Comments About Cooking Game: Each time you cook game you are returned to the wild in memories. We enjoy cooking and eating game to extent that cattle ranchers may weep. There is just no more natural meat than self-harvested game! Let's assume you have immediately skinned your game, hung it up in the shade to cool, kept the meat cool and clean when transporting it, and continued to keep the meat cool during cold storage "hang curing". Then it should have been wrapped air tight and kept frozen a 0 F. We further reduce the chances of freezer burning the select cuts by wrapping the meat with bacon. The choice cuts are often kept the longest to be served for company or holidays. Cooking game does present some challenges, testing, education and realizations. Experience is learned like everything else in life. I suggest the hunter him/herself cook the game. This will not only provide self satisfaction, but insights of better field dressing, butchering and meat preservation. Lean game meat can not be crucified on the grill or in the pan. It lacks the BTU consuming fat which absorbs much of the heat and insulates the lean protein from high heat. Lacking insulating internal marbled fat, game cooks much faster and will continue to "cook at rest" after heat is withdrawn. Timing and cooking attention is more important than when cooking beef. Also important is the application of spices and salt. A crusting of spices will largely burn off a slab of beef or lamb. The crusting mix will stay more on game, and may taste too strong. Note that salt is lacking in most of my recipes. I recommend no salt be used when cooking elk and deer. The salt draws moisture from the meat and results in a less tender palate. Salt can be added at the table. Published game recipes often call for beef stock, and for rubs and spices commonly used for beef. These can "overpower" the gentle taste of prime game meat cuts. I recommend chicken broth be used to preserve the game meats subtle aromas an delicate, sweet taste characters. The last paragraph is going to make some hunters laugh. Gentle, subtle, sweet aromas and taste?? Yes, these are present if you have quickly killed, immediately skinned, carefully handled, self- butchered, and properly stored your meat. A running wounded animal, semi-fettid carcass, and crude band saw butchering ain't going to result in ideal game dinners. That is why I so to adamantly stress hunt and post-hunt meat care in my book. Use new wood planks of cedar, apple or mesquite which have not been treated wi th chemicals Cooking Utensils: Bring back the cast iron frying pan and cook pots for game. Their mass provide "heat sinking" for cooking which common thin fry pans can not. (Some better professional cooking pots and pans now have a welded on thick base plate.) If you want to slowly begin cooking/frying, the meat is \put in the pan first and then the heat is turned on. Thin pans will immediately begin cooing the meat outside; when the meat inside is cooked the outside is overcooked. On the other hand, if you want a nicely seared outside with seared spices, the pan can be preheated and the meat then put in the pan . There is enough heat stored in the thick pan to adequately sear the meat. Cast iron pots also better distribute heat so that cooking occurs at the pot sides and not only at the bottom (where burning may occur). If the food tastes so much better at elk camp, part of the success may be from slow cooking in a cast iorn Dutch Oven. ​Pick up some cast iron pots and pans at garage sales. Look for deep sided pans with cast iron lids. If you are lucky, you might fine a old Wagner. Recondition the pan by soaking it several days in a lye solution (in a kid proof safe placed), wash, and emery cloth sand the interior. Then "condition" the pot/pan with cooking oil. Coat it with olive or cooking oil and bake it in an over (vent fan on, boys) at 400 degees for an hour. Wipe off excess oil. Then, never soap wash the pan again. Use water to remove the food scraps. Pap er dry the pan. Then use salt to scour the pan. This will preserve the oil finish. Slow cooking is ideal for game stews, bbq meats, and "pulled" or "stringy" meats like Sloppy Joes. Using iron or aluminum pots with recipes that require a lot of vinegar or tomatoes will result in meat with imparted metallic taste. The longer you cook, the stronger the taste gets. Use porcelain cookers made for simmer cooking. I recommend the old "Savory" goose cooking pans. They have a raised bottom that does not directly contact the stove and so meat does not burn. The domed cover allows condensing steam to run down to the sides of the pan and this prevents edge burning of the meat and juices. Lastly, the pan bottom can be used for festive table "serve your self" dinners. Diners dig out the potatoes, vegetables and meats to their satisfaction. Cutting boards For Safety: I very strongly recommend using a wood cutting board for food poison safety. This will wrangle some readers who think plastic boards are better. I remember an old Concumer Reports test that was followed by some university tests. It turns out the plastic boards