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Hunting Season 2004


DCMark
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I hope we can use this post to share our hunting successes and favorite recipes for the 2004 season. Personally, I have not hunted regularly since I moved from Virginia to Washington, DC. I hope to change that this year with several trips planned to hunt ducks (and perhaps deer) at the Assawoman Bay hunting area near Ocean View, DL.

I will start this off with some venison I prepared this Saturday night. The venison was shot last year. I believe the cut is called a chuck roast:

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I combined a few recipes with mixed success. First, I browned the roast for about 3-4 minutes in a Creuset pot.

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Then into the oven for 25 minutes, which was 5 minutes too long (always trust the thermometer).

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I then added two types of mushrooms: fresh cauliflower mushrooms from Whole Foods, and dried Trompette de Mort from St. Suplice (in Isère , near Voiron) in France (from my mother-in-law).

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Into the pot with the drippings of the venison:

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Here is where I need some direction. I then added some beef stock (could not find venison stock), red wine and a bit of tomato paste. I cooked this together for about 10 minutes. While good, the sauce really did not impress me. Any ideas on what to have done differently at this point welcomed.

The final product, excuse the presentation:

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Served with some braised endives and a bottle of Chateau Loudenne 2000. I picked up 4 bottles of this Friday and wanted to try a bottle before storing the others for five+ years.

Please add your harvest.

Edited by DCMark (log)
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Title Repaired

This is a good idea. Although so far this year the only thing that I have done is a couple of days of dove hunting, teal are right around the corner and then come ducks. I can't wait.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Ah, DCMark, you have hit a cord. The first day of fall has fallen, and this families fancy will soon turn to fall stuff. We will return to The Cabin in less than two weeks. I will don my Elmer Fudd jacket (red and black plaid, with a bird pouch in the back) and shot gun, and Paul and I will walk the road, searching for grouse. Given what we've seen this year, we will probably not get any grouse, but part of this is about walking the road, leaves down, being able to see through the woods.

We will not duck hunt, locally. They seem to be flying a more western (Dakotas) flyway these days.

But, Paul will go deer hunting, and hopefully once again, fill the freezer.

Last year, he got a nice one. It had been a good year, food wise, for the deer, and he knows how to field dress, so the meat was wonderful.

My problem with the whole thing was where the deer was processed. He ended up striking a deal with his dad where Paul would have a mess of summer sausage (quite good) and steaks and stuff. His dad has the whole thing processed into smoked brats and dogs. The processor was not great on the brats and dogs (not enough fat). I ended up on our deer with a mess of steaks and chops, but no smokable cuts, no big cuts.

So, when Paul returns home that first week in November, with another dead deer in the back of a truck, I will rely on you folks to tell me how to take better charge of this beast.

Peter (age 7 at the time) wondered why we didn't get the tongue and wondered what one would do with a dead deer tongue.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Wow Snowangel, my hunting heritage comes from Minnesota. My mom was born in Winona and her brothers and father hunted to put meat on the table. It was in my blood and despite being an east coast city boy I decided to learn to hunt in my 20s. I have hunted ducks near Alma, Wisconsin, pheasants in Mn and SD, and geese in western MN.

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I am of a certain generation of Canadians to whom hunting is second nature. Although I have done my share of hunting, and killing, of four legged game, I don't do so now and concentrate on wingshooting gamebirds and waterfowl over dogs. My friends, family and I eat our share of duck, woodcock, grouse and geese, but are always interested in hearing about other peoples' recipes, as there may be some that we haven't tried yet.

So, post away...please. :biggrin:

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re the sauce.

i think this should apply for almost any kind of sauce. the dark remanants you have on your pan after you brown your meat is the flavour. all the good flavour is right there. add sliced onions or mirepoix first. sweat. this will cook in that wonderful flavour remains. wine is for deglazing. add the wine and scrape the pan clean. cook until most of wine evaporates or at least until you know the alcohol has been burned away. throw in a bouquet garni. now add the stock. a good dark stock or game stock should do. mushrooms is mostly water. they are usually added towards the end. reduce. strain. thicken with beurre manie, if you wish.

now. having said all that i said above, i have to add that its only the technique. we havent been taught how to cook game, but straight from my theory bank, i can tell you that the sauce isnt 'hearty' enough for game. for game, you want full bodied, 'bold' flavours. you want spices and strong flavours. mushrooms are delicate. they are wonderful, but do they complement game meats? personally, i dont think its a good match. i'd suggest madeira, juniper, red currant jelly even! or cider. you get the idea. use aromatic herbs like rosemary that has a distinct character. now..garlic! that has character.

here is a recipe from my just-purchased game book...

brown meat(this one says shoulder of venison) in butter infused with cardamom and cinnamon. seal it in several layers of tightly wraped foil with Madeira, cherry juice, stock and butter. roast it at high temperature.

