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  • March 17, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: 7 Secrets to the Best Corned Beef Hash Ever

    By David Draper

    It’s hard to say which I like better: a big meal of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, or that day-after cure of corned beef hash and eggs. Both are among my favorite meals of the year, but only the latter has the ability to put a high point on what is normally a rough morning. But there’s more to corned beef hash than mixing together meat and potatoes and frying it in a hot skillet. Here are seven of my hard-won secrets to creating the best corned beef hash you’ve ever tasted.

    You can also make a great St. Patrick’s Day (or anytime of year) meal by substituting venison roast or even goose breasts for beef brisket when making corned beef. You can find my recipe for corned goose here.

  • March 14, 2014

    Smoking Snow Geese with Wild Sky Seasonings

    By David Draper

    I’ve been on a few snow goose hunts over the last couple of weeks and invariably, when I bring this up in casual conversation, someone asks, “What in the hell do you do with all those things?” First off, as an aspiring snow goose hunter, you have to manage your expectations. Sure, there are occasions when you can kill 100 or even 200 geese, but more often not, a day of hunting yields numbers well south of the century mark. Still, even 30 or 40 snows are a lot to deal with. The meat can be a bit challenging to work with, especially when the average age of a snow is 10 years, with birds upwards of 20 years old not uncommon.

  • March 12, 2014

    5 Ways to Use Venison Minute Steaks

    By David Draper

    The other day I pulled this package of meat from our freezer—a steak that had been given to us by my girlfriend T. Rebel’s dad from the cow elk he shot last fall. The label instantly transported me back more than 30 years. I hadn’t heard the phrase “minute steak” since my childhood, when it meant a round steak smothered in canned tomatoes, onions, and green peppers served over rice, best known in the Draper household as Swiss steak. I don’t know why the Swiss get blamed for this classic concoction of busy mothers everywhere, but I’m betting it’s a dish familiar to any American who grew up anytime between 1950 and 1990.

  • March 11, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: Rabbit Sott'olio

    By Jonathan Miles


    Photo by Johnny Miller

    Craig Wallen, the chef at New York City’s ’Cesca restaurant, does an amazing thing with rabbit: Employing an old Italian method of preserving meats and vegetables called sott’olio, he submerges rabbits in oil and slow-cooks them until the meat is tender and rich. Then he dresses the warm meat in a salad for a perfect counterbalance. The only difficult part of this recipe is pouring that much oil into a pot—but it’s worth it. Be sure to fish the garlic out of the oil for later: Spread the cloves on toasted bread for a killer snack.

  • March 10, 2014

    What's the Strangest Thing You've Ever Eaten?

    By David Draper

    A few weeks ago I was up in Milwaukee, speaking about food at the 2014 Pheasant Fest. I ate plenty of good food while I was there, and had a couple beers of course, but by far and away the best meal I had was at Hinterland. I can’t recommend it enough. Along with Hank Shaw and several friends from Pheasants Forever, we were lucky enough to secure the chef’s table, and gave ourselves to the whims of Chef Dan Van Rite and the rest of his staff.

    After an initial appetizer of roasted Brussels sprouts, I don’t think we saw another vegetable for about eight, or maybe nine, courses. Instead, we got salami, beef heart tartare, oysters, elk loin and I don’t even remember what else. It was all amazing and by the end I was in physical pain from the food, drink, and laughter we enjoyed over several hours.

    One thing I did not get while I was there, but was featured on the menu, was the Pan Seared Duck Testes.

  • March 7, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: The Last Supper

    By David Draper

    When Field & Stream Deputy Editor Colin Kearns suggested a weekly post pitting food photo against food photo, I never thought it would make a successful three-year run, but that’s just what happened. Each week since April 1, 2011, a few Field & Stream staff members—and lots of loyal Wild Chef readers—have raised their hands when I asked the question:

    “Who wants to fight?”

    We had many epic battles among Wild Chef readers. MaxPower, SMC1986, Levi Banks, KoldKut, and Neil Selbicky, among others, regularly showed their chops in the kitchen or on the grill, and continually inspired me with new ideas about cooking wild game. Along the way we learned there were few keys to victory, what I called the Three B’s: backstrap, bacon and beer. If a picture featured one of those three things, it was likely to win. If it happened to have all three, the photo was a lock.

  • March 5, 2014

    Arkansas Couple Arrested for Selling Illegal Venison Tamales

    By David Draper

    As much as I love using deer meat in Tex-Mex food, I grasp the many reasons why you shouldn’t be able to buy a deer taco from a roadside stand. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for an Arkansas couple, who were recently arrested for selling venison from the side of Arkansas Highway 16. Officers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission cited Fred Thomas Atkins III and his wife Betty Louise Williams for numerous violations, including buying and selling wildlife products. The White County couple was allegedly using the venison, as well as other wild game meat, in their tamales, according to an AGFC press release.

  • March 3, 2014

    4 Foods and 1 Drink for Fat Tuesday

    By David Draper

    For the more pious among us, Wednesday marks the start of Lent and its accompanying fast, or at the very least, giving up a bad habit or two until Easter Sunday (or Holy Thursday, depending on your denomination of choice). Now, the only thing I usually give up for Lent is giving up things for Lent, but that won’t stop me from celebrating Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, with some classic, Louisiana-inspired recipes such as these.

  • February 28, 2014

    How to Make Fleischkuekle (a.k.a. Meat Pie!)

    By David Draper

    I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m pretty much obsessed with meat pies of all types. Maybe it’s the influence of all those cabbage burgers I ate as a kid, or the omnipresent Runza restaurants in Lincoln, Neb., where I went to college. Whatever the reason, whenever I stumble upon another iteration of the ground-meat-in-dough phenomenon, I get excited to try it. My current obsession is fleischkuekle, a type of meat pie in a flaky, pastry-type dough that is fried rather than baked. It has its roots in the Germans from Russia who helped populate the Great Plains in the late 19th century. Coincidentally, I lived near the Germans from Russia Museum in Lincoln, yet somehow never had a fried meat pie until recently.

  • February 26, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: How to Make Bearchetta

    By David Draper

    By way of this serendipitous life I lead, I found myself with both a black bear loin and a couple pieces of wild pork belly in my freezer at the same time. As I was trying to come up with some type of idea for how to cook each of them separately I had a revelation – why not cook them together, in the style of porchetta, a classic Italian preparation for pork belly and pork loin. In coming up with a name for this bear and pig combo I wanted to go with boarchetta, but it didn’t quite work since both the bear and wild pig were of the female persuasion.

    There are two keys to pulling off this recipe. One, make sure the pork belly is dry before roasting to get a good, crisp skin. It also wouldn’t hurt to pound it a bit to tenderize it. The second is to monitor the internal temperature closely.

    Roasting times will vary greatly depending on how big the bear loin is, so keep a close eye on things to make sure the roast doesn’t get too dry.