become incised with knife cuts. The cuts retain food particles AND WATER.This allows bacteria to multiply and survive long within the cuts between uses. A hard wood cutting board also gets cuts, but the wood cells act as microsieves when they draw water into the wood. The bacteria remain on the surface. The bacteria become starved of water and die "of exposure", so to speak. Buy or make a quality thick hard maple or other dense wood cutting board. The top of the board should be cross grained (wood pores showing butcher block style).The edges should be tapered so the cutting board surface will not stand in water. The cutting board should be large, approximately 16 x 16 inches or larger. Why? Counter tops are notorious for harboring bacteria unless they are routinely bleach washed. Meat falling off a small board may become contamiated, and contaminate the rest of the meat if replaced. Immediately wash the board after using it and stand it on end to drain. Then dry it and leave it out to air dry; do not put it away for a couple of hours. Cooking Attitude - Experiment With Thoughts: Elk and other game meat has a sensitive side. I believe each cut type should be allowed to express itself for a particular occasion. I try to mentally conceptualize and visualize what the final product should taste and look like. The eating time, guests, and wine are important parts of a cook's plans. Last, my cooking motto: dream the taste and the company! Lingonberry Elk Salad: Since you are probably not going to find fresh berries, locate canned (jars) of lingonberry preserves in the ethnic aisle of your market or at a Scandinavian food store. Reserve some prime elk fillets or loin for this treat. Hopefully, you will have brought a pocket of juniper berries from your hunt. The meat is marinated, briefly char-grilled and then served in thin strips over a bed of salad, sliced tomatoes and vegetables garnished with goat or feta cheese. Note: the vinaigrette and marinade must be made a day ahead of cooking - allow enough time. The marinade: Grind all the following together to a powder in a spice (coffee) grinder, food mill or mortar: 1 tsp black pepper corns, 1 tbls dried garlic flakes, 1 tbls roasted juniper berries, 1 tsp whole dried rosemary. Add 1 tbls crushed garlic plus 1 tsp thyme (fresh is best) to 2 cups of lingon berries or lingon berrry preserve and and mix into a marinade. Carefully knife-clean all fat and whiting from 2-3 pounds of loin. Dry meat with a paper towel and submerge in the marinade; refrigerate at least 3 hours. Remove loin from marinade and flash-grill just prior to dinner. The loin center must remain very rosy. Remove from grill and let the loin rest and continue cooking on a cool dish. Slice very thinly across meat grain, bing careful not to rub off the crusted marinade . Loosely arrange a bed of mixed greens on a plate with slices of solid tomatoes, greens, cheese slices and cold baby vegetables such as pattipan squash slices, radishes or carrot thins. Splay out elk loin slices on one side of the arrangement. A side dish of toast of sourdough or French bread makes a hit. So does a malbec or pinot noir! Serve with a vinaigrette made of: 2 cups basil leaves, 1 cup olive oil, 1 tsp roasted dry garlic, 1 cup red wine vinegar, 1.5 tsp brown sugar. Blend all together and refrigerate overnight so the basil flavor in fuses into the oil and vinegar. Cedar or Apple Planked Elk Loin Fish are often planked, but big game and birds are equally tasty when wood-smoke aromas combine with spices on the grill. I do not recommend the nail-and-wire-to-a-board toasting method, but the easier "poaching" technique. This brings heat up and smoke up to evenly smoke the meat and prevents excessive searing of the top of the meat. Use a 3/4 to 1/2 inch board clear of major knots (which transmit heat quicker) which is slightly bigger than the cut of meat. Soak the plank several hours (Sink not big enough? Place a soaked towel over the board and intermittently resoak it.) Place a double thickness sheet of aluminum foil over the plank, pat it flat and curl up the edges and corners to make a boat. Rub oilve oil on the meat and coat it with your favorite spices. Place the meat in the "boat" and the plank on the grill at medium heat. The moisture in the board will poach the meat and keep it from drying out. Soon the base of the board will char, begin burning and release smoke. When there is copious smoke and the board is burning well, put the board on the top grill rack on the side without heat. Reduce the heat on the burning side. Continue baking until the meat is cooked to a medium red but not yet pink color. Place the meat (without the board) on a cold "resting" plate for 10 minutes while it completes self-cooking. Douse the board with water in your yard so that you will not set your deck on fire from plank embers. Also, a burning cedar board in the kitchen greatly excites and annoys diners. Stroganoff Simplex ( an atypical stroganoff, since it does not have red peppers or paprika) 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp dried ginger 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 