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  • December 1, 2009

    The Tribute: Behold, The Backstrap

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Thoughts on eating venison from Editor-at-Large T. Edward Nickens.

    Sure, the tenderloins are a more immediate delicacy, but they are a fleeting pleasure, really, small and flirtatious and destined to leave you wanting more. It is the longissimus dorsi muscle—the vaunted backstrap—that aids the deer in its soaring bounds, its ­nitrogen-​powered, zero-to-see-ya-later speeds, and its incomparable edibility.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Plea: Remember the Liver

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Thoughts on eating venison from Editor Anthony Licata.

    When my dad was teaching me to hunt deer, he’d run through a checklist before we left the house. License? Got it. Cartridges? Yep. Deer drag? Uh-huh. Empty plastic bread bag? Of course. How else was I to carry home that once-a-year treat: fresh venison liver?

    I still pack a bag for liver, but I seem to be the exception judging from the strange looks I get from my hunting companions as I reach into the entrails of their field-dressed deer to pluck that glorious purple slab out of the pile.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Manifesto: Eat What You Kill

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Thoughts on eating venison from F&S contributor Steven Rinella.

    Why should you eat the deer that you kill? For a moment, let’s dismiss the obvious reasons. Forget the nutritional value of venison, which has higher protein levels and less fat than domesticated, grain-­fattened beef and pork. Set aside the flavor, which is more substantial and interesting than anything you’ll find at the grocery. Never mind the economic benefits of a pursuit that can reward a day’s work with enough meat to feed you for a year. And toss aside how properly stored venison allows you to relive the memories from a great season around your family’s dinner table.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Ritual: After Death, Before Venison

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Thoughts on eating venison from author and F&S contributor Rick Bass.

    It’s not my place at all to suggest a right way or a wrong way. My own view is that if a post-kill ritual comes naturally, fine. But if it doesn’t, it’s as disrespectful to fake as it is to not even consider one in the first place. I don’t much like hearing other hunters whoop and shout and high-five following the occasions when they are fortunate enough to find an animal—I don’t care for that at all. But I usually hunt far enough into the backcountry that that curious aversion of mine generally takes care of ­itself—self-selected against such intrusion by distance and terrain.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Obligation: Feed Deer to Your Kids

    By T. Edward Nickens

    Thoughts on eating venison from Editor-at-Large T. Edward Nickens.

    For a long time—­almost too long—I made the mistake of treating venison as something special. Backstraps were saved for company. Roasts were relegated to holidays. All that changed when the kids came along.

  • December 1, 2009

    A Quick Guide to Refrigerating and Freezing Fresh Venison

    By Hank Shaw

    A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

    Your trophy is now heaped on the countertop in small mountains of meat. Here is how to keep the meat fresh-as-the-day-it-was-butchered if you plan to eat it in…

    One Week: There’s no need to freeze it for such a short time period. Keep the meat well wrapped, and in the coldest part of the refrigerator, far away from the door.

  • December 1, 2009

    A Better Burger: Five Tips for Making Ground Venison Patties

    By Hank Shaw

    A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

    1. Remember those Brontosaurus burgers your mom made when you were a kid? Charred on the outside, raw inside? Don’t let your venison burgers get thicker than an inch, or you’ll suffer that same fate.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Best Meat for Venison Jerky (and How to Slice It)

    By Hank Shaw

    A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

    Nearly every part of the deer can be made into jerky, but the best cuts are the eye round and rump roast from the hind legs. Any large roast from the hind leg will do. Why? Big cuts mean larger pieces of jerky, and these roasts have most of their muscle fibers running in the same direction. This is important.

  • December 1, 2009

    The Perfect Way to Pan-Fry Venison Tenderloin Medallions

    By Hank Shaw

    A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

    A venison medallion is a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch slice of backstrap cut before or after cooking. Panfrying one perfectly every time takes practice. Here’s how to get that delicious crust and medium-rare center:

  • December 1, 2009

    Cooking with Bones: Five Tips for Making Venison Stock for Soups or Rice

    By Hank Shaw

    A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

    Save those bones! Venison makes excellent stock. More important, you’ll use more of the animal, and you’ll elevate your cooking when you prepare rice or soup with homemade stock. Follow these tips for great stock:

    1. Use leg bones, as they often have stray bits of meat on them. Adding meat makes a richer stock. Even better, toss in a venison shank.

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