Archive for the ‘MVC Originals’ Category

Thai Venison Curry

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Thai Venison Curry

Thai Venison Curry
 
Author:

Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Strips of whitetail venison stew meat with fresh green beans and red bell peppers in a peanut curry sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Michigan Whitetail venison stew meat, sliced into strips ⅓” thick
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, rough chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, rough chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 can (14oz.) coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 1 c. chicken stock, unsalted
  • ⅓ c. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. red curry paste
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • Green onions and fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Steamed basmati rice for serving

Instructions
  1. Pour oil into large saute pan and bring to high heat. Meanwhile, make sure venison is as dry as possible by patting with paper towels. Season venison with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, as desired. In a mixing bowl, whisk together coconut milk, chicken stock, peanut butter, lime juice, curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, and coriander. When oil is shining, add venison and sear on all sides. Once venison is seared, add onion, beans, and red bell pepper, tossing together for 2 minutes. Add curry sauce mixture and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes before serving.
  2. Serve over steamed basmati rice, and garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Notes
This recipe is for a mild curry. If you would like more spice, add another Tablespoon of curry paste to your recipe!

Another great garnish for this dish would be roasted salted peanuts, chopped into little pieces to add a little extra crunch!

 

 

 

Venison Pozole with Quesadilla Dunkers

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Venison Pozole with Quesadilla Dunkers

Pozole is a traditional Mexican dish, originally prepared only for special occasions using maize and pork. We believe that any occasion to share a meal with loved ones qualifies as a special occasion. We also went ahead and infused the ‘tradition’ aspect with a little Michigan Northwoods flavor of Whitetail venison. The soup is easy to prepare as long as you’ve got the time (aka cook time). The quesadilla dunkers can be prepared 5 minutes before serving, and are great for soaking up those delicious flavors.

Venison Pozole with Quesadilla Dunkers
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1.5 lbs. Whitetail venison steak (or roast)
  • 1 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 96 oz. Venison broth or beef broth
  • 1 c. White onion, chopped
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Radishes, sliced
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup Cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 8 Corn tortillas
  • 1 c. Grated cheese (we used sharp cheddar)

Instructions
  1. Blend chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and oregano together on a large plate or casserole dish. Place venison on plate and rub spices evenly onto all sides. In a large sauce pan, combine oil and butter over medium-high heat. When pan has reached medium-high heat, add venison and sear on each side, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place venison in crock pot or dutch oven. Squeeze lime juice into bottom on sauce pan, and loosen drippings and leftover spices using a wooden spoon. Add this to slow cooker. Combine broth, onion, pepper, and garlic with venison and spices, cover, and cook over high heat for 4-5 hours. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with avocado, radishes, and cilantro.
  2. Quesadilla Dunkers: Bring a fry pan to medium-high heat. Lightly coat one side of each tortilla with butter. Place as many tortillas as will fit in one layer in pan, buttered side down. Immediately top each tortilla with less than ¼ c. cheese. Once cheese begins melting, fold each tortilla in half, then in half again. continue cooking until tortilla begins to crisp. Serve with venison pozole.

Venison Pozole

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Pulled Venison Barbacoa: Tacos and Soup

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Pulled Venison Barbacoa
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Here’s a fresh take on slow cooked roasts, and it’s perfect for any time of year! We turned this recipe into a taco dinner one night, then into soup for lunch the next day!
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Cumin, ground
  • 1 Tbs. Paprika, smoked
  • 1 Tbs. Black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbs. Kosher salt, coarse
  • 1 Tbs. Brown sugar
  • 3 lbs. Venison roast (we used two 1-1/2 neck roasts for this recipe)
  • ½ c. Oil (we used vegetable)
  • 16 oz. beef broth
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 large white onion, quartered then sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Poblano pepper, diced

Instructions
  1. Combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, and sugar thoroughly. Place roast(s) in a baking dish, and rub with spice blend on all sides. Let rest while bringing ¼ c. oil to high heat in a large sauce pan or pot. Add venison and sear on each side, about 3 minutes per side. You may need to add an additional ¼ c. oil to pan halfway through the searing process. Place venison in slow cooker. Add juice of one lime to the pan to lift the spice scrapings from bottom of pan. Add scrapings to slow cooker. Also add broth, remaining lime juice, onion, garlic, and poblano pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hrs. Using two forks, shred venison into strips. Remove bones if present. Store leftover venison in juices to prevent drying out.

