Whitetail Hunting photo

I apologize for the delay in announcing a winner of last month’s Best Marinade Recipe contest, but I have a pretty good excuse: It’s hunting season, dang it! That said, I figure now is a good time to pass along some great marinade suggestions as most of us probably have meat hanging from the pole, or butchered and in the freezer just waiting to get thrown on the grill.

I was happy to see several readers agreed with me that marinades are too often used to cover the flavors of the venison we work so hard to get from the field to the table. There were, however, a few great suggestions for enhancing that taste. Long-time Wild Chef reader smccardell knows I’m sucker for anything Tex-Mex and passed along a great fajita marinade, and kaanimal also had a border-inspired recipe. I’d suggest checking both of them out.

As for the winner, I had a tough time picking, so much so that I chose two winners. The first-place prize goes to Grnmtnboy because his marinade calls for an enzyme—pineapple juice—which actually tenderizes the meat, as opposed to most acid-based marinades, which are not that effective in making tough cuts tender. His recipe is as follows:

Grbmtnboy’s Pineapple-Soy Marinade

6 oz. pineapple juice
3 oz. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Accent (MSG)
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix thoroughly, and marinate overnight.

The second winner is Amflyer. His marinade calls for both scotch and beer, and I couldn’t pass this perfect marinade recipe up. I’ve reprinted here verbatim as I wouldn’t want anyone to miss any crucial steps for marinating both the meat and yourself:

Amfly’s Inebriated Marinade

3 oz. Laphroaig Scotch whisky (NOT “whiskey,” dammit)
Three glugs of a decent olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
16 oz. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Slowly combine your throat and the Scotch, being careful to not do so too quickly. You’re tired from hunting all day, and don’t want to overdo it.

Put the venison chops in a bag with the olive oil and pepper. Hold on to the salt, cowboy. It goes on after you cook the venison.

Cook the venison. On a fire. To medium rare. Put it on a plate.

Put some salt on the venison. (Your thyroid thanks you.)

Eat the venison, alternating with sips of the Pale Ale.

Repeat, being careful of the fire. (Your half-full and a little tipsy now, cowboy)

Thanks to everyone who shared a recipe. Grnmtnboy and Amflyer, please e-mail your contact info to fswildchef@gmail.com and I’ll get a prize package including some great gifts from Cabela’s, Camp Chef and Hi-Mountain sent your way.