This recipe appears in the February 2013 issue of Field & Stream, on newsstands now.
The ultimate Super Bowl indulgence: nachos loaded with bubbling cheddar and shredded venison that’s been slow-cooked with chipotles and spices and then quickly seared—in the style of Mexico’s legendary pork carnitas—for some crispy, hyper-flavored edges. You may forget about the game altogether.
Whether you’re an old hand at throwing Super Bowl parties or hosting your first, it’s always a good idea to turn to the professionals when planning the perfect party menu. To make things easier on you, I’ve rounded up expert opinions on some must-have game day snacks—and added a Wild Chef take on another classic to give you five fine options for this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Meatballs: There are dozens and dozens of variations on the popular meatball, as the guys at New York’s Meatball Shop can attest. Don’t be afraid to rotate deer, elk, or antelope sausage or ground meat into any of these recipes to add your own Wild Chef twist.
When I was in Louisiana a few weeks back hunting with some folks from Ducks Unlimited and learning about the severe loss of marshlands and habitat in region, DU web editor Chris Jennings and I snuck out one afternoon to find some oysters. Unfortunately, we struck out on that hunt when the workers at the oyster house told us they didn’t have any on hand.
Not to be deterred in our efforts to eat local, we picked up some boudin balls from the grocer that had apparently been under the heat lamp for awhile as they were all but inedible (but we ate most of them anyway). That shouldn’t stop you from trying to make your own however, as I’ve since discovered these fried orbs of sausage, liver and rice are incredibly delicious when fresh.
We’ve been on an extended run of reader-submitted Food Fight photos and it continues this week with two fishy pics. So let’s skip the filler and go right to the meat of the matter. Cast your votes for the fish dish you’d most like to tuck into right now.
Tell people that you not only eat bear meat but that you also love it, and most will grimace and postulate second-hand opinions about how bear is not only inedible, but also disease-ridden. Cooking bear, the uninformed will righteously tell you, not only results in a bad meal, but also causes everything from severe nausea to death. Mention that you also render bear fat for cooking, and you can almost see their brain seize up. It’s actually quite entertaining—not unlike telling a redneck that Toby Keith votes Democrat.
I spent last week in Las Vegas, wandering the aisles of the SHOT Show and doing my best not to catch the creeping death that comes with packing 60,000 people—many of whom harbor questionable hygiene habits—into a convention center built to accommodate about half that many people. As of Sunday, I’d somehow escaped the various strains of colds and flus floating around the hall, but I’m still in need of some post-Vegas detox. I just want to rest for a few days eating green vegetables. But, being the omnivore I am, I still need a little meat in my diet, which is why I’ll be cooking up a batch of this simple take on a sausage-based soup. To make things even easier, I think I’ll even cheat and go with a bag of pre-chopped slaw mix from the grocery store.
The middle of winter might not seem like the right season for trout fishing, but don’t tell Wild Chef readers that. Two faithful Food Fight contestants submitted some delightful photos of freshly caught trout, proving to the rest of us that January is the perfect time to get out and do some fishing.
I’ve eaten a lot of great meals in the field—from my dad’s fried-egg sandwiches to breakfast burritos the size of my forearm—but it’s hard to top the prime rib I had marsh-side after a morning of gunning for ducks on the Great Salt Lake back in November. The memorable meal was cooked up by Camp Chef field chef Matt Anderson. Coming in a close second were the chili cheeseburgers Anderson’s co-worker Steve McGrath fired up from the deck of an airboat the day before.
If you want a smoky whiskey, you could just buy a bottle of scotch, right? While that’s true, sometimes life calls for brown liquor with a smoke flavor, but not the aggressive earthiness of a single-malt—particularly if you’re going to be using it to bake cookies. Now you should know me well enough to realize I wouldn’t be making cookies, but my girlfriend T. Rebel was in busy-baking mode just before the holidays and she came to me with a smoked whiskey request for this modified bourbon ball recipe from our friends over at Saveur.
We did a bit of research, scoured our local liquor purveyors and then contacted a friend over in Utah who hooked us up with a bottle of High West Distillery’s Campfire Whiskey. (As a sidenote, the folks at High West are turning out some amazing small-batch libations. I fell in love with the complex spiciness of their Rendezvous Rye this past fall.) The problem, it’s just too darn good to sacrifice even two tablespoons of it for cookies. In fact, the day it came in the mail, addressed to T. Rebel, she let me have one sip then promptly hid the bottle from me. (The girl really likes her Old Fashioneds.)
In 2012, I became somewhat obsessed with ham and sausage-making, and I don’t see this trend slowing down any in the coming year. Part of the reason for my interest in all things cured, smoked, or salted can be traced to a Christmas gift I got from T. Rebel in 2011—the great meat-eater’s bible "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.