here is a simpler italian recipe

fry 2 cloves of garlic and a sprig of rosemary in oil. remove garlic and rosemary when the oil is infused enough. brown the meat(this recipe if for venison steak, about a pound). seal the meat on all sides well. moisten with 1/3 cup or 100ml of dry white wine. wait till the wine evaporates. add 2 large tomatoes(peeled and deseeded) cook gently for 20 minutes or until tender. season. serve.

this fascinating book has recipes for kenyan gazelle with manoes and cashewnuts, middleeastern kibbeh with gazelle. i suppose gazelle can be substituted for venison. there is a swedish recipe for elk..also suitable for venison. a couple of stews, shashlik, polish marinated elk(or venison) with pepper sauce. its called gourmet game by phillipa scott.

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Lalitha:

Thank you so much for answer my question about the sauce. You explained a bit what I did wrong. I added the stock and wine at the same time and the mushrooms too early.

Your theory on the sauce is probably a good one. However, sometimes people go too heavy on game sauces which masks the taste of the meat. Perhaps they are trying to overwhelm the gaminess of the meat, but that is what I am eating it for.

Edited due a strange case of the missing "o"s.

Edited by DCMark (log)
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Lalitha:

Thank you so much for answer my question about the sauce.  You explained a bit what I did wrong.  I added the stock and wine at the same time and the mushrooms to early.

Your theory on the sauce is probably a good one.  However, sometimes people go to heavy on game sauces which masks the taste of the meat.  Perhaps they are trying to overwhelm the gaminess of the meat, but that is what I am eating it for.

Ahh...the timing! Just 12 hours ago, suspicions crept into my mind about the overestimated merits of sauces. But no matter what the theories say, you should eat as your tastebuds guide you. I am in a perilous stage wherein the urge to rebel against classical french techniques is strong.

for the first time in my life, i witnessed honest cooking. not being dramatic, but i am simply blown away and questioning all the 'rigourous training' that i have attempted to upload these past several months.

follow your taste buds. they wont mislead.

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  • 1 month later...

Any hunting progress out there? The first bear hunt in Maryland started and ended yesterday with 20+ bears being taken, despite many months of protest from the anti-hunting crowd.

I am going duck hunting in Delaware this weekend. The very first of the migratory birds are coming in.

Edited by DCMark (log)
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Any hunting progress out there?  The first bear hunt in Maryland started and ended yesterday with 20+ bears being taken, despute many months of protest from the anti-hunting crowd.

Muzzleloader season for deer has started in PA, but I don't know if my supplier (aka Mom's boyfriend) has gotten any yet. Since I'm the only one in the kids who'll eat and cook venison, I'll doubtless be getting lots. Once he gets one...

Personally, I'm hoping he manges to bag some turkeys again. Those were really good.

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Any hunting progress out there?  The first bear hunt in Maryland started and ended yesterday with 20+ bears being taken, despite many months of protest from the anti-hunting crowd.

I am going duck hunting in Delaware this weekend.  The very first of the migratory birds are coming in.

If I'd been a little quicker yesterday I could have gotten a grouse with my pickup. :laugh: Little guy was in the middle of the road, and we saw each other about the same time. I slowed and was rewarded with that funny run they do: head down so the entire body, head to tail, is a horizontal point, then a quick squirt across the road and down the hill. That's the first grouse I've seen here in a while; the population seems to be at low ebb. I recently heard that in northern Minnesota the grouse population falls in response to the dreaded forest tent caterpillar boom. The caterpillars denude the trees, the grouse can't get cover, the hawks have a field day/year.

I don't know how much time I'll have for deer hunting this year, but I have a favorite marinade recipe for venison. It started out as my mother's venison kebab marinade and has morphed into my chicken, lamb or venison marinade - not just for kebab pieces, but also for whole steaks. I'll share if anyone's interested.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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That's the first grouse I've seen here in a while; the population seems to be at low ebb.  I recently heard that in northern Minnesota the grouse population falls in response to the dreaded forest tent caterpillar boom.  The caterpillars denude the trees, the grouse can't get cover, the hawks have a field day/year.

You could just be right. I've heard the 7-year or 11-year cycle (can't remember which), but when I think about our summers at the cabin, those caterpillar things seem to be on cycles, too. And, come to think of it, grouse hunting is best a year or two after the caterpillars have decided to take a rest.

We got no grouse at the cabin. We went to a farm in Southern MN a week and a half ago for pheasants, but it was an awful day for hunting birds. Cold, nasty, wind. The dog only scared up one hen. We were probably too early.

Paul deer hunts the first weekend in November. May go back the following weekend. The deer population is high right now in the vicinity of our cabin. The same huge buck that we spotted last summer was spotted this past summer, but I think he looks too big and too old to be much good.

