Archive for the 'Venison' Category

Harvested Game from Field to Kitchen

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Lee Smith in the kitchen preparing venison backstrap

This is Passport to Texas

When handled correctly in the field and in the kitchen, venison can be tastier than domestically raised meat. The key is to keep it cool and dry immediately after harvest.

And then, the real poetry begins in the aging of that meat. If you can hang that meat for three to six days, some of the enzymes in the meat start to break it down, and you really get that tender, good tasting, concentrated flavor.

Lee Smith is a hunter and home cook from Austin, Texas. To store fresh venison, Smith recommends vacuum sealers, which keep meat usable for up to a year in the freezer. And when you’re ready for it, Smith says – simple preparations are best.

You’re legally – depending upon what county you’re hunting in – able to take five deer in Texas. And that can be a lot of meat. So, I can understand after a while, how you might want to change it up and have a little horseradish sauce, or some kind of port reduction with some mushrooms. But, I want to taste the meat; I don’t want to throw a heavy sauce on it. In fact, tonight, we’re having venison fajitas.

Lee Smith says he usually marinates venison back strap briefly in olive oil and soy sauce, grills it, and ends up with something the whole family enjoys. Find wild game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Proper Field Dressing for Great Tasting Game

Monday, November 5th, 2018
Field dressing deer

Field dressing deer

This is Passport to Texas

It’s deer season in Texas, and harvesting the animal is just the beginning.

Once you’ve pulled the trigger and you’ve got an animal down, the work really begins.

That’s longtime hunter and accomplished home cook, Lee Smith. Field dressing, which involves removing the animal’s internal organs, is a race against the clock.

Meat spoils due to three things: heat, moisture and dirt. Getting those internal organs out is going to immediately start to let that carcass cool. Second thing is: the skin. Taking that skin off is going to get that animal cooler, and also allow it to dry quicker. Once you’ve got it back [to camp], and taken the skin off, you rinse out the interior chest cavity, and get it into that cooler.

If you’re hunting on public land, or there isn’t a walk-in cooler at your lease, once you’ve field dressed and skinned your animal, quarter it.

That’s taking off the four quarters, the two backstraps, and the rear legs. That’s what you are legally bound to take. If you don’t take that, you can be ticketed for waste of game.

Put the quarters into tall kitchen garbage bags, and then into coolers with ice. How to handle game at home – that’s tomorrow.

Out show receives support in part from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Reducing “Gaminess” in Game

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Processing venison at Feral Kitchen

Processing venison.

This is Passport to Texas

If you take a pass when offered wild game and fish because you think it tastes funny…

Most wild game and fish, if it’s off-tasting, is ruined between the kill and the kitchen, and not in the kitchen, itself.

Susan Ebert is a hunter, angler, forager and cook; she wrote the book Field to Table, a guide to growing, procuring, and preparing seasonal foods—including wild proteins.

As good as the recipe might be, unless people know how to care for that game from the time it’s harvested, to the time that they’re ready to cook with it, they’re going to be disappointed with the results.

A clean kill, proper field dressing and getting everything on ice as soon as possible is vital. Once you have the meat at home…

Venison and wild duck—I will dry age those. Maybe 48 hours. Set them over a drip pan, on a rack. And let them just dry age in the refrigerator uncovered, with air circulating around them.

Ebert recommends brining rabbit and feral hog; brine can be as simple as sugar and salt dissolved in water.

Let that brine for a couple of days. Then, sear it over the grill and then either move it over indirect heat or put in it the smoker at a low temperature…

Until it is succulent. Find wild game and fish recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

After the Shot: From Field to Kitchen

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Whitetail in a clearing.

Whitetail in a clearing.

This is Passport to Texas

Handled correctly from field to kitchen, venison can be tastier than store bought meat. Keep it cool and dry immediately after harvest.

15—And then, the real poetry begins in the aging of that meat. If you can hang that meat for three to six days, some of the enzymes in the meat start to break it down, and you really get that tender, good tasting, concentrated flavor.

Austin resident, Lee Smith, is a hunter and home cook. He recommends vacuum sealing the meat to keep it usable for up to a year in the freezer. While you may wish to elevate a venison dish, Smith says, simple has its merits.

23—You’re legally – depending upon what county you’re hunting in – able to take five deer in Texas. And that can be a lot of meat. So, I can understand after a while, how you might want to change it up and have a little horseradish sauce, or some kind of port reduction with some mushrooms. But, I want to taste the meat; I don’t want to throw a heavy sauce on it. In fact, tonight, we’re having venison fajitas.

Lee Smith says he usually marinates venison back strap briefly in olive oil and soy sauce, grills it, and ends up with something the whole family enjoys.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Field Dressing Game

Monday, January 15th, 2018
Tagging legally harvested deer.

Tagging legally harvested deer.

This is Passport to Texas

Lee Smith comes from a hunting family. This longtime Austin resident and avid home cook, says from the start, he’s hunted for meat not trophies.

Once you’ve pulled the trigger and you’ve got an animal down, the work really begins.

As soon as the animal’s down, the clock starts ticking; field dressing the animal is a race against spoilage.

Meat spoils due to three things: heat, moisture and dirt. Getting those internal organs out is going to immediately start to let that carcass cool. Second thing is: the skin. Taking that skin off is going to get that animal cooler, and also allow it to dry quicker. Once you’ve got it back [to camp], and taken the skin off, you rinse out the interior chest cavity, and get it into that cooler.

If you’re hunting on public land, or there’s no walk-in cooler at your lease, after field dressing and skinning the animal, quarter it.

That’s taking off the four quarters, the two backstraps, and the rear legs. That’s what you are legally bound to take. If you don’t take that, you can be ticketed for waste of game.

Put the quarters into tall kitchen garbage bags, and then into coolers with ice. How to handle game when you get it home – that’s tomorrow.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.