Grilling Venison

Venison SteaksThis is only one of many reasons why I like to hunt deer. Eating them. Freezer meat is where it’s at. I hope we have a great fall hunt this year.

Today’s supper menu includes some small steaks that will be quick grilled on a hot fire. These pieces come from what we call the “football roast” in the ham. I take that roast and trim it, muscle it out and then slice it about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. These are marinating in the fridge with Dale’s Seasoning. You don’t need a lot. In fact, I dilute it a little with water. I’ll add a dry rub right before grilling and any good steak rub will do. With a side salad you just can’t beat this for GOOD.

I have cooked venison like this for lots of people and unless I tell them they don’t know they’re not eating beef. Of course I like and cook beef too! Just thought I’d share with my foodie peeps. What’s your favorite way to cook venison?

Schmacon – Beef’s Answer to Bacon

Schmacon CasseroleBeef bacon. It’s not new. But if you’ve tried it before it seemed to be lacking in flavor or consistency. Now there’s Schmacon, Beef’s Answer to Bacon. I have tried it and I like it. See my casserole recipe using Schmacon below.

I recently interviewed the inventor of bacon, Howard Bender. I published the interview for my weekly podcast on Howard has a Kickstarter campaign going to raise funds to develop his retail sales efforts. Support him here.

You can listen to the program here: Schmacon the Un-Bacon

Now let’s focus on the casserole. I think this will be an excellent addition to the Pig’s hunt days menu.

Here are my ingredients:

Schmacon1 bag of shredded potatoes
1 pound Schmacon (beef’s answer to bacon)
1 can of sauerkraut
Stir fried red, yellow, green and orange bell peppers, red onion, sweet onion, garlic
different shredded cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup of Water
Spices: Everglades seasoning, Mrs. Dash, Dill, Paprika
pats of butter bottom and top

Once the peppers, garlic and onions were tender I blended all of this in a bowl. I used about a cup of each cheese. On the spices I just shook enough in to “feel” that it was enough.

Then I sprayed olive oil on a glass casserole dish, added some pats of butter, poured the mixture in, topped with pats of butter and paprika. Then baked it for about 45 minutes at 325.

Boom. An explosion of flavor in your mouth. This casserole is good as a stand alone meal or for breakfast with eggs. Try some.

Battle of the Fish Grills

Chuck GrillThis is a follow-up to my last post on fall Gulf fishing. In this photo you’ll see my grill last night.

On it are filets from my mingo snapper along with some broccoli (grilled broccoli is the best way to eat it IMO). This light and flaky fish is about as good as it gets. We also had boiled corn and brown rice to go with it.

Gary FishNow let’s contract that with Gary’s grill from last night. Gary had left Pensacola to go fish with his cousin down the Gulf coast from Tallahassee a ways.

On their trip on the flats they had a good afternoon. So on the grill you’ll see some of their sea trout, spanish mackerel, a whole flounder and one of my favorites, redfish on the half shell.

Along with that he added roasted peppers and squash.

Sometimes you have a good day on the water and some days not so good. But as long as there’s fish on the grill it turns out just right!

Camp Breakfast

Bell Pepper Fried EggsLast week Paul, his son Joe and Joe’s friend Levi joined me for a work day at the CPHC. We started off a drizzly morning cooking eggs with hash browns from leftover campfire baked potatoes. I had seen a picture on Facebook of eggs fried in sliced bell pepper so we tried it out. Mmm, mmm, good. Next time I’ll try a different color pepper.

Our work consisted of checking all our plots and taking soil samples to get the ph tested before we get to planting any seed. Hope to have those results this week and then we’ll plan the next step – apply lime.

Destructing Hog Turned into Tasty Hog

New Holland Rustler PigWhat do you do when a feral hog is “destructing” your property? You make him in to a good, tasty hog. Here’s the story. Paul got a call from his neighbor to help him out. Fortunately for Paul our camp’s New Holland Rustler got in on the action and made transportation a snap.

A neighbor alerted us to the fact that he and his wife have seen 2 separate groups of hogs rooting and “destructing” on our land and his. We’ve not historically had a hog population in our woods, but evidently the deer food sources have brought them to us. At least 3 of the hogs sighted were described as “enormous”, and we are now on full alert.

A phone call at 11:30P woke me up with the same neighbor’s voice asking, “So you want a hog? Come get him!” I got dressed, loaded butchering equipment into the New Holland Rustler and headed through the woods to find my neighbor with a celebratory drink in one hand and a flashlight in the other. We loaded the hog he’d shot, estimated at 150-200lbs into the Rustler and drove to our hanging spot. He said this was one of 3 in the group (passel of hogs? flock? pack? gaggle? No, gaggles are reserved for geese…) In any case, this was the smallest hog in the _______ (you fill in the blank!).

This job was not as easy as skinning and cleaning a deer, but the result was well worth the effort. I found myself in the wee hours of the morning with a celebratory drink in MY hand, and a cooler full of wild hog meat! Gotta run…the smoker is calling my name…!

Venison Jerky Gifts

Venison JerkySuccessful hunting leads to successful cooking and that even includes freshly made jerky!

Using some of the venison from my deer this year I made 8 trays of jerky which I have packed in food saver bags and used for some Christmas gifts. I’m also bringing some to a south Florida family get together.

Making jerky is not difficult. In fact, it is easy. It does take some time though. I like to muscle out the meat and carefully trim it before slicing. Then it goes into spice and marinade before laying on the trays. Click on the photo to go to a website with some great venison jerky recipes.

Gourmet CPHC Style

Laura ZimmermanSo besides being hunters we’re also foodies. I really don’t like that word for some reason. We just plain like food and like to cook.

Here’s Paul’s wife Laura visiting camp this week. The menu? Pan fried snapper, grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce, grilled squash, lima beans and 5-grain Italian toast. Just a typical meal in the woods. The snapper was wild caught by us of course. Can’t wait until I get to do a salmon fishing trip someday.

What’s your favorite camp meal? Want to share a recipe? Feel free to chime in using the comment feature.