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  • September 30, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Pumpkin vs. Pumpkin

    By David Draper and Colin Kearns

    October starts tomorrow and that means pumpkins are going to start showing up everywhere from the local market to your neighbor’s front step—if they haven’t already. But there’s more to pumpkins than just jack o’lanterns and pie on Thanksgiving. They’re also great as an ingredient in any number of savory autumn dishes, including these two picked from the pages of Field & Stream.

    Venison Backstrap with Pumpkin and Prunes

    Vs.

    Venison Pumpkin Curry

  • September 27, 2011

    Step-by-Step: Making Bacon-Infused Bourbon

    By Colin Kearns

    I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and it’s been a month since I spent a weekend at home. So this past weekend, with nowhere to go, I took it easy. I slept in. I watched football. And I had fun in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. I cooked a venison curry that I’ve never tried before (more on that to come later this week), and I also infused a bottle of bourbon—with bacon fat.

  • September 26, 2011

    Recipe: Chile Colorado Pheasant Enchiladas

    By David Draper

    A family friend recently passed along a big bag of Pure Red Chile Powder from Hatch Chile Express and I’ve been finding all sorts of ways to use the wonderful stuff. My favorite so far is to make a Chile Colorado sauce and simmer some venison chunks in it, but last week I did the same with some pheasant breasts with the intention of making enchiladas. Let me tell you, it was so good it didn’t even make it into the tortillas.

  • September 23, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Breakfast vs. Dinner

    By David Draper

    A few Fridays ago, I had some friends out for an end-of-summer bonfire. We threw some antelope and caribou steaks on the grill, along with a batch of potatoes and some summer squash and mushroom kebabs. What didn’t get eaten that night went into a killer batch of hash the next morning. Topped with a fried egg and washed down with a Miller High Life Brass Monkey style (a.k.a. beer and orange juice).

    Antelope & Caribou Hash with Eggs Breakfast

    Vs.

    Bacon-Wrappen Venison Medallion Dinner

  • September 21, 2011

    Eat Yourself Happy

    By David Draper

    Another piece of news from that venerable British newspaper The Guardian. This one is about how eating might affect your mood. "Foods to be avoided: beefe, venison, hare, heavy wines, cabbage, fresh-water fish." With these words the 17th-century Oxford don Robert Burton outlined – in The Anatomy of Melancholy – his recipe for avoiding depression and achieving mental wellbeing. What you ate determined your happiness and soundness.

    Hare was to be shunned with particular vigour, he argued. It is "hard of digestion, breedes incubus… and causeth feerful Dreames. So doth all Venison". The article is particularly timely because I was recently out for breakfast with my girlfriend, who was having trouble deciding what to order. She really wanted the chicken-fried steak and eggs, but was afraid it wouldn’t live up to her high expectations and thus ruin her entire day.* As crazy as this sounds, it’s true. Food has that kind of effect on her, which is both endearing and, at times, maddening.

    It’s not that eating doesn’t affect my mood. It does, but not to that extent, and certainly venison or hare does not “breed incubus” or “causeth fearful Dreames”. Instead, eating wild game always makes me happy, unless it’s the last antelope backstrap in the freezer, at which time it does induce a bit of melancholy.

  • September 20, 2011

    Top 5 Ways To Cook Antelope

    By David Draper

    Apparently, it has been a good year for pronghorn hunters, at least if my e-mail inbox is any indication. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a fair share of messages pop-up from friends and acquaintances all asking a version of the same question: “I just shot an antelope. Now what do I do with it?”

    The simple, smart-aleck answer is “Eat it,” but I expect they’re looking for something a little more detailed. Truth is, I don’t treat my prairie goat different from any other type of venison, so if you have a favorite recipe for deer or elk, chances are it will be just as good, if not better, with pronghorn. Still, I do have a few ways I like to eat my antelope and here are the Top 5.

    1. Smoky Grilled Backstraps – Quick, simple and so delicious. Cut a whole backstrap crosswise in thirds, dust with salt and pepper and grill over a two-stage fire. Sear them quick, move them to the cool side of the grill and add some hickory and apple wood chunks to the coals. You can thank me later.

  • September 16, 2011

    Food Fight Friday: Is Deeter a “Shore” Thing Again?

    By Colin Kearns

    Not to take away from Draper’s delicious-looking caribou loin, but I never thought he had a prayer against Kirk Deeter’s even-better-looking shore lunch. (Why do you think I let Draper take that fight?) Of course, I don’t like my chances much better this week—with Deeter now in the champion’s corner.

    Here goes nothing…

    Lake Trout Cooked Over Birch Fire

    Vs.

    Sausage Over Rice and Beans

  • September 14, 2011

    A New Recipe to Try on Doves

    By David Draper

    In a post back at the beginning of the month, I asked readers for some suggestions on new ways to prepare doves, other than the ol’ jalapeno and bacon trick. While some of you obviously didn’t read the instructions, a few of you did offer some great ideas. Originally, I was sold on DANO’s suggestion of using dove breasts in a traditional posole – a Mexican (or Columbian) stew made with pork or chicken, chiles and hominy, among other ingredients. Sold, that is, until 2bigabear came completely out of nowhere with a recipe so crazy, yet so simple, I knew I was going to have to try it.

  • September 13, 2011

    Venison Demand on Rise in UK, May Result in More Deer Farms

    By David Draper

    Unlike the U.S., where wild game cannot be sold, across the Pond much of the venison that ends up in the market or on restaurant menus comes from animals taken by hunters, or “stalkers” as they like to be called. According to The Guardian newspaper, diners in Scotland are demanding more deer, so much so the Scottish Venison Partnership is lobbying for an increase in deer farming to make up the surplus that stalkers can’t meet.

    From The Guardian:
    Sales of wild venison, prized for being low in fat, for having a low impact on the environment and for being sustainable, increased by a third from £32m in 2006 to £43m in 2009. In part it is a victim of its own success: marketing campaigns, mentions by TV chefs and greater uptake by high-street retailers have lead to a surge in popularity.

    But the proposal would lead to a huge increase in deer farming, which is currently very small scale, and potentially damage the appeal of venison as a wild, natural product. Of the 3,500 tonnes of Scottish venison sold each year, only 50 tonnes comes from farmed deer, with each farm producing only an average of 2.5 tonnes a year—the meat from about 65 animals.

  • September 12, 2011

    Food Fight: Fried Northern Pike vs. Grilled Caribou Loin

    By David Draper

    by David Draper

    You guys overwhelmingly handed me the win last week, giving me a strong 77% of the vote over Colin’s pickled halibut. Personally, I think he kind of got shafted as I thought the fish and Ritz cracker mixture sounded delicious. But then, I’m a sucker for about anything pickled. Still, thanks for giving the goose jerky the nod.

    Fried Northern Pike w/ Potatoes, Onions and Baked Beans

    Vs.

    Grilled Caribou Loin w/ Scalloped Potatoes and Spicy Beans

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