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.
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.
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).
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 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:
(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.
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: http://thehomeschoolingdoctor.com/2013/11/20/butyrate-series-part-1/ )
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!