Although both of these dishes were cooked within the last week or so, stylistically they’re of two very different seasons. The first, a hearty braise of venison shanks, reminds me of winter, when roasting meats is the affair of long days trapped inside. In the second, that icon of April–the wild turkey–is prepared simply and quickly. Served with asparagus and mushrooms, it’s just the thing to get you in the mood for spring.

Braised Venison Shanks


You’re probably tired of hearing this, but I’ll say it again anyway: Venison shanks are the best cut a deer or elk has to offer. Braised long enough, the meat falls off the bone, offering a rich and tasty alternative to plain old pot roast. These were served with a Dijon mustard pan sauce and garlicky cannellini beans and tomatoes. The only thing missing was a big chunk of crusty bread with which to clean my plate.
Spring Pasta With Turkey and Mushrooms**


For the traveling turkey hunter, spring is a sleep-deprived blur. I got home from my most recent trip to find a fridge that was virtually empty, save for a bunch of asparagus and some mushrooms, both of which were nearing the end of their lifespan. Luckily, I also had some fresh turkey breasts in tow, from which I peeled the tenders, diced them and served up in a quick and simple pasta before hitting the sack for some much needed sleep.

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