine

Fresh mushrooms

1 Tbsp. Canola oil

Dijon mustard

Red cooking wine

Whole grain English muffins

Prepare venison for cooking. Cut the venison into small pieces about 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter.  Marinate meat overnight in teriyaki sauce with red cooking wine. Saute fresh mushrooms with a little canola oil. Combine marinade with the mushrooms to create the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes.  Saute the venison at medium heat for 1 minute on each side. Spread the meat for baking. Apply a thin layer of Dijon mustard on top. Add black pepper. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Split and toast English muffins. Serve venison on muffin and cover with mushroom sauce. Yield: 2-4 servings.

COUNTRY FRIED VENISON STEAKS

2 lbs. venison steak, ½-inch thick

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1-quart milk

Salt and pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil

1 chopped onion

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Can undiluted cream of mushroom soup

Hot cooked rice

Trim all fat and connective tissue off venison. Cut meat into serving-size pieces. Pound each to ¼-inch thickness. Sprinkle with Worcestershire. Place meat in a 2-quart container. Pour milk over and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove meat from milk, reserving milk. Salt and pepper meat and dredge in flour. In a large skillet with ½ inch of oil, cook venison until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside. Drain off all oil except 2 tbsp. in skillet. Add chopped onion and saute until tender. Stir in 2 tbsp. flour and cook until lightly browned. Add milk to flour and stir until smooth. Add undiluted soup and stir well. Place venison in soup mix and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Add water to gravy if necessary. Yield: 6 servings.

SMOTHERED QUAIL

6-5 oz. quail

6 Tbsp. salted butter

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

½ cup sherry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet, brown quail in melted butter over medium heat. Remove to baking dish. Add flour to skillet and stir slowly, adding broth, sherry, salt, and pepper. Blend and pour over quail. Cover baking dish and bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve with rice. Yield: 6 servings.

FRIED VENISON

Venison meat

Milk

Bottle of Italian dressing

All-purpose flour

Vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, cover venison in milk and soak overnight. Drain. Marinate 2 hours in Italian dressing. Dredge in flour and fry in oil with lots of salt and pepper. Serve with mushroom sauce.

FRESH MUSHROOM SAUCE

½ cup salted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

¼ cup half and half

½ tsp paprika

Whole or chopped fresh mushrooms

2 Tbsp. salted butter

Chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a skillet, melt butter. Add flour and stir. Add chicken stock, half and half, and paprika, stirring until smooth. In another skillet, cook mushrooms in butter. Deglaze pan, adding mushrooms and butter to the sauce.   Before serving, add chopped parsley and lemon juice.

VENISON STEW

1 ½ lbs. venison meat

Canola oil

3 sliced onions

1 can crushed tomatoes

3 cut up celery stalks

3 cut carrots

Bag of frozen mixed vegetables

15 oz. corn

Salt and pepper

In a stew pot, fry venison in small amount of oil. Add sliced onion, tomatoes, celery, carrots, bag of frozen vegetables, corn, and freshly ground pepper and salt. Let simmer for 4-5 hours.

STUFFED ROASTED DUCKS

1 recipe of crumbled, seasoned cornbread

3 cups dry bread cubes

1 tbsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 beaten eggs

½ cup melted, salted butter

1 cup sauteed, fresh mushrooms

¾ cup chopped pecans

¾ cups chicken stock

1 ¼ cups chopped fresh cranberries

1/3 cup sugar

11 oz. drained mandarin oranges

½ cup orange juice

2-5lb. ducklings

Combine cornbread, bread cubes, and seasonings. Add eggs and butter and mix. Divide dressing in half. Add mushrooms, pecans, stock to half of dressing. In a bowl, mix cranberries with sugar and let stand 5 minutes. Combine cranberries, orange sections, and orange juice with other half of dressing. Wash, drain, and dry ducklings. Rub outsides and cavities with 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and 1 tsp. monosodium glutamate. Stuff body cavity and neck region of one duck with mushroom pecan dressing. Stuff the other duck with the cranberry orange dressing. Roast uncovered on a rack in a shallow baking pan in a 325-degree oven for 3 ½ hours. Any remaining dressing can be baked in a covered casserole during the final 45 minutes of roasting time. Serve with Citrus Gravy.

DUCK WITH CITRUS GRAVY

½ cup orange juice

½ cup apple jelly

4-5 lb. dressed duck

½ tsp. salt

1 stalk celery, cut in 2-inch pieces

1 small, quartered onion

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 cup uncooked regular rice

4 oz. wild rice

Chopped fresh parsley

Parsley twigs

In a small saucepan, combine juice and jelly. Cook over medium heat while stirring until jelly melts. Remove from heat and set aside. Rub cavity of duck with salt. Stuff with celery and onion. Close cavity of duck with skewers. Place duck breast side up on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Dot with butter. Bake uncovered in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour while basting often with jelly mixture. Cover duck loosely with foil and bake for 1 ½ additional hours while basting. Prepare regular and wild rice, according to pkg. directions. Stir together and spoon onto serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Place duck on top of rice. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve with Citrus Gravy. Yield: 4 servings.

CITRUS GRAVY FOR DUCKS

¼ cup salted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

½ cup orange juice

½ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. pepper

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup raisins

In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute while stirring. Gradually add milk and orange juice. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Yield: 3 cups.

DOVE BREASTS

1 part vegetable oil

1 part soy sauce

Bacon

½ cup melted, salted butter

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Marinate breasts of dove in equal parts of oil and soy for 1 hour. Wrap strips of lean bacon around breasts, and grill 15 minutes on each side.  Simmer in covered skillet in melted butter and lemon juice for 30 minutes over low heat.

CASSEROLE OF VENISON

2 lbs. potatoes

1 pound ground, browned/drained venison

¼ cup chopped onions

¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup salted butter

3 tsp. all-purpose four

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. Herbs de Provence

1 lb. broccoli

½ cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese

Peel potatoes and finely slice. Mix ground venison with onions, red peppers, and garlic. In saucepan, heat butter with flour and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, herbs de Provence, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. In a greased casserole dish, layer potatoes, the sauce, venison, and lastly, broccoli. Repeat layers twice and sprinkle top with cheese. Bake covered in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 10 additional minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

BAKED RACCOON

1 large raccoon, cut up

Vinegar

Water

3 onions

Red or black pepper, to taste

1 large pod cut up red pepper

Cornstarch

Prepare raccoon for cooking. Cut up and soak meat overnight in small amount of salt and vinegar. Rinse well and place in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with onions, salt and pepper, and pod of red pepper. Simmer on medium for 1 hour or until tender. Place in baking pan and brown on both sides in oven. Thicken with cornstarch the water that meat cooked in to make a gravy. Pour over browned raccoon enough to cover it and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve in same baking dish with baked sweet potatoes arranged all around. Mouthwatering southern dish!

COUNTRY STYLE QUAIL

4-5oz. quail

4 Tbsp. salted butter

8 oz. fresh mushrooms

1 slice Country ham

1 tsp. Bouquet Garni

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup white wine

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet, brown quail in melted butter for 4 minutes over medium heat. Remove quail from skillet to a dish. Add mushrooms, ham cut in small pieces, and Bouquet Garni. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring for 3 minutes. Add wine and cook for 3 minutes while stirring constantly. Put quail back in skillet and simmer for 35 minutes. Salt and pepper. Serve hot. Yield 4 servings.