Notes
Taco Night: We served up the fresh venison barbacoa in corn tortillas, and topped them with shredded cheese, avocado slices, fresh salsa, cilantro, and green onions. As sides, we served steamed white rice, and a large green salad tossed with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Soup (for 1): Saute 2 large carrots and 2 stalks of celery with olive oil in a small Add 3 cups of water to pan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add ¼ c. of the leftover venison barbacoa, including juices. In this way, the soup will cool as the venison warms without further cooking it. Top it all off with a sprinkle of cheese, cilantro, avocado, and green onion. This makes a perfectly lean and nutritious lunch that is oh so satisfying!

This is already starting to look good...

This is already starting to look good…

Searing the roast on all sides not only locks in juices, it adds an authentic smokey charred flavor to the dish.

Searing the roast on all sides not only locks in juices, it adds an authentic smokey charred flavor to the dish.

The finished product is juicy and incredibly flavorful. The possibilities for use are endless!

The finished product is juicy and incredibly flavorful. The possibilities for use are endless!

If your roast came with bones in it, save them for making stock! The work is already halfway done!

If your roast came with bones in it, save them for making stock! The work is already halfway done!

The stages of building the perfect venison barbacoa taco.

The stages of building the perfect venison barbacoa taco.

Don't feel like tacos? Serve a heap of this over your favorite rice and dig in!

Don’t feel like tacos? Serve a heap of this over your favorite rice and dig in!

Use your leftover meat, juice and garnishes in soup the next day: just add water (and veggies)!

Use your leftover meat, juice and garnishes in soup the next day: just add water (and veggies)!

Pulled Venison Barbacoa 6

 

Asian-Style Venison & Broccoli

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Asian-Style Venison & Broccoli
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4-6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Who needs unhealthy Chinese takeout when you have this tasty, lean, easy to make recipe at your fingertips?
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. whitetail venison stew meat
  • 64 oz. beef broth
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • ½ c. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seed oil
  • 1 Tbs. Rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ c. corn starch
  • sesame seeds (garnish)
  • sliced green onion (garnish)
  • 4-5 c. broccoli florets.
  • steamed white rice

Instructions
  1. Venison: Combine venison, broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, pepper, and ginger in crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours. In a bowl, combine corn starch and 1 c. broth mixture to form a paste. Add corn starch mixture to crock pot, stirring thoroughly, and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  2. Broccoli: Place florets in large saucepan, and add ½ inch water to bottom of pan. Cover pan slightly so that steam is able to escape. Steam until broccoli is bright green and al-dente in texture, about 10 minutes.
  3. Assembly: We served rice first, then broccoli, then ladled venison and broth on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh green onions. Serve hot.

Asian style venison brocooli

Whitetail Venison & Lentil Stew

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Talk about a nutritional powerhouse: incredibly dense in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and other minerals – while being low in fat and calories! Add a burst of flavor from our MVC Original Spice Blend and a couple splashes of red wine… This meal is perfect for these cold winter nights!

