I always say that if you are going to eat meat, you better be wiling to kill it yourself.
Wait no. I don’t say that. I mean, in an ideal world, sure, but I have neither the time nor the desire to do such things. But I appreciate the sentiment and I understand the point that people who espouse that statement are trying to convey.
Luckily for me, I have a dad and two brothers who do like meat and are willing to kill it themselves. More importantly, they are willing to share said meat with me.
Two years ago, the men in the family lucked out showcased their mad hunting skills and all got deer. By the time I heard and put in a request for some venison steaks, they had already sent the meat to the butcher to be processed into summer sausage and hot sticks.
Yeah, three deer worth of processed spiced meat. Crazy men.
I swear we must not be related.
Clearly, they are though. (Yes, my brothers are identical twins. Very much so.)
This year, two of the three got deer. I won’t say which one didn’t get one, but his named rhymes with hen and starts with a B. And he doesn’t read this blog, so he’ll never know that I am publically mocking him right now. Unless my dad tells him.
[Hi Dad? You should definitely tell rhymes-with-hen about this!]
By the time I heard, again, the deer had already been sent to be processed, but this time, my dad had saved me a nice backstrap!
I’ve eaten venison, so I know I love the stufff, but I’d never cooked it. Pinterest and google to the rescue!
Guys, there are SO MANY great looking recipes out there with venison that I really couldn’t pick one. So I didn’t. I picked a few and, per my usual cooking style, took the parts from each that sounded good. And I made my own venison stew, Wisconsin-style.
Cranberry-Maple Venison Stew
- venison , cut into 2-inch cubes, all silver skin removed (I used a whole backstrap, maybe a pound?)
- 1 can (16 ounces) beef broth4 ounces red wine1 large onion, large dice4 stalks celery, medium dice1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, medium dice
16 ounces mushrooms (a big container), quartered (I used about 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms)
6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
3 sprigs rosemary, plucked from stem and minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tablespoons hot sauce (optional, but not really)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
Put everything in the crockpot and add more water or beef broth if needed. You want the liquid to be about an inch below the stew. Set to low for 7-8 hours
You can really use any veggies you want, these were just the ones I had at home. Carrots would be great too, and regular potatoes if you don’t like sweet. Don’t skip the wine, either. I didn’t use it at first but then added it later – much better!
The best part of this meal was that it was almost free! Check out this price breakdown (which I only did for curiosity sake and will probably never do again, but..cool, right?)
- Venison: Free (from the deer that my dad or brother shot)
- Onion: $0.50
- Celery: $0.40
- Tomatoes: Free (from my parents garden)
- Sweet potato: Free (my sister left these at my parents’ house and they won’t eat them, so I took them!)
- Shiitake: Free (Thanks Marx foods!!)
- Cranberries: $0.85
- Rosemary: Essentially free (from my CSA)
- Spices (includingbroth powder), worchestershire, and sriracha: maybe $0.25 total
- Wine: $0.50 (I used 3-buch Chuck)
- TOTAL: $2.25 for the WHOLE RECIPE!!! or only $0.45 per HUGE serving!!
My brother is making the soup today, and has promised to report back on it. But really? Ho can you go wrong with these ingredients, right?
This makes so much food that I gave some leftovers to a friend. You see, back when I first got the vension, I invited her and her boyfriend to come help me eat it. But then the holidays got in the way and we were busy and blahblahblah. But then I couldn’t wait anymore.
So I felt obligated to share the love. And love it, she did.
Have you ever gone hunting? How do you feel about the “you must kill it to eat it sentiment”?
I took hunter’s safety when I was 12 and went hunting once. It was SO INCREDIBLY boring, I’ve had no desire to go since. I don’t think I could ever shoot an animal anyway. Does that make me a hypocrite?