Well as we roll from the long hot days of July into the so called “dog days” of August I find myself getting increasingly excited for hunting season. All of our big game tag applications have been sent and our pro staff discussion group has begun to emerge back to life. Game cameras are being hung, stands being checked and we are busy securing time off from our jobs and significant others for this falls adventures.
It has been been said many times that hunting is more than just a hobby but indeed a lifestyle. For us at the hunt blog that lifestyle entails all that is hunting and one of the most important aspects is enjoying the bounty of our hard work. Now I don’t intend this article to be smug or posh, I respect all those hunters whom make use of all aspect of their prey whether they turn the entire thing into sausage and jerky or enjoy the time and challenge of butchering their harvest themselves. Certainly many of you may have a spouse/partner/significant other who is just as outdoorsy or even more so than yourself or perhaps the person whom you found a life long bond with is not familiar with our lifestyle.
In any event this article is about preparation of food for those people in our lives who view our past time with intrigue and perhaps an interest in getting themselves a ‘taste’ of what we hold so dear. This is about how to impress that co-worker, the friends of your spouse, or the neighbour when you have them by for dinner. After all while I am red neck at heart it doesn’t mean I can’t don a pressed cooler, decant a bottle of merlot, and impress them with my culinary prowess.
Below are my tips for a successful wild game dinner party and my favourite venison recipe.
1. Everything starts with there butchering: Please see our previous post on do it yourself venison http://thehuntblog.com/2012/11/18/do-it-yourself-venison/ The most important thing and biggest error is made right here where people butterfly their back straps way too thin. A paper thin piece of venison flash cooked on a BBQ can be like eaten jerky and quickly rids the meat of all it succulence.
2. Avoid surprises: Don’t spring the venison news on your guest as they walk in the door. Tell people in advance and don’t have it as your only table fare. By having options you will avoid the narrow minded prudes who have already tuned off their taste buds and I guarantee you will be surprised at who the adventurous palates are. And these individuals will be much more appreciative of the ‘exotic’ tastes.
3. Avoid drowning out the taste of the meat: Listen, I love a burger sopping in BBQ sauce as much as the next hard working guy but for the person who may try venison for the first time and maybe the last for a long time they want to taste it. Go ahead give it to’em straight.
4. Ok well you can fix it up a bit but Keep It Simple Stupid: My recipe.
– 2 oz extra virgin oil with 1 oz balsamic vinegar – mix and baste 15 mins prior to bbq
– fresh ground pepper, garlic salt, steak spice pre mixed and sprinkled on top
– 3 garlic cloves chopped and sprinkled on top (these will largely fall off and will not over power taste – but looks cool when everyone is watching you mince garlic and its easy)
5. Don’t over cook! : Get that BBQ good and hot prior to throwing on the meat. Only flip the steaks once and don’t you dare close that lid. Keep the burners up and cook lid open to cook it slow. Cook to med/med rare max and if you aren’t a good judge, buy a meet thermometer.
6. Garnish: Finally combine the meat with a few simple vegetables just to show off your diversity.
And that is it. The biggest thing I can stress is don’t make it the only meal option for newbies. Let those who are inquisitive try it and I assure you that you’ll be surprised and you’ll avoid wasting perfectly good venison. Remember to experiment from time to time and enjoy the processing and cooking of you game because it is an important part and perhaps one of my favourite parts of this lifestyle we enjoy so much.
I hope your fall preparation is going well and you are as excited to share your deer hunting stories this fall as we are to hear about them. Have a safe and enjoyable rest of the summer and look out September here we come.
The Hunt Blog Pro Staff