Whitetail Venison & Lentil Stew
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Talk about a nutritional powerhouse: incredibly dense in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and other minerals – while being low in fat and calories! Add a burst of flavor from our MVC Original Spice Blend and a couple splashes of red wine… This meal is perfect for cold winter nights!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Whitetail venison stew meat
  • 2 Tbs. Michigan Venison Company Original Spice Blend
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 large stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c. dry red wine
  • 2 (14oz.) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 64 oz. beef broth
  • 2 c. lentils

Instructions
  1. Combine butter and oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Season venison with spice blend and add to pot. Caramelize all sides of stew meat, remove from pot, and set aside. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to pot. Saute vegetables. Return venison to pot. Add tomato paste and red wine, stirring for about 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes and broth. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Add lentils and simmer, covered, until lentils are softened, about 45 minutes.

Notes
We completed our meal with a warm slice of feta & spinach bread, a side salad, and a glass of dry red wine (a couple splashes for the recipe, a couple splashes for the chef)!

Venison Lentil Stew

 

 

Venison Cottage Pie

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Venison Cottage Pie
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
A perfectly hearty dinner after a cold day.
Ingredients
  • Pie “Filling”
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground whitetail venison
  • 1 medium-sized Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 c. carrots, chopped
  • 2 c. frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Michigan Venison Company Original Spice Blend
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ c. beef stock
  • ¼ c. dry red wine
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • Sweet Potato Crust
  • 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ¼ c. Half-n-Half
  • 1 c. Parmesan cheese (1/2 c. for mixing into potatoes, ½ c. for sprinkling on top of pie)
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Instructions
  1. Sweet Potato Crust: Place quartered sweet potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water, and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain water, keeping potatoes in pot. Add butter, half-n-half, and ½ c. Parmesan cheese. Mash with potato masher to desired consistency. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Set aside.
  2. Venison Cottage Pie Filling: In a large saucepan, combine butter and oil over medium-high heat. Once mixture is hot, add onion and carrot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add venison, garlic, and Michigan Venison Company Original Spice blend. Once venison is browned thoroughly, add tomato paste, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and wine. Blend evenly into mixture and remove from heat. Stir in frozen peas.
  3. Assembly: Preheat oven to 400 F. Pour venison mixture into a 13”x9” glass baking dish. Pack lightly and evenly along bottom of dish, using the backside of a large spoon. Using a soupspoon or ice cream soup, scoop small amounts of mashed sweet potatoes over top of filling. Use a fork to finish spreading mashed sweet potatoes evenly across the top of the venison mixture, making sure to line edges and corners of the dish to prevent bubbling over of juices. Use fork to create rough texture for potatoes (more texture means more crispy crust!). Sprinkle remaining ½ c. Parmesan cheese on top of pie and place in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. Bring oven temperature to a high broil for 10 minutes to finish off golden brown topping. Remove cottage pie from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Stir in the frozen peas right before the venison mixture goes into the baking dish so they don't turn mushy by the time the dish is done cooking.

Stir in the frozen peas right before the venison mixture goes into the baking dish so they don’t turn mushy by the time the dish is done cooking.

Using the back of a large spoon, lightly press the venison mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, making sure the filling is distributed evenly.

Using the back of a large spoon, lightly press the venison mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, making sure the filling is distributed evenly.

Make sure the cheesy mashed sweet potatoes cover from edge to edge. Top with finely grated parmesan, then pop it in the oven for half an hour.

Make sure the cheesy mashed sweet potatoes cover from edge to edge. Top with finely grated parmesan, then pop it in the oven for half an hour.

Bumping the oven temperature up to a broil for the last 10 minutes will give the top of the cottage pie a golden brown color, and a crunchy-yet-soft texture.

Bumping the oven temperature up to a broil for the last 10 minutes will give the top of the cottage pie a golden brown color, and a crunchy-yet-soft texture.

Once the pie rests at room temperature for 10 minutes, it's ready to be served up!

Once the pie rests at room temperature for 10 minutes, it’s ready to be served up!

Venison Cottage Pie: Michigan Whitetail Venison and veggies, topped with Parmesan-cheesy mashed sweet potatoes. Perfect winter food!

Venison Cottage Pie: Michigan Whitetail Venison and veggies, topped with Parmesan-cheesy mashed sweet potatoes. Perfect winter food!

