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:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Asian-style Walleye en Papillote

En papillote means “in parchment” in French. It’s a cooking technique that is especially beneficial to fish— the enclosed packet allows fish to gently cook in its own steam and remain moist. When you finally get to open up the papillote, the aromas of any vegetables and herbs added is a wonderful surprise at the dinner table. And at the bottom of the packet, you will find a delicious sauce that pairs well with rice. 

This is, by far, one of our best recipes for fish. It was so simple yet so delicious. Your guests will have so much fun opening up their own little packet to find what's inside. It's like a little present at the dinner table!

For the recipe, visit Game and Fish Magazine:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Grilled Rabbit with Chimichurri Sauce

Looking for a different way to serve rabbit? We love it fried, too, but rabbit is also delicious on the grill. Simply marinade it in chimichurri sauce-- a tangy, herby and spicy marinade made of parsley, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno. Once it hits the grill, all the ingredients open up and the smell will be heavenly. We've done this with squirrel, too, and it works just as well. Rick and I made this at a cooking demonstration two autumns ago and there were so many ladies who swore they would never eat small game come up to us and ask us for the recipe! The trick to making your wild rabbit as tender as possible? Remove as much silver skin as possible with a sharp fillet knife. 

Find the recipe and step-by-step photos here:


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Canada Goose and Apple-Blue Cheese Salad

Here's a delicious, simple recipe we developed for Game and Fish Magazine-- thinly sliced Canada goose breasts cooked to medium rare and served over a mixed spring greens salad with fresh apples, sliced red onion and tangy blue cheese dressed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. We haven't gone goose hunting at all this year, but still had some meat left in the fridge. Since it's way too cold to grill outside this time of year-- it's been in the negatives!!! :-(-- this was a nice compromise. Plus, having a salad is a nice break from all the heavy foods we've been eating during the holidays. Find the recipe here:

With that said, Merry Christmas to all! Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend with family and friends eating all the dishes you love. We'll be spending Christmas Eve at home-- because Rick has to work-- but we'll go down to see his cousins in Lincoln Christmas morning. For those of you who have to work retail, we thank you for your work and are sorry for all the crap you have to go through during the holiday season. 

Also, please pray for Rick's mom, Alice, who recently suffered a stroke. We took a last minute trip out to California a few days ago to see her, and she's holding up strong, but at 93 years old, it will be a tough recovery. 

Thank you for all the support this past year. We have surpassed 1 million hits on our website, thanks to you! Whoo-hoo!

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