tbls chopped or crushed dried rosemary leaves 1 cup red wine 2 jiggers brandy or 1/2 tsp brandy extract 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt 1 pound of game cut cross grain into 1/4 inch thick slices; then cut into 3/4 inch long pieces. Method: Crush all spices together in a mortar or spice grinder. Rub spices into meat pieces. Toss meat onto a heavily floured paper plate and mix in meat. Heat iron fry pan with oil, toss in meat and turn meat to sear meat and flour. Remove pan and let rest about three minutes. Add wine and brandy, sour cream, and red wine vinegar, and simmer for ten minutes, adding more wine when it evaporates. Serve on noodles or on a slab of sourdough bread. Consider a side dish of buttered baby peas and the remaining wine. Sauerbraten Hans Groth Use major portions of bone-free roasts, chuck cuts or lower grade elk steaks. This recipe requires soaking the meat in spiced wine and vinegar, so tougher meat may be used. Plan to begin three to four days before actually cooking the meat. Since a lot of work and waiting time is involved, we like to make this meat in large batches and freeze "TV warm-up meals" for cold winter evenings. Clean 3-4 pounds of meat of all seinu, whiting, fat and bones. Place the meat in a porcelain, stainless steel or glass container (vinegar corrodes aluminum and iron and imparts metallic flavor). Large glass gallon mayonnaise bottles are ideal; they fit in the refrigerator. Make a marinade of one quart red wine, 1/4 quart cider vinegar, three large yellow onions sliced thin, one tablespoon of pickling spices, and good shots of black pepper and salt. Stir. Mix the marinade into the meat. Add additional wine to cover the meat. Separate and turn the meat twice daily for four days so that the marinade spices and onion get in contact with the meat surfaces. Remove the meat from the marinade, scraping off the spices, Dry it with paper towels. Sprinkle the meat with flour and place in a very hot oiled pan for a short time to seal the meat. Use a fork to remove onion rings, also scraping off the spices. Strain the spices out of the marinade. Place the spices in a square of clean cotton cloth and tie it off with a cotton string. (You will use this spice bag when cooking.) Combine the meat and strained marinade in the cooking pot. Put the spice bag in the pot below the liquid line. Either bake in a covered pot at 375 degrees for three hours, or cook in a pressure cooker per cooker cooking time instructions. ​Remove the spice bag and discard. Temporarily remove the meat from the pot. Crumble two large molasses cookies into the marinade. Add four tablespoons of flour to cold water and stir until completely mixed. Dribble this thickening liquid into the marinade and stir constantly with a wire whisk while heating the pot on the stove top. Now taste and think about the gravy. Add some Worcestershire sauce, more black pepper, sour ream, or wine to temper the gravy to your taste. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes, German spaetzle noodles, or egg noodles. The traditional German companion dish is spicy red cabbage. Then the table should be graced with dark porter or such beer in glass mugs, and candle light (Drink wind before dinner - the meat is too spicy for wine). Historical   family   notes : My father worked his way to the U.S. on a ocean liners during the Depression as a cook's helper. He continued as a cook for many cruises so he could bring his family to this country when he received their immigration papers. A legacy is that since then, men have always been cooks in our families. Even in the computer age, my son loves the challenge of cooking competitions. Another legacy is food history. My father would become quiet when cooking some heirloom recipes. Dad worked hard helping to design the Link Aviation trainer for US fighter pilots. So hard he was arrested one night when he came home near midnight and had to finally plant the drying-out mail order asparagus in the dark. The neighbors (not knowing Dad worked on secret war projects) reported the "German sympathizer" was burying secret documents to be retrieved by spies. Dad spent the night ion jail. Daylight police digging proved the cache to be asparagus seedlings, so asparagus has always on a favorite on our families' menus. Dad later worked on the Norden Laboratories team that developed the famed WW II precision bomb site. The bombs devastated Hamburg, Germany. The above recipe is another dish Dad cooked with extra quiet contemplation, since it was a favorite of his mother's. And because his devotion and work for the US had led to his indirectly killing his parents and many of his relatives in Hamburg. He always said his adopted country was so wonderful, he would do his duty again if required (in spite of the grief and guilt he silently suffered thoughout life). Kohnigsberger Klopse (German caper sauce meatballs) This is a good use of slightly to mildly gamey tasting meat. The caper sauce hides the taste. Of course, you have to like the taste of capers. Once you do, you will relish this cold-weather treat. Prepare the caper