Easy, Cheesy, Whitetail Pockets

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Whitetail Pockets Plated

Easy, Cheesy, Whitetail Pockets

Take those frozen pockets to the next level with this very simple recipe – a couple all natural ingredients, one spice blend, and pre-made dough. While we had these freshly made for dinner, this recipe also makes for a great make-ahead lunch. Or you could be everyone’s favorite carpool mom and give these as a hearty snack to kids between school and sports practice. Once you whip up a batch of these wholesome, savory, cheesy pockets, you’ll discover for yourself how easily this handheld deliciousness satisfies every hungry mouth in your house (or carpool).

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits (Pillsbury or the like. Comes 8 to a can.)
  • 1 lb. whitetail venison, ground
  • 1 Tbs. Michigan Venison Company All Natural Original Blend Venison Seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Instructions

Preparing Filling:

Pour 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil into large sauce pan. Once pan reaches medium-high heat, add ground venison and Michigan Venison Company All Natural Original Blend Venison Seasoning. Brown thoroughly, remove venison from pan, and set aside. To the now seasoned pan, add rutabaga, carrot, and onion. Cook covered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until carrot and rutabaga are ‘al dente’.  Combine meat with vegetables, stir in cheese, and remove from heat.

Preparing Pockets:

Preheat oven according to refrigerated biscuit instructions.

Flatten each biscuit until it is 1/4″ thick, or about 6-7″ in diameter. Place in foil-lined baking sheet. Scoop one heaping spoonful, or about 2 Tbs., of filling onto one side of the dough round. Fold the other side over, stretching as needed until outside edges meet. Pinch outer edge closed using the end of a fork (photo below). Bake according to biscuit instructions, or until pocket crust is golden brown. Serve hot.

Photos and Feedback

We prepped the pocket rounds by hand while we impatiently waited for the root veggies to cook through. This way, as soon as we combined all the filling ingredients together, we had the pockets all lined up and ready to fill. Our whitetail pockets were a beautiful golden brown after a short 13 minutes. We were not able to stuff all of the filling into our whitetail pockets, but polished off what was left with spoons. After passing the taste test with flying colors, we loved how we only needed one bottle from our spice cabinet to enhance the flavors.

Substitutions: Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of rutabaga or carrots. You could easily swap these out for other vegetables: peas, spinach, squash, sweet potato, anything that suits your palate. As far as cheese goes, you could cut back on the amount of cheese you add, or substitute mozzarella for the cheddar to make a leaner pocket.

Let us know what you think of our latest creation! As always, we love feedback and sharing venison cooking tips! Cheers!

 

One rutabaga, one large carrot, one onion: chopped.

One rutabaga, one large carrot, one onion: chopped.

Once venison has been browned, remove from sauce pan to make room for veggies.

Once venison has been browned with Michigan Venison Company All Natural Original Blend Venison Seasoning, remove from sauce pan to make room for veggies.

Whitetail Pocket filling, ready to go.

Whitetail Pocket filling, ready to go.

We just used our fingers to flatten and stretch the pre-portioned pocket dough. Doesn't get much easier!

We just used our fingers to flatten and stretch the pre-portioned pocket dough. Doesn’t get much easier!

Scoop about 2Tbs. of filling onto bottom half of pocket round. Fold top half of round over filling and align edges of pocket. Seal the pocket by pressing the end of a fork along the outer edge.

Scoop about 2Tbs. of filling onto bottom half of pocket round. Fold top half of round over filling and align edges of pocket. Seal the pocket by pressing the end of a fork along the outer edge.

One can of refrigerated biscuits makes 8 whitetail pockets - just enough for a hungry family of four.

One can of refrigerated biscuits makes 8 whitetail pockets – just enough for a hungry family of four.

Bake pockets according to refrigerated biscuit directions, or until pockets have a beautiful golden crust like this.