I should add that on our way home from the cabin the first weekend of October, we passed a truck pulling a trailer (the kind that can hold 4 ATV's or snowmobiles). More than half the thing was taken up with a gigantic moose. Pretty impressive, since they are so hard to track. I also know that a person can only get one moose hunting license in a lifetime, and the fee is $310. And, it's lottery, because hardly any permits are given our. I don't know how good moose is to eat, but I bet that rack was destined for a place of honor on a wall.

Diana is taking gun safety in anticipation of hunting next year.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Teal is a great eating little duck. I usualy do something simple like take the breasts and blacken them mid rare. Once I served them simply seared, deglazed with worchesteshire, sliced and served on a cracker with jalepeno jelly.

One good improv on pheasant breast I made was this. I pan seared the breasts, deglazed with a little brandy, added a little demi (not a true demi but a reduced veal stock tightened up a little with cornstarch) , I finished the sauce with a homemade crabapple jelly and a swirl of butter. Kick ass.

I have also made pheasant cacciatore(sp) using the whole bird parted out.

As for dove...one of the truly great original American dishes is the old jalapeno insert and bacon wrap grill. One of the most common traditional things you see non-gourmands do is to chop up game and put it in a crock pot with cream of mushroom soup. ouch.

I happened to see Emeril the other night make a duck pastrami. Looked good.

Snowgoose is good in a braise or stew. I might make an improv on snowgoose borgononnonnne(sp) this year.

Sometimes the ducks realy need a strong flavor element, sometimes not. Those little teal breast are like little beef filet tournedos....so tender, lean and mild....really just need a good browning and salt and pepper.

I happen to think mushrooms can make a good pairing with game. Think about this. Duckbrest stuffed with crimini duxells with port glaze and wild rice. The earthyness of a funguss would be fine. Maybe mushrooms in brown butter over a seared cut of game? I'm just not a big fan of making game tast like a gin martini with juniper and mint. Same with lamb. Sometimes I get a super strong duck and it gets fed to the dog.

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...

I happen to think mushrooms can make a good pairing with game.  Think about this.  Duckbrest stuffed with crimini duxells with port glaze and wild rice.  The earthyness of a funguss would be fine.  Maybe mushrooms in brown butter over a seared cut of game?  I'm just not a big fan of making game tast like a gin martini with juniper and mint.  Same with lamb.  Sometimes I get a super strong duck and it gets fed to the dog.

I prefer the savory treatment too, and like mushrooms with game. (Unlike some former hunting partners, however, I draw the line at cooking a venison roast in canned cream of mushroom soup. :angry: ) As for the juniper berries, I'm with you. That just doesn't taste right to me, although I'm very fond of gin and tonic. One of my near-disastrous cooking experiments involved cooking a lamb roast with juniper berries and something else - it was a recipe from one of the Silver Palate books, and I wanted to see what it was like. I didn't realize at the time that my then-boyfriend had never had lamb before. Neither of us liked it, but I knew it was the treatment and not the lamb. It was years before my darling lost the lamb-juniper association so he could stop flinching when I announced lamb for dinner.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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i just reaped the benefits of last season's freezer clean-out. a venison loin, 4lbs of ground and about 4lbs of stew meat. i made a kick ass chili- mexican chocolate and anchos are my secret weapons. my best furry friend got some left-over stew meat with black beans (too busy to get to the store to get dog food!) i also make a stew with green chilies. i find pheasant a little hard to work with- last new year's i think i just slathered it with pancetta and called it a day.

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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I have a fun game cooking story to relate from many years ago.

My parents had a country place of about 600 acres. At one point, my grandparents retired there. My uncle came to live with them and they got into a hog raising operation. When that came to an end, my dad was left with what to do with all of those hog pens. He got some laborers and removed all of the wire and was left with this incedible pile of wood. He decided to burn it. Watching that huge fire was an all-weekend event. Looking at that huge pile of coals, his face suddenly lit up. "Linda... take a couple of buckets down to the creek where that ledge of clay is and bring back a couple of buckets full." This was dense and clean reddish clay. I had no idea what he was up to. When we got back, he had hauled this back haunch of venison out of the freezer and was sawing off the shank. We went into the garden and got some rosemary, garlic, and I forget what all. Having seasoned the meat, wrapped it in cheese cloth, then in foil, we started applying the clay. We ended up with a clay coated lump with the clay about 2 inches thick and fully sealed. (There are pictures somewhere with us covered in clay and that huge fire.) With a long handled shovel, we dug a hole in that pile of coals, placed the clay lump in there and shoveled the coals back over it. I think the shovel handle probably wasn't long enough because I think I singed my eyebrows. That was late at night. We left it until morning. When we finally dug it out, the clay had fired to something like a flower pot. We had a fun time seeing who could whack it with a hammer and finally get it to break. I cannot tell you how good that venison was. I remember it well but there is no way to describe it.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Tonight for dinner (since I am in the process of moving) I decided to get adventurous and dug out some venison steaks an ex roomate had left in the freezer from months ago.