sauce with 1/4 cup of melted butter and blend in 1/4 cup of flour. Gradually stir in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of beef stock. Add 1/2 finely diced onion and simmer for half an hour. Add more beef stock as needed. Strain the sauce and add 3 tablespoons of capers, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, and 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Make the small Swedish meatballs from hamburger and sear and cook them in a lightly oiled pan. Add the meatballs to the panned sauce and simmer at least ten minutes. Serve on mashed potatoes or white egg noodles. Baby peas (or carrots cooked in their skins) are a good complement. Wines should be robust. Peter Klaus Dijon Mustard Bourboned Grapes Wash and de-stem one (more or less) pounds of red seedless grapes. Melt three tabs of sweet (salt free) butter in a pan and rotate the pan to distribute the butter. (Substituting oil for butter will not allow the mustard and bourbon to meld flavors.) Have a cut piece of aluminum foil ready to cover the pan. Safely stand back and drop the wet grapes into the pan. Cover immediately with foil because the wet grapes will spatter. Sizzle cook on medium heat until the larger grapes begin to burst. Take pan off heat. Add and stir in one large tablespoon of Dijon mustard (only Dijon). Turn down heat to simmer. Place a spoon under one edge of the pan and push grapes to lower side. Stir in a jigger of bourbon a couple minutes before serving. The more aromatic the bourbon, the better. Our favorite is Hookers House double barreled bourbon aged in Pinot Noir wine barrels. It makes great after dinner toasting to next year’s hunts . A Hunting Chef's Prized Birthday "Schnibblings" We work hard to fill our larder. Something we relish while field dressing animals is the thoughts of our birthdays. That is why we field dress with a large plastic serving spoon bowl. When the back strap is pulled, the spoon is used to scrape off the remaining close-to-the-bone meat. It goes into a Ziploc bag labeled "birthday". This meat is undeniably the best on an animal. Birthday morning we quick-fry (really quick - don't over cook it) it in butter and eat it next to an omelet, or on a bagel with a thin slice of sweet onion. Having noticed many carcasses in the field, I have to wonder why anybody would leave this sweetest of all meat gleanings. But then, I recall ignorant hunters who never even took the back straps and fillets. (Photos: my son gleefully peeling the second elk loin; then he used the cut-off large plastic spoon bowl to scrape of the loved "schnibblings".) Smoked Loin Medallions with Rummed Black Cherry Compote Cut in half and pit a pound of ripe black cherries. Make black cherry flavored Jell-O with fresh cherries as indicated on the box, but use 4 tablespoons less water. Stir in one jigger of dark rum or a small amount of rum extract. Chill in a serving bowl. I recommend this side dish be served with cold smoked loin or fillets cut into medallions. Small whole potatoes 3/4 boiled and then stir fried in butter allow the medallions' flavor to shine. The vegetable should be mild to complement but not dominate the tender meat (summer squash shown). And don't use a harsh wine, but a delicate rose, white zinfindel, or pino gris. Serve unsalted, but with freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Mystery Meat, Mystery Stews Brisk fall weather comes, and meats remaining in the freezer need to be eaten down before the next successful hunt. There are odd meat pieces and bags with rubbed-off labels. Consider a Mystery Stew. Cut away any freezer burn. Use wine for soaking the meat overnight. Then use bold strong spices like Jamaican curry, Caribbean jerk, Mexican red mole, or Indian ginger-laced curry. Don't forget common stews, but make them with boldness. Include Hungarian paprika, apple vinegar and plenty of fresh chopped garlic. Keep the stove hood fan on when cooking and a nearby window opend to prevent odors from filling the house. These stews or curries generally gain flavor when stored in the refrigerator a day. However, use an air-tight cover to prevent the aroamas from flavoring other foods in storage. Serve over a bed of brown rice. Enjoy a stout or brown beer with stews, or an Indian Pale Ale with curries. Surprise Yourself Melded Elk “Exploration” Stew This family stew is served with surprise side condiments which each diner melds into the stew to his own taste as he eats each bite. Chose unusual condiments and place them around a bed of common stew in a large shallow bowl. These can be mixed into the stew singularly, or in various combinations. (Make mental note of what the children best like as mixtures. You can season future stews with their preferred ingredients.) Then each person can adjust stews to family tastes. Let the kids experiment, and for once don't tell them not to play with their food! (Around this barley based stew are: sheep feta cheese, red hot sauce, mild green hot sauce, and black olives.)
Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Elk, Deer, Antelope
© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Comments About Cooking Game: Each time you cook game you are returned to the wild in memories. We enjoy cooking and eating game to extent that cattle ranchers may weep. There is just no more natural meat than self- harvested game! Let's assume you have immediately skinned your game, hung it up in the shade to cool, kept the meat cool and clean when transporting it, and continued to keep the meat cool during cold storage "hang curing". Then it should have been wrapped air tight and kept frozen a 0 F. We further reduce the chances of freezer burning the select cuts by wrapping the meat with bacon. The choice cuts are often kept the longest to be served for company or holidays. Cooking game does present some challenges, testing, education and realizations. Experience is learned like everything else in life. I suggest the hunter him/herself cook the game. This will not only provide self satisfaction, but insights of better field dressing, butchering and meat preservation. Lean game meat can not be crucified on the grill or in the pan. It lacks the BTU consuming fat which absorbs much of the heat and insulates the lean protein from high heat. Lacking insulating internal marbled fat, game cooks much faster and will continue to "cook at rest" after heat is withdrawn. Timing and cooking attention is more important than when cooking beef. Also important is the application of spices and salt. A crusting of spices will largely burn off a slab of beef or lamb. The crusting mix will stay more on game, and may taste too strong. Note that salt is lacking in most of my recipes. I recommend no salt be used when cooking elk and deer. The salt draws moisture from the meat and results in a less tender palate. Salt can be added at the table. Published game recipes often call for beef stock, and for rubs and spices commonly used for beef. These can "overpower" the gentle taste of prime game meat cuts. I recommend chicken broth be used to preserve the game meats subtle aromas an delicate, sweet taste characters. The last paragraph is going to make some hunters laugh. Gentle, subtle, sweet aromas and taste?? Yes, these are present if you have quickly killed, immediately skinned, carefully handled, self-butchered, and properly stored your meat. A running wounded animal, semi-fettid carcass, and crude band saw butchering ain't going to result in ideal game dinners. That is why I so to adamantly stress hunt and post-hunt meat care in my book. Use new wood planks of cedar, apple or mesquite which have not been treated wi th chemicals Cooking Utensils: Bring back the cast iron frying pan and cook pots for game. Their mass provide "heat sinking" for cooking which common thin fry pans can not. (Some better professional cooking pots and pans now have a welded on thick base plate.) If you want to slowly begin cooking/frying, the meat is \put in the pan first and then the heat is turned on. Thin pans will immediately begin cooing the meat outside; when the meat inside is cooked the outside is overcooked. On the other hand, if you want a nicely seared outside with seared spices, the pan can be preheated and the meat then put in the pan . There is enough heat stored in the thick pan to adequately sear the meat. Cast iron pots also better distribute heat so that cooking occurs at the pot sides and not only at the bottom (where burning may occur). If the food tastes so much better at elk camp, part of the success may be from slow cooking in a cast iorn Dutch Oven. ​Pick up some cast iron pots and pans at garage sales. Look for deep sided pans with cast iron lids. If you are lucky, you might fine a old Wagner. Recondition the pan by soaking it several days in a lye solution (in a kid proof safe placed), wash, and emery cloth sand the interior. Then "condition" the pot/pan with cooking oil. Coat it with olive or cooking oil and bake it in an over (vent fan on, boys) at 400 degees for an hour. Wipe off excess oil. Then, never soap wash the pan again. Use water to remove the food scraps. Pap er dry the pan. Then use salt to scour the pan. This will preserve the oil finish. Slow cooking is ideal for game stews, bbq meats, and "pulled" or "stringy" meats like Sloppy Joes. Using iron or aluminum pots with recipes that require a lot of vinegar or tomatoes will result in meat with imparted metallic taste. The longer you cook, the stronger the taste gets. Use porcelain cookers made for simmer cooking. I recommend the old "Savory" goose cooking pans. They have a raised bottom that does not directly contact the stove and so meat does not burn. The domed cover allows condensing steam to run down to the sides of the pan and this prevents edge burning of the meat and juices. Lastly, the pan bottom can be used for festive table "serve your self" dinners. Diners dig out the potatoes, vegetables and meats to their satisfaction. Cutting boards For Safety: I very strongly recommend using a wood cutting board for food poison safety. This will wrangle some readers who think plastic boards are better. I remember an old Concumer Reports test that was followed by some university tests. It turns out the plastic boards