Frugal Friday Gone Wild

I’ve never really been a fan of wild game. As a child, I had breaded venison tenderloin and gravy on biscuits at my Grandmother’s house and once at a childhood friend’s Grandmother’s house, but I didn’t know it was venison until after I’d eaten it. Another childhood friend brought quail for lunch one day, letting me taste it, and I remember thinking what a wonderful cook her mother is. Then there were these couple of suspicious looking “chicken quarters” that were really tasty, well, until I found out it was rabbit.

For the better part of fifteen years, Jr, my hot husband’s dad, my father in law, has been sharing his venison with us each deer season. Meagan has pert near grown up on the stuff, grilled, sauteed, in chili, stew, jerky, it doesn’t matter. One only needs say “Granddaddy brought some deer” and she gets all googly eyed. So you might imagine her joy when I told her “Dad got a deer”, and then answering her “Can we have some for dinner?” with “We took it to the processor” dashing her dreams a couple weeks ago.

I think I told you about when the big freezer went out (the day we got the pig parts back) and we had to take most of the pig parts to Jan and Jr.’s freezer, but I don’t remember if I told you we brought back a deer shoulder and some back strap, so I’ll mention that now.

smoked venison shoulder and Boston butt

The Boston butt is on top, the venison shoulder, bottom so that all that juicy goodness leaking off the pork helps keep the venison moist.

venison jerky

I sliced the back strap thin and made jerky. I tasted it this time, it was good. It has nitrates, but so does my saliva and celery.

Since the venison shoulder is very much like a Boston butt, I was able to pull some of the smoked venison like I do with the pork. Being very lean, there were parts that had to be chopped, or diced. I’m thinking this whole journey has changed my taste buds because had I not known, I would have thought it was hickory smoked beef.

With some of the pulled venison, I made a pizza and even had a slice, maybe it’s my subconscious and the price of meat that has venison tempting my taste buds, who knows.

deer pizza

The venison is the crust, original recipe using chicken can be found by googling “Your lighter side chicken pizza crust”, the recipe I adapted for pork is here on the blog entitled “Don’t Fear The Pizza”, the pork version recipe is what I used for the venison.

Anyways, today is cold, windy, and nothing warms up those old bones like chili, so I pulled out a bag of frozen deer nuggets (the chopped smoked shoulder).

smoked venison and ground beef chili

It was at this point in the recipe that I thought maybe some of y’all might like the idea of supplementing your gathering with some hunting, or with something someone else hunted.

Because of the dryness of the smoked venison, I browned a pound of 73/27 ground beef, did not drain, and added the venison, 1/2 chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks. If I hadn’t been out of colorful peppers, I would have chopped and added some of those also. The spices I used were Turmeric, Oregano, Garlic, Onion, cocoa powder, cinnamon, slap ya mama, pepper, Adobo sin Pimienta, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. (Sorry no measuring, chili is a play it by taste and smell around here).

After the seasonings, the smell was swell and made me think how nice it would be at that point to pull out some horseradish and break my fast on some of that meaty goodness. It turned out to be a good idea because it tasted pretty good.


After mixing in the horseradish, it was seriously good eats.

After the quick brunch, I got back to making the chili and added a small can of tomato paste, mixed it in well, and a large can of crushed tomatoes:


It looks so happy, must I add beans???

(with water filled twice in the large can added to the mix). I turned the heat on medium and once it got all bubbly, I turned it down to low and popped a top on it. I guess it simmered there about an hour and a half until I had to turn it off to run an errand and pick up May. Upon arriving home, I did a repeat on the whole medium, bubbly, low, and let it be for three hours.

By the time his hotness called to say he was going to stop in to get a cup of coffee on his way to unload the truck, it was time to add the beans.


The Homeschooling Doctor has me intrigued about resistant starch, so I’m going for it, beans it is.