Bake pockets according to refrigerated biscuit directions, or until pockets have a beautiful golden crust like this.

You can eat your Whitetail Pocket either with a fork and knife, or just with your hands. We explored both options, without a definite preference of style.

You can eat your Whitetail Pocket either with a fork and knife, or just with your hands. We explored both options, without a definite preference of style.

Venison Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

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Venison Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

This is a great meal for those of you trying to cut down on carbs, or those of you who get serious cravings for vegetables! This paleo-friendly dish is packed with flavor and nutrition, without the those carbs that leave you feeling heavy after a meal. Not only is it low in fat, it is packed with protein, fiber, iron, vitamin C, and many more essential vitamins and minerals to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground whitetail venison
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (we chose ‘fire-roasted tomato and garlic’ sauce)
  • 2 spaghetti squash, halved
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. basil
  • 1/2 Tbs. oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs. thyme
  • water (for squash)

Instructions

Sauce

Pour oil into bottom of a large sauce pan and bring to medium-high heat. Brown ground venison with black pepper, paprika, and red wine. Remove venison from pan and set aside. Keeping pan at medium-high heat, add zucchini, onion, basil, oregano, and thyme. Sauté vegetables until caramelization begins on zucchini. Add venison back to pot. Add spaghetti sauce, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.

 

Spaghetti Squash

Place spaghetti squash halves face down in microwave-safe, glass dish with walls about 2 inches high. Add 1/2 inch water to bottom of dish. Microwave squash on high for 10 minutes and check for softness. Checking for softness: use kitchen tongs to gently squeeze the outside skin as squash will be very hot. If squash is not completely soft, return to microwave at 5 minute increments on high until soft. Scrape meat from squash into a large bowl using tongs for holding and a fork for scraping (see photo below for reference). The spaghetti squash should come apart very easily into strands that look like spaghetti. Load your plate with spaghetti squash as you would pasta, top with sauce, and dig in!

 

Photos and Feedback

Okay, so we went and ruined the paleo-friendly part of the meal by adding parmesan cheese on top of the awesome smelling venison spaghetti with spaghetti squash. Guilty as charged. But this last little detail is NOT necessary in order to thoroughly enjoy the delicious and nutritious meal you just made with love. Another handy garnish would be hot pepper flakes for those at your table who enjoy a little more kick in their sauce. Lastly, if your jar of sauce doesn’t come loaded with garlic like ours did, you may want to toss some minced garlic in while you’re sautéing your veggies.

 

Ground venison with paprika, ground black pepper, and red wine. Make sure venison is browned thoroughly before removing from pan.

Ground venison with paprika, ground black pepper, and red wine. Make sure venison is browned thoroughly before removing from pan.

Once venison is transferred to a bowl, add zucchini, onion, basil, oregano, and thyme to large sauce pan. Cook until zucchini begins to caramelize, and onions begin to turn translucent.

Once venison is transferred to a bowl, add zucchini, onion, basil, oregano, and thyme to large sauce pan. Cook until zucchini begins to caramelize, and onions begin to turn translucent.

Once veggies have been sautéed, add meat back to sauce pan. Add jar of spaghetti sauce.

Once veggies have been sautéed, add meat back to sauce pan. Add jar of spaghetti sauce.

Once you add the jar of spaghetti sauce, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes - or just as long as it takes to get the spaghetti squash prepped and ready to serve.

Once you add the jar of spaghetti sauce, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes – or just as long as it takes to get the spaghetti squash prepped and ready to serve.

Above: Spaghetti squash not cleaned. Below: Spaghetti squash properly cleaned with a spoon.

Above: Spaghetti squash not cleaned. Below: Spaghetti squash properly cleaned with a spoon.

Place squash halves face down (or skin up) in glass baking dish. Add water until about 1/2" of squash is submerged in water. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, then in 5 minute increments as needed until squash is soft for scraping.