become incised with knife cuts. The cuts retain food particles AND WATER.This allows bacteria to multiply and survive long within the cuts between uses. A hard wood cutting board also gets cuts, but the wood cells act as microsieves when they draw water into the wood. The bacteria remain on the surface. The bacteria become starved of water and die "of exposure", so to speak. Buy or make a quality thick hard maple or other dense wood cutting board. The top of the board should be cross grained (wood pores showing butcher block style).The edges should be tapered so the cutting board surface will not stand in water. The cutting board should be large, approximately 16 x 16 inches or larger. Why? Counter tops are notorious for harboring bacteria unless they are routinely bleach washed. Meat falling off a small board may become contamiated, and contaminate the rest of the meat if replaced. Immediately wash the board after using it and stand it on end to drain. Then dry it and leave it out to air dry; do not put it away for a couple of hours. Cooking Attitude - Experiment With Thoughts: Elk and other game meat has a sensitive side. I believe each cut type should be allowed to express itself for a particular occasion. I try to mentally conceptualize and visualize what the final product should taste and look like. The eating time, guests, and wine are important parts of a cook's plans. Last, my cooking motto: dream the taste and the company! Lingonberry Elk Salad: Since you are probably not going to find fresh berries, locate canned (jars) of lingonberry preserves in the ethnic aisle of your market or at a Scandinavian food store. Reserve some prime elk fillets or loin for this treat. Hopefully, you will have brought a pocket of juniper berries from your hunt. The meat is marinated, briefly char-grilled and then served in thin strips over a bed of salad, sliced tomatoes and vegetables garnished with goat or feta cheese. Note: the vinaigrette and marinade must be made a day ahead of cooking - allow enough time. The marinade: Grind all the following together to a powder in a spice (coffee) grinder, food mill or mortar: 1 tsp black pepper corns, 1 tbls dried garlic flakes, 1 tbls roasted juniper berries, 1 tsp whole dried rosemary. Add 1 tbls crushed garlic plus 1 tsp thyme (fresh is best) to 2 cups of lingon berries or lingon berrry preserve and and mix into a marinade. Carefully knife-clean all fat and whiting from 2-3 pounds of loin. Dry meat with a paper towel and submerge in the marinade; refrigerate at least 3 hours. Remove loin from marinade and flash-grill just prior to dinner. The loin center must remain very rosy. Remove from grill and let the loin rest and continue cooking on a cool dish. Slice very thinly across meat grain, bing careful not to rub off the crusted marinade . Loosely arrange a bed of mixed greens on a plate with slices of solid tomatoes, greens, cheese slices and cold baby vegetables such as pattipan squash slices, radishes or carrot thins. Splay out elk loin slices on one side of the arrangement. A side dish of toast of sourdough or French bread makes a hit. So does a malbec or pinot noir! Serve with a vinaigrette made of: 2 cups basil leaves, 1 cup olive oil, 1 tsp roasted dry garlic, 1 cup red wine vinegar, 1.5 tsp brown sugar. Blend all together and refrigerate overnight so the basil flavor in fuses into the oil and vinegar. Cedar or Apple Planked Elk Loin Fish are often planked, but big game and birds are equally tasty when wood-smoke aromas combine with spices on the grill. I do not recommend the nail-and-wire-to-a-board toasting method, but the easier "poaching" technique. This brings heat up and smoke up to evenly smoke the meat and prevents excessive searing of the top of the meat. Use a 3/4 to 1/2 inch board clear of major knots (which transmit heat quicker) which is slightly bigger than the cut of meat. Soak the plank several hours (Sink not big enough? Place a soaked towel over the board and intermittently resoak it.) Place a double thickness sheet of aluminum foil over the plank, pat it flat and curl up the edges and corners to make a boat. Rub oilve oil on the meat and coat it with your favorite spices. Place the meat in the "boat" and the plank on the grill at medium heat. The moisture in the board will poach the meat and keep it from drying out. Soon the base of the board will char, begin burning and release smoke. When there is copious smoke and the board is burning well, put the board on the top grill rack on the side without heat. Reduce the heat on the burning side. Continue baking until the meat is cooked to a medium red but not yet pink color. Place the meat (without the board) on a cold "resting" plate for 10 minutes while it completes self-cooking. Douse the board with water in your yard so that you will not set your deck on fire from plank embers. Also, a burning cedar board in the kitchen greatly excites and annoys diners. Stroganoff Simplex ( an atypical stroganoff, since it does not have red peppers or paprika) 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp dried ginger 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 