Normally at the “add the beans” point on chili night, I reserve my portion bean-less. Right now, it’s looking like the good in beans may outweigh the bad, and I’m giving them a shot for butyrate’s sake, and added a can of pinto beans. (If you’re hearing about resistant starch and think it may just be a lollipop or unicorn, think again, it can do good things for our gut, and besides one bowl of bean-in chili won’t kill me! If you are wanting to know more about butyrate, and maybe find out the why’s and how’s of our gut and the things within that keep us healthy, start here: )

I let the chili simmer for another hour while finishing this up. I tasted it again and decided it was as good a time as any to add some Louisianna hot sauce and did just that. Sitting here, sipping coffee, typing, has got me thinking how a deer nugget chili cheddar omelet might be a nice way to break my fast

Venison is a great protein source, and there are many nice ways to fix it. It is grass fed, free ranged, hormone and antibiotic free, for the cost of a hunting license and hunting supplies. While I’m not a fan of folks just going around shooting animals because of “sport”, I see nothing wrong in hunting for food, humans have been doing it since the beginning of time.

When His Hotness got home from unloading the truck, he had with him a big bag of venison. It’s set to thaw, and should be pert near ready for slicing thin in a couple of hours, off to marinating over night, and thus my Friday will be full of jerky making, much more frugal than $5.00 for a few ounces at the store. Then he said he had to run back to town and get something…. Maybe by next bow season I’ll be a huntress in the wild, instead of just the grocery store. So far, I’ve got wiping it down, down pat!

merry Christmas

He loves me lots. Wednesday, he gave me a replacement double ended bag. I have named it bumble bee, not only because it is yellow with black, but also because if you don’t keep your guard up between punches, it stings!!


4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday Gone Wild

  1. I always tremble because of your blood sugars–especially knowing you do get butyrate from your cream and butter–but butyrate and short chain fatty acids made from resistant starch and/or fiber seems pretty crucial for the gut. I do hope the experiment went okay…

    That is some awesome looking food and LOTS of it! I’m kind of clueless; is that a bow?

    Merry Christmas-time! ~~Terri

    • This one was the total opposite of the banana. I had been nervous to try beans, in the past, I got spiky, and in hind sight, it was more likely the hot water cornbread that went with the beans, along with the other food in the meal, or maybe the sheer volume of food, I don’t know. I had one bowl, topped with colby and monterey jack. 1 hour pp 119, 2 hour 111, but fasting bg was 81 (fasting lately has been between 88 and 99). I’m a bit gassy this morning, hadn’t had gas in a while, even over the summer and fall with all those peanuts. (I don’t think I ate enough beans to make a big difference, but (maybe TMI?) my potty was done in one swoop instead of 4 trips of wait and see)

      To top it off today was weigh in day and I was down 2 pounds. (I don’t think the beans made the scale move, I think it may have been due to me being back on schedule from Move Every Day November, and I’m working out and taking recovery days like I was pre-November)

      Oh the food was over a long period of time, I smoked the butt and the shoulder last month, portioned and froze it. (May says it’s past time I made her another pizza.) I just wanted to show some of the many things one might do with their venison.

      Yes, a crossbow. I’ve got cleaning it down pat, included with the crossbow is his promise to teach me to use it and start off “hunting” hay bales. It was the solution to “would you ever go hunting?” I took hunter’s safety in my youth, my dad taught me to shoot, but I’m really not a fan of guns, they are too loud for me. I told him I’d go bow hunting with him, if he’d teach me. The plan is to practice all spring and summer, be ready for deer season next year or the zombie apocalypse, which ever comes first 😉 (kidding about the zombies)

      Merry Christmas to you also 🙂

      • LOL on the crossbow paragraph!

        I’m so relieved the addition of beans didn’t blow your sugars! That is just great!

        Sometimes I soak dry beans to see if that helps with the gassy effects. I never can tell, but lots of people on the “net” say it makes a huge difference for them. Gas implies the fermentation process is working and thus producing those short chain fatty acids! I think, eventually, the gas will resolve, perhaps as the bacteria self-select for those of themselves who metabolize the resistant starch and cellulose better? I don’t really understand how the gas will resolve yet in a scientific manner, but that’s what they say…never TMI–well, when it comes to physiology anyhow.

        • White beans aka ham and bean soup, has been requested for one day next week, since I got busted with beans in my bowl. I’m going to soak them over night and then cook them in some turkey bone broth with ham. Since the bulk of it will be beans, the plan is to limit my portion to “side” rather than “entree”.

          The weird thing with the gas was the lack of bloating. I was really shocked over the pp and fasting, well, until I realized the gazillion other things that contributed, like less fat mass, more lean, no cornbread (giggles).

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