Archive for the 'Venison' Category

Hunters and Anglers Help Feed Hungry Texans

Thursday, September 7th, 2017
This is one of the faces of hunger in Texas. Image from Feeding Texas Facebook page.

This is one of the faces of hunger in Texas. Image from Feeding Texas Facebook page.

This is Passport

Hunger is widespread in the US and in Texas.

Our food banks collectively provide food and other services to about 3.5 million Texans every year. They do that through a network of approximately 3,000 private charities. They manage to get food and other services out to hungry Texans in all 254 counties.

Celia Cole is CEO of Feeding Texas.

Feeding Texas is the state association that represents all of the food banks in Texas – there are 21. And we’re all part of a network called Feeding America.

Hunters for the Hungry is a program of Feeding Texas.

We work with hunters and meat processors to involve them in the program. Hunters donate excess venison they hunt, to the processor who then grinds it up and packages it and makes it available to our network for distribution to the hungry people we serve.

Last year, hunters donated about 55-thousand pounds of venison to the program.

We are really hopeful that we can greatly increase that amount. It’s a matter of getting the word out to hunters that this program is available, and then also recruiting enough processors that there are enough outlets for hunters to take their deer to.

Learn how to help hungry Texans when you buy your next hunting or fishing license. That’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buy a License, Feed the Hungry & Help a Veteran

Monday, August 7th, 2017
You can help support Hunters for the Hungry and Fund for Veterans at the time you buy a hunting or fishing license.

You can help support Hunters for the Hungry and Fund for Veterans at the time you buy a hunting or fishing license.

This is Passport to Texas

When licenses go on sale August 15, Texas hunters and anglers may donate to one of two worthy non-profits.

You can make the voluntary contribution of either one dollar, five dollars, ten dollars or twenty dollars to either the Fund for Veterans Assistance, or to help feed Texas families with a donation to Hunters for the Hungry.

Justin Halvorsen is revenue director at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and says donating is voluntary and easy.

It’s through any one of our sales channels. Either online, over the phone, at a retail agent, or any one of our parks and wildlife locations.

The agency keeps close tabs the donations.

And then, at the end of every month, it’ll go into a separate pot, and we’ll send it along to those respective entities [nonprofits].

The program debuted last season and Texans were generous; Texas Parks and Wildlife distributed, $193-thousand to the Fund for Veteran’s, and $106-thousand to Hunters for the Hungry. You may ask: is my donation tax deductible?

That is a great question. And there will be a receipt that gets printed as part of this that specifically says that this is a donation to the Veteran’s Fund or Hunters for the Hungry. And then, really, it’s up to the individual and their tax preparer to make that ultimate decision.

Request an itemized receipt from retailers, and find more information on the TPW website.

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

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

Processing What You Hunt

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
Making sausage in the Feral Austin Commercial Kitchen.

Making sausage in the Feral Austin Commercial Kitchen.

This is Passport to Texas

Chris Houston of Austin is a hunter and home cook; he butchers and processes what he harvests; but that’s not always been practical.

We have a decent sized [kitchen] counter space, but certainly a limited area and limited equipment.

Hunters, says Houston, go to processors because of limited workspace, equipment, and a lack experience. He adds processors are decent folks who provide a good service – but he still wonders what comes back to him.

Am I getting back my animal in the sausage? Am I getting all the meat that I had taken in there?

Houston taught himself to butcher and process, and excels at it now. To empower others to do the same, he offers a fully equipped commercial kitchen and his knowledge as Feral Kitchen, a wild food workspace.

Butchering and sausage-making tends to feel complicated. However, it can be really simplified. And so, we really want to pass on that education and that confidence to others. We’ve been offering some classes on general game butchering, and some other classes on sausage-making to kind of help people take that step in the learning curve to doing it themselves. And, really, to just try and simplify the entire process.

Learn more about butchering and processing wild game on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Food Week: Game Traditions from Mexico

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
Cold Venison Salad, image courtesy http://www.cookmonkeys.com/

Cold Venison Salad, image courtesy http://www.cookmonkeys.com/

This is Passport to Texas

Before domestication of livestock, wild game was the primary protein for humans on both side of what is now the US/Mexican border. In Mexico, venison was of particular importance.