tbls chopped or crushed dried rosemary leaves 1 cup red wine 2 jiggers brandy or 1/2 tsp brandy extract 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt 1 pound of game cut cross grain into 1/4 inch thick slices; then cut into 3/4 inch long pieces. Method: Crush all spices together in a mortar or spice grinder. Rub spices into meat pieces. Toss meat onto a heavily floured paper plate and mix in meat. Heat iron fry pan with oil, toss in meat and turn meat to sear meat and flour. Remove pan and let rest about three minutes. Add wine and brandy, sour cream, and red wine vinegar, and simmer for ten minutes, adding more wine when it evaporates. Serve on noodles or on a slab of sourdough bread. Consider a side dish of buttered baby peas and the remaining wine. Sauerbraten Hans Groth Use major portions of bone-free roasts, chuck cuts or lower grade elk steaks. This recipe requires soaking the meat in spiced wine and vinegar, so tougher meat may be used. Plan to begin three to four days before actually cooking the meat. Since a lot of work and waiting time is involved, we like to make this meat in large batches and freeze "TV warm-up meals" for cold winter evenings. Clean 3-4 pounds of meat of all seinu, whiting, fat and bones. Place the meat in a porcelain, stainless steel or glass container (vinegar corrodes aluminum and iron and imparts metallic flavor). Large glass gallon mayonnaise bottles are ideal; they fit in the refrigerator. Make a marinade of one quart red wine, 1/4 quart cider vinegar, three large yellow onions sliced thin, one tablespoon of pickling spices, and good shots of black pepper and salt. Stir. Mix the marinade into the meat. Add additional wine to cover the meat. Separate and turn the meat twice daily for four days so that the marinade spices and onion get in contact with the meat surfaces. Remove the meat from the marinade, scraping off the spices, Dry it with paper towels. Sprinkle the meat with flour and place in a very hot oiled pan for a short time to seal the meat. Use a fork to remove onion rings, also scraping off the spices. Strain the spices out of the marinade. Place the spices in a square of clean cotton cloth and tie it off with a cotton string. (You will use this spice bag when cooking.) Combine the meat and strained marinade in the cooking pot. Put the spice bag in the pot below the liquid line. Either bake in a covered pot at 375 degrees for three hours, or cook in a pressure cooker per cooker cooking time instructions. ​Remove the spice bag and discard. Temporarily remove the meat from the pot. Crumble two large molasses cookies into the marinade. Add four tablespoons of flour to cold water and stir until completely mixed. Dribble this thickening liquid into the marinade and stir constantly with a wire whisk while heating the pot on the stove top. Now taste and think about the gravy. Add some Worcestershire sauce, more black pepper, sour ream, or wine to temper the gravy to your taste. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes, German spaetzle noodles, or egg noodles. The traditional German companion dish is spicy red cabbage. Then the table should be graced with dark porter or such beer in glass mugs, and candle light (Drink wind before dinner - the meat is too spicy for wine). Historical   family   notes : My father worked his way to the U.S. on a ocean liners during the Depression as a cook's helper. He continued as a cook for many cruises so he could bring his family to this country when he received their immigration papers. A legacy is that since then, men have always been cooks in our families. Even in the computer age, my son loves the challenge of cooking competitions. Another legacy is food history. My father would become quiet when cooking some heirloom recipes. Dad worked hard helping to design the Link Aviation trainer for US fighter pilots. So hard he was arrested one night when he came home near midnight and had to finally plant the drying-out mail order asparagus in the dark. The neighbors (not knowing Dad worked on secret war projects) reported the "German sympathizer" was burying secret documents to be retrieved by spies. Dad spent the night ion jail. Daylight police digging proved the cache to be asparagus seedlings, so asparagus has always on a favorite on our families' menus. Dad later worked on the Norden Laboratories team that developed the famed WW II precision bomb site. The bombs devastated Hamburg, Germany. The above recipe is another dish Dad cooked with extra quiet contemplation, since it was a favorite of his mother's. And because his devotion and work for the US had led to his indirectly killing his parents and many of his relatives in Hamburg. He always said his adopted country was so wonderful, he would do his duty again if required (in spite of the grief and guilt he silently suffered thoughout life). Kohnigsberger Klopse (German caper sauce meatballs) This is a good use of slightly to mildly gamey tasting meat. The caper sauce hides the taste. Of course, you have to like the taste of capers. Once you do, you will relish this cold-weather treat. Prepare the caper