While I’m bemoaning the lack of geese like most of the waterfowlers around here, I have to admit, it’s been a pretty good January. From pheasants around the home place to a last-minute opportunity for antlerless whitetails, I’ve hardly missed the early morning wake-up calls and long drives to the goose fields. And, with an Arctic front coming in this week, just maybe I’ll end the month welcoming the late migration. Until then, I’ll keep cooking up whatever it is Mother Nature has to offer.
The weather’s been too nice for just about anything lately, other than follow the black dog on our daily walks. Last Sunday I decided to take the shotgun along, more out of boredom than the hope of actually getting within range of any wild, late-season pheasants. When a flock of at least 10 birds–all roosters–piled out of the field’s corner, I emptied the gun without pulling a feather. Luckily, two latecomers let me reload before flushing at my feet. And for their tardiness, they went into a roasting pan with a bit stock and apple cider vinegar. After a few hours, the carcasses were picked clean for some barbecue sliders like this one, topped with a homemade jalapeno pickle.
Usually, all my unfilled big-game licenses get burned in a New Year’s bonfire, but this year I held onto a couple antlerless whitetail tags in hopes of getting out at least once during Nebraska’s late rifle season. And so last Friday, I added a couple does to the meat pole.
Of course, the tenderloins were the first to get eaten, stuffed and bacon-wrapped. What you don’t see in the photo is the berry-brandy pan sauce, much of which ended up on my fingers and chin as I ate one of the loins while standing over the cutting board.
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