Venison is especially important in a ritual sense as well as a culinary sense.

Karen Hursh Graber is senior Food Editor of the internet magazine Mexico Connect.

The word ‘venison’ in English, and the word ‘venado’ in Spanish – are both from the Latin word ‘venari’, which is the verb ‘to hunt.’ So, that’s pretty impressive that the word for deer is the same as the word for hunt. It just shows the symbolic hunting imagery of deer in both cultures.

Mexicans, unlike Americans, are more sparing in their use of venison – and all meat wild and domestic – in their recipes: such as Salpicon De Venado.

Instead of serving a huge hunk of meat, they’ll serve small pieces, and put it in a taco or in a stew. Salpicon is like a cold meat salad – it’s a venison salad. It’s dressed with herbs and spices and they serve it is tacos.

Find Karen Hursh Graber’s recipe for Cold Venison Salad at passporttotexas.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.
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Shredded Venison Salad: Salpicon De Venado
by Karen Hursh Graber © 2005
http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2381-shredded-venison-salad-salpicon-de-venado

This dish is found on restaurant menus throughout Mexico, but particularly in the western part of the country and in the Yucatan, where it is called zic de venado. This recipe is a good buffet dish, to be piled on tostadas or served with warm tortillas and habanero salsa. It makes an attractive presentation served on a bed of mesclun greens. Following are two variations on the traditional recipe, one savory and one sweet-and-hot.

Ingredients:

2 pounds venison, cooked and shredded (venison is lean and shreds nicely, like flank or skirt steak)
juice of 4 bitter (Seville) oranges or use half sweet oranges and half limes
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped radishes
salt to taste

Preparation:

Place the venison in a non-reactive bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and let them rest for 15 minutes to combine the flavors. Add the mixture to the venison and serve immediately or refrigerate and bring to room temperature at serving time.

Serves 8-10 as part of a multi-course buffet or as an appetizer.

Variation I:

Omit the radishes and add ½ cup chopped green olives and 1 firm-ripe avocado, diced.

Variation II:

Omit the radishes and add 1 green mango, diced, 1 diced plantain and 2 (or more, to taste) Serrano chiles, seeded and diced.

Food Week: Keeping Game from Tasting Gamey

Monday, November 21st, 2016
Susam Ebert, from The Field to Table Cookbook, Welcome Books 2015

Susan Ebert, from The Field to Table Cookbook, Welcome Books 2015

This is Passport to Texas

Do you think wild game has an off taste?

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 meal of game begins with a clean kill, proper field dressing and getting everything on ice as soon as possible. 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…

Find a recipe from Susan Ebert’s book Field to Table at passporttotexas.org

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

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

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Redbud Blossom Jelly
Yields 6 half-pints

Ingredients

  • About a gallon ZipLoc bag of rebud blossoms
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 5 teaspoons Pomona Pectin© calcium water
  • 5 teaspoons Pomona Pectin© pectin powder
  • 2 1/2 cups organic sugar

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the redbud blossoms, and pick out any wooden stems and bugs. Pack loosely into a half-gallon container with a tightly fitting lid and cover completely with boiling water. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or double cheesecloth in the morning, pressing lightly with a wooden spoon (don’t squeeze too hard, or you will get a bitter flavor).
  3. Add water, if necessary, to make 5 cups redbud juice. Pour into a large stockpot, and add the lemon juice and calcium water.
  4. Prepare your hot-water-bath canner, and wash 6 half-pint jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. When the canner begins to boil, put the jars in it so they stay hot. Heat the lids and bands in a small saucepan; do not boil.
  5. Combine the sugar and pectin powder in a small bowl, and stir thoroughly to blend. Bring the juice to a full boil over high heat, then drift in the sugar/pectin mixture a bit at a time, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a second boil.
  6. Pour into jars, release bubbles with a plastic spatula, affix lids, and finger-tighten bands. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let the jars remain in the canner for 5 minutes. Remove them to a folded towel, and let sit overnight to completely set up.
  7. Store for up to a year in a cool, dark place.

Recipe from Susan Ebert, The Field to Table Cookbook