sauce with 1/4 cup of melted butter and blend in 1/4 cup of flour. Gradually stir in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of beef stock. Add 1/2 finely diced onion and simmer for half an hour. Add more beef stock as needed. Strain the sauce and add 3 tablespoons of capers, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, and 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Make the small Swedish meatballs from hamburger and sear and cook them in a lightly oiled pan. Add the meatballs to the panned sauce and simmer at least ten minutes. Serve on mashed potatoes or white egg noodles. Baby peas (or carrots cooked in their skins) are a good complement. Wines should be robust. Peter Klaus Dijon Mustard Bourboned Grapes Wash and de-stem one (more or less) pounds of red seedless grapes. Melt three tabs of sweet (salt free) butter in a pan and rotate the pan to distribute the butter. (Substituting oil for butter will not allow the mustard and bourbon to meld flavors.) Have a cut piece of aluminum foil ready to cover the pan. Safely stand back and drop the wet grapes into the pan. Cover immediately with foil because the wet grapes will spatter. Sizzle cook on medium heat until the larger grapes begin to burst. Take pan off heat. Add and stir in one large tablespoon of Dijon mustard (only Dijon). Turn down heat to simmer. Place a spoon under one edge of the pan and push grapes to lower side. Stir in a jigger of bourbon a couple minutes before serving. The more aromatic the bourbon, the better. Our favorite is Hookers House double barreled bourbon aged in Pinot Noir wine barrels. It makes great after dinner toasting to next year’s hunts . A Hunting Chef's Prized Birthday "Schnibblings" We work hard to fill our larder. Something we relish while field dressing animals is the thoughts of our birthdays. That is why we field dress with a large plastic serving spoon bowl. When the back strap is pulled, the spoon is used to scrape off the remaining close-to-the- bone meat. It goes into a Ziploc bag labeled "birthday". This meat is undeniably the best on an animal. Birthday morning we quick-fry (really quick - don't over cook it) it in butter and eat it next to an omelet, or on a bagel with a thin slice of sweet onion. Having noticed many carcasses in the field, I have to wonder why anybody would leave this sweetest of all meat gleanings. But then, I recall ignorant hunters who never even took the back straps and fillets. (Photos: my son gleefully peeling the second elk loin; then he used the cut-off large plastic spoon bowl to scrape of the loved "schnibblings".) Smoked Loin Medallions with Rummed Black Cherry Compote Cut in half and pit a pound of ripe black cherries. Make black cherry flavored Jell-O with fresh cherries as indicated on the box, but use 4 tablespoons less water. Stir in one jigger of dark rum or a small amount of rum extract. Chill in a serving bowl. I recommend this side dish be served with cold smoked loin or fillets cut into medallions. Small whole potatoes 3/4 boiled and then stir fried in butter allow the medallions' flavor to shine. The vegetable should be mild to complement but not dominate the tender meat (summer squash shown). And don't use a harsh wine, but a delicate rose, white zinfindel, or pino gris. Serve unsalted, but with freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Mystery Meat, Mystery Stews Brisk fall weather comes, and meats remaining in the freezer need to be eaten down before the next successful hunt. There are odd meat pieces and bags with rubbed-off labels. Consider a Mystery Stew. Cut away any freezer burn. Use wine for soaking the meat overnight. Then use bold strong spices like Jamaican curry, Caribbean jerk, Mexican red mole, or Indian ginger-laced curry. Don't forget common stews, but make them with boldness. Include Hungarian paprika, apple vinegar and plenty of fresh chopped garlic. Keep the stove hood fan on when cooking and a nearby window opend to prevent odors from filling the house. These stews or curries generally gain flavor when stored in the refrigerator a day. However, use an air-tight cover to prevent the aroamas from flavoring other foods in storage. Serve over a bed of brown rice. Enjoy a stout or brown beer with stews, or an Indian Pale Ale with curries. Surprise Yourself Melded Elk “Exploration” Stew This family stew is served with surprise side condiments which each diner melds into the stew to his own taste as he eats each bite. Chose unusual condiments and place them around a bed of common stew in a large shallow bowl. These can be mixed into the stew singularly, or in various combinations. (Make mental note of what the children best like as mixtures. You can season future stews with their preferred ingredients.) Then each person can adjust stews to family tastes. Let the kids experiment, and for once don't tell them not to play with their food! (Around this barley based stew are: sheep feta cheese, red hot sauce, mild green hot sauce, and black olives.)
Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Elk, Deer, Antelope
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