Place squash halves face down (or skin up) in glass baking dish. Add water until about 1/2″ of squash is submerged in water. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, then in 5 minute increments as needed until squash is soft for scraping.

How to make 'spaghetti' out of spaghetti squash: Step 1) hold squash with tongs. Step 2) scrape inside of squash with fork until skin is completely hollowed out.

How to make ‘spaghetti’ out of spaghetti squash: Step 1) hold squash with tongs. Step 2) scrape inside of squash with fork until skin is completely hollowed out.

Spaghetti squash ready for sauce.

Spaghetti squash ready for sauce.

After simmering low and slow, your sauce will not only smell fantastic, but the veggies will be fully cooked and the flavors of each ingredient will come together to delight and comfort your taste buds as well.

After simmering low and slow, your sauce will not only smell fantastic, but the veggies will be fully cooked and the flavors of each ingredient will come together to delight and comfort your taste buds as well.

Finished product! Guilt-free second helpings were enjoyed by all.

Finished product! Guilt-free second helpings were enjoyed by all.

Venison Lettuce Wraps

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Venison Lettuce Wraps

Bursting with flavor that you don’t have to feel guilty about, venison lettuce wraps make a great summertime meal. This finger-food is also a fun way to get your kids to eat healthy since you build your own and eat with your hands. Our recipe feeds four for a light dinner, or eight as an appetizer. Let us know what you think!

Ingredients

 

Filling

  • 1 lb. ground whitetail venison
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • 1 Tbs. ground white pepper
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce, plus a couple splashes for browning venison
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. pickled ginger, minced
  • 1 (8oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped

 

Other Ingredients

  • 16 leaves Boston Bibb (or butter) lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried

 

Instructions

Preparing lettuce: Rinse whole leaves of Boston Bibb lettuce and pat dry with a towel. Set aside.

Preparing filling: In a medium-sized sauce pan, brown 1lb. ground venison with 1 Tbs. ground white pepper and a couple splashes. Once venison is completely browned, remove from heat and place in medium-sized mixing bowl. Using the same medium-sized sauce pan, sauté onions. Add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and pickled ginger. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until sauce starts to thicken. Add cooked venison, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook until green onion just starts to wilt, about one minute. Remove from heat and place in medium-sized bowl for serving.

Assembling a lettuce wrap: Hold one leaf of lettuce in the palm of your hand. Scoop a heaping spoonful of filling into center of lettuce leaf. Wrap closed with fingers and eat like a taco or burrito.

 

Photos and Feedback:

While this is a fun finger food, it is a little juicy, so we don’t recommend letting the kids eat this without at least napkin underneath. We adults really beat the heat by pairing this lighter fair with a Summer Shandy (beer). Let us know what you think of this recipe! And now for the photos:

 

 

Sunshine Cut: When dicing your onions, slice each half of onion toward the center so that your dicing comes out more uniform. Shown above. This is a fun tip we picked up from one our my chef friends.

Sunshine Cut: When dicing your onions, slice each half of onion toward the center so that your dicing comes out more uniform. Shown above. This is a fun tip we picked up from one our my chef friends.

After browning the venison and removing from heat, we used the same pan to mix the onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and vinegar. After this cooked for a couple minutes, we added the water chestnuts, green onion, and cooked venison, then served it up!

After browning the venison and removing from heat, we used the same pan to mix the onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and vinegar. After this cooked for a couple minutes, we added the water chestnuts, green onion, and cooked venison, then served it up!

Venison Lettuce Wrap filling all ready to go. Once we added the water chestnuts, cooked venison, and the green onion, we removed the filling from the heat after only a minute.

Venison Lettuce Wrap filling all ready to go. Once we added the water chestnuts, cooked venison, and the green onion, we removed the filling from the heat after only a minute.

Venison Lettuce Wraps ready for assembly! We were impressed with our leaning tower of lettuce.