I was too afraid to cook it less than well done, but fried up with some onion and topped with sour cream it was quite delicous. I will have to look into finding more ways to procur game in the future..

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Neighbor came over last night with some stew meat and a roast from his first deer of the season. He is meticulous in butchering what he kills; it's almost a work of art.

I am about to put a stew in the oven and take off mushrooming. When I get home I'll add some squash, small potatoe sand with some black saddle elfin and channeler mushrooms for the last hour.

I am thinking about adding some crushed juniper berries to the braise. Any opinions on this spice with game?

Dave

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I have a fun game cooking story to relate from many years ago.

My parents had a country place of about 600 acres. At one point, my grandparents retired there. My uncle came to live with them and they got into a hog raising operation. When that came to an end, my dad was left with what to do with all of those hog pens. He got some laborers and removed all of the wire and was left with this incedible pile of wood. He decided to burn it. Watching that huge fire was an all-weekend event. Looking at that huge pile of coals, his face suddenly lit up. "Linda... take a couple of buckets down to the creek where that ledge of clay is and bring back a couple of buckets full." This was dense and clean reddish clay. I had no idea what he was up to. When we got back, he had hauled this back haunch of venison out of the freezer and was sawing off the shank. We went into the garden and got some rosemary, garlic, and I forget what all. Having seasoned the meat, wrapped it in cheese cloth, then in foil, we started applying the clay. We ended up with a clay coated lump with the clay about 2 inches thick and fully sealed. (There are pictures somewhere with us covered in clay and that huge fire.) With a long handled shovel, we dug a hole in that pile of coals, placed the clay lump in there and shoveled the coals back over it. I think the shovel handle probably wasn't long enough because I think I singed my eyebrows. That was late at night. We left it until morning. When we finally dug it out, the clay had fired to something like a flower pot. We had a fun time seeing who could whack it with a hammer and finally get it to break. I cannot tell you how good that venison was. I remember it well but there is no way to describe it.

That sounds spectacularly good! What a great family memory, too! Have you ever tried repeating that exercise on a smaller scale? I wonder what could substitute for the clay around my house?....hmmm...we'll be clearing brush...

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Neighbor came over last night with some stew meat and a roast from his first deer of the season.  He is meticulous  in butchering  what he kills; it's almost a  work of art.

  I am about to put a stew in the oven and take off mushrooming.  When I get home I'll add some squash, small potatoe sand with some black saddle elfin and channeler mushrooms for the last hour.

    I am thinking about adding some  crushed juniper berries to the braise.  Any opinions on this spice with game?

Dave

I know it's recommended in a number of cookbooks, and supposed to be very chic, but I don't like juniper berries with deer or lamb. I'd rather drink a gin-and-tonic before the meal, than mix them together. :raz:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Neighbor came over last night with some stew meat and a roast from his first deer of the season.  He is meticulous  in butchering  what he kills; it's almost a  work of art.

   I am about to put a stew in the oven and take off mushrooming.  When I get home I'll add some squash, small potatoe sand with some black saddle elfin and channeler mushrooms for the last hour.

    I am thinking about adding some  crushed juniper berries to the braise.  Any opinions on this spice with game?

Dave

I know it's recommended in a number of cookbooks, and supposed to be very chic, but I don't like juniper berries with deer or lamb. I'd rather drink a gin-and-tonic before the meal, than mix them together. :raz:

I didn't like juniper the first few times I used it either, and I think the trick for me was adding much, much less, and balancing it with some herbs on the other end of the spectrum. Juniper gives a slightly sweetish taste to me, and too much does something to my mouth similiar to licorice. I find it balances well with a strong herb like bay (I get them fresh from my mum) or rosemary in combination with plenty of thyme and black pepper. I'll crush 2 or 3 and add them to a good sized piece (4-5 lbs).

I wish I could find someone to get game from, I grew up eating deer and goose, and I really miss it.

regards,

trillium

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  • 3 weeks later...
Sad day for hunters with the slaughter in Wisconsin.  What are these people thinking?

Anyway, real duck season is in full swing.  I will be hunting Fri-Sat in Delaware.  Wish me luck.

The question is what was that person thinking. It was not a gun fight it was a multiple murder.

Cakes

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  • 1 month later...

I received a large bagful of recently killed venison (frozen). I think it's mostly chops or some other meat from near the ribs. I am searching for a recipe for venison stew, with perhaps chocolate in the sauce and dried fruit. Otherwise, I'm thinking of making a stew similar to boeuf bourguignonne with bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions, red wine, etc., but I thought the chocolate and dried fruits would be more interesting. Any suggestions?

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