Archive for the 'Venison' Category

Helping Hungry Texans Through Hunting

Thursday, December 27th, 2018
Huinters for the Hungry

Hunters for the Hungry helps feed Texans

This is Passport

Texas meat processors can help feed fellow Texans by distributing hunter-donated venison to needy families through the Hunters for the Hungry program.

Well, this is a wonderful program that helps us both fight hunter and promote environmental stewardship.

Removing deer from the landscape each year promotes healthier habitat and deer populations. Celia Cole is Executive Director of Feeding Texas, which facilitates Hunters for the Hungry. She says the key to making the program work is an active network of processors.

We ask them to provide the processing at a minimal cost – we suggest around $40 – and then the hunter makes that donation. So, let’s say the hunter drops off a deer, the processor will package it. And then, we provide them with a list of hunger relief agencies in their area. And they can either contact that agency to come pick it up, or they can drop it off. And, of course, they receive a tax deduction for their donation, as well.

Hunters who donate deer to the program should check with their tax preparers to see if they can claim a deduction as well. Meanwhile, Hunters for the Hungry encourages meat processors to join the program. Find more information at feedingtexas.org.

And processors can go there to sign up. We also recruit directly off of lists that we have from the health department. So, we will reach out and ask processors to participate.

Hunters and processors who participate in the program are responsible for providing more than 9 million servings annually of venison to needy families.

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

Hunting to Feed the Hungry

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

Beautiful, yes. But also an important protein source for hungry Texans.

This is Passport

Feeding Texas is a non-profit association that represents area food banks. Hunters for the Hungry is one of the programs it oversees.

The way it works is, we recruit meat processors to help us get venison out to the families that we serve. For hunters it’s an opportunity to donate back to their communities. And, for our food banks, it’s an opportunity to have access to a really great lean source of protein that the families that we serve really need.

Celia Cole is Executive Director of Feeding Texas. Hunters for the Hungry enjoys enthusiastic hunter participation among deer hunters. Yet, Cole says they need more processors.

Our greatest challenge is bringing in enough processors. So, in all of the areas where there is a lot of hunting, we are in need of more processors. And that is the key to making this program work.

Cole says it’s easy for processors to sign up.

We have our website, huntersforthehungry.org, and processors can go there to sign up. Really, all they need to do is enroll with us
and show a copy of their inspection and be willing to package the meat in the packaging that we provide. So, it’s fairly simple for a
processor to register and become involved in the program.

Tomorrow: how Hunters for the Hungry benefits processors, hunters, and the community.

We receive support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve

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

Food Week: Preparing Flavorful Venison

Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Chef Lou Lambert in the field with colleague.

Chef Lou Lambert in the field with colleague.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Even if you hunt for trophies, there’s good eating attached to those antlers. Don’t let it go to waste.

Cooking venison can be intimidating, but Chef Lou Lambert, author of the Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook, is here to help.

I grew up hunting and fishing and still do today. But I think most of the lessons I learned about cooking game were more failures than things that worked out well when my mother was cooking. Because I had two brothers, father – we all hunted. So, we always had quail, dove, ducks and deer. And I remember my mother struggling to cook deer, because (and the biggest mistake she made) was not realizing because game is, if you will, grass-fed, all-natural – it does not have the fat content. And, because it is more in motion – the muscles tend to be a little bit tighter, which means tougher. So, lack of fat and more movement tells you that you have to do a slow, moist heat cooking method, unless you have it ground into sausage, or pounded for chicken fried [steaks], most of that deer – 80% — you need to either do a braise or a very slow barbeque smoke method.

Find wild game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Food Week: Chef and Hunter Jesse Griffiths

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018
Grilling venison loin.

Grilling venison loin.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

We have a culture of hunting game, but when it comes to eating it, a lot of people pass. Their reason: too gamey.

Jesse Griffiths is a hunter, angler, chef and author. He eats everything he kills. While game has unique flavor, he says it is crave-worthy when prepared properly.

He chronicled a year of hunting, fishing and cooking in Afield: a Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish.

We just tried to present this book that was a guide to getting more out of fish and game for people. We wanted it to be a field manual, a recipe guide. And we put step-by-step photos and descriptions of how to break everything down from a crab to a deer. Just to teach people who are new to it, or maybe even more experienced with it how to utilize these animals more.

Jesse told me he wrote the recipes in Afield to be simple, recognizable and accessible.

There’s a lot of tacos in there, and there’s a lot of things like pot pies. Squirrel and dumplings. Things like that. Very accessible. I just wanted people to see food that was recognizable and translate that into game, and then that way encourage people to have the confidence to get out there and do this themselves.

Find Jesse Griffiths recipe for Grilled Venison Loin with Herbs and Horseradish Cream on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Food Week: Venison South of the Border

Monday, November 19th, 2018
Salpicon De Venado

Salpicon De Venado. © Fotógrafo Federico Gil para el Larousse de la Cocina Mexicana

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Before we had domestic livestock, humans on both side of what is now the US/Mexico border hunted and consumed wild game. Venison ranked high on early Mexican menus.

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

Karen Hursh Graber is senior Food Editor for 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 ‘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 are well known for their ability to create delicious and filling dishes using smaller amounts of prized ingredients, such as venison. Take the dish Salpicon De Venado, for example.

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.

If eating cold venison doesn’t appeal, you can always eat it warm. Meanwhile, find Karen Hursh Graber’s recipe for Cold Venison Salad at passporttotexas.org.

We receive support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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.