Venison Lettuce Wraps ready for assembly! We were impressed with our leaning tower of lettuce.

Step 1: hold lettuce leaf in your hand like so.

Step 1: hold lettuce leaf in your hand like so.

Step 2: Scoop a heaping spoonful of filling into the center of your lettuce wrap.

Step 2: Scoop a heaping spoonful of filling into the center of your lettuce wrap.

Step 3: Enclose lean and delicious filling with cool and crunchy lettuce wrap. Eat it like a mini taco! Be sure to keep a napkin on hand, the wrap may be a little juicy.

Step 3: Enclose lean and delicious filling with cool and crunchy lettuce wrap. Eat it like a mini taco! Be sure to keep a napkin on hand, the wrap may be a little juicy.

Bourbon Dijon Marinated Venison Steak & Citrus Hazelnut Asparagus

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Bourbon Dijon Marinated Venison Steak & Citrus Hazelnut Asparagus

Summer farmers markets and fantastic weather leave us no good reason to stay in climate controlled environments, whether it’s the year-round grocery store or your air-conditioned home. And if you don’t have AC, all the more reason to fire up the grill instead of the oven, and let the breeze cool you off rather than sitting in front of your fan.

This week’s venison steak and asparagus recipes were inspired by one of our favorite fellow recipe bloggers, Man Tested Recipes. The venison marinade has a sweeter style, almost teriyaki flavor to it from the brown sugar and soy sauce, and the bourbon tenderized the steak while bringing it’s own flavor profile that pairs deliciously with red meat. The asparagus was a hit with the smokey flavor from being charred on the grill, combined with the citrus and nutty flavors from the toppings added at the very end. Finish the plate off with some simple yet tasty pasta, and summertime dinner is served.

Ingredients

 

Steak

  • 1 lb. Whitetail venison steak
  • 1/4 c. Maker’s Mark (or your favorite other bourbon)
  • 1/4 c. honey-dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Asparagus

  • 2 large bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil (or enough to lightly coat asparagus)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 c. toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

 

Pasta

  • 1 lb. pasta (we used Cavatappi)
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Venison Steak: In a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, combine bourbon, mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Holding the top of the bag with one hand, squeeze the bottom of the bag with your other hand until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Add venison steak, seal, and keep in refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the steak over around the 12-hour mark for even marinating.

Heat your grill to medium-high. Remove steak from marinade and place on grill. Use the following cooking times as a guideline depending on the thickness of your steak: 2-3 min. per side for 1/2″ steak, 4-6 min. per side for 1″ steak, or 6-9 min. per side for 1.5″-2″ steak. When ready, remove steak from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes to let the juices settle before serving

Asparagus: Toss asparagus in olive oil until spears are lightly coated. Add salt and pepper as desired. Place spears on the grill over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, turning spears until lightly charred. Remove from grill and add orange zest and hazelnuts, tossing slightly to mix ingredients. Serve.

Pasta: Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain but do not rinse, and add pasta back to pot. Stir in butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan until evenly mixed. Serve.

Photos and Feedback:

These recipes were very flavorful and we would make them again. Dinner was paired with a bold, dry cabernet blend – Yum! Next time, we might swap out the honey-dijon for the regular kind considering there’s plenty of sweetness with the brown sugar. We thought the asparagus and pasta were just about perfect, so we wouldn’t alter those at all. If you’re not a huge fan of hazelnuts, tasty substitutions could be almonds, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds. Do you agree/disagree? Let us know, we’d love to hear!

We may love our venison, but we don’t skimp on our veggies!

Make sure you let the steak rest for a few minutes after it comes off the grill – the juices need to be reabsorbed otherwise the steak may taste dry.

Tossing the orange zest and hazelnuts with the asparagus fresh off the grill brings out the aromas and flavors of the garnishes.

 

The grilling time guidelines are very helpful if you don’t have a meat thermometer! We loved the way it turned out going by the clock.