Filling the freezer after a successful hunt is rewarding, but if you find yourself in a recipe rut, here are a few ideas to bring that bounty to the dinner table.
Venison Swiss Steaks
This recipe was contributed by Ineta Carpenter of John Day, who has cut and wrapped plenty of venison on her kitchen counter over the years.
4 venison steaks
flour, salt, pepper
4 potatoes, 1-inch cubes
3-4 carrots, 1-inch pieces
small onion, sliced (optional)
Dredge steaks in flour, salt and pepper to taste. Brown on both sides in a heavy skillet with 2 teaspoons of oil or shortening. Peel and cube potatoes, cut carrots into 1-inch pieces add to meat. Sprinkle one package of onion soup mix (such as Lipton’s), add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with lid. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours on low on stove top or bake in oven at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours in casserole dish, covered.
Ku’ulei’s Hawaiian Style Marinated Elk Meat
From the kitchen of Rod and Rachel Carpenter, this Hawaiian-style recipe is tender with a sweet flavor, and it cooks up quickly on the grill due to the thin cut.
Elk steak works well, but other types of meat can also be used.
4-5 lbs. elk steak, thinly sliced (1/8-inch)
1 1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 C. water
1 C. chopped green onion
2-3 tsp. fresh ginger (peeled, sliced and smashed)
2-3 tsp. fresh garlic (peeled, smashed)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Cut meat an 1/8-inch thick or “19” if cut at a butchers. In a large plastic bowl, combine all ingredients except meat. Stir and mix well and check taste. Add meat and stir to coat. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cook on the grill about 6-8 minutes — with the thin cut, it doesn’t take long.
Gary’s Dutch Oven Potatoes and Cobbler
Gary Hatton of Gresham spends a lot of time hunting in Grant County and is known for keeping a crowd well-fed with his delicious meals. Dutch-oven cooking is one of his specialties.
Regulating your dutch oven temperature:
“People ask all the time how many briquettes to use,” Gary said. “Take a look at the number on the top of your Dutch oven, for example 12 (meaning 12 inches), and double the briquettes to 24.” He says nine go underneath and 15 on top for an average temperature of about 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you want to increase the temperature by 25 degrees add one brick on top and one on bottom.
Dutch Oven Potatoes
Red potatoes (1-2 per person, depending on size of potato and appetite of guests)
Canola or vegetable oil
3-4 pieces bacon, chopped
Dice red potatoes and slice onions. Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil in the dutch over and sauté onion.
Add potatoes and 3-4 slices of chopped bacon and cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 45-60 minutes. You can also try this one on your stove top with a large pot.
Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
Melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter in the Dutch oven.
Add a 28 oz. can of peaches, with juice. Layer evenly.
Using a yellow cake mix, take half and mix with enough milk for a pancake-batter consistency. Pour over peaches. Take other half of dry cake mix and sprinkle on top.
Cook it until cake is done, approximately 40-45 minutes.
Hot ’N’ Spicy Elk
This delicious recipe comes from the kitchen of Rozanne Mullin of John Day.
1 elk steak (about 1 1/2-2 lbs.), 2 inches thick
1 1/2 C. catsup
1 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. honey
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Combine marinade ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Cool and reserve a 1/2 cup of marinade. Place steak and remaining marinade in a plastic bag, close securely and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight. Prepare grill. Remove steak from bag and grill 7-10 minutes per side (longer for well done). Remove to plate and cover. Allow to rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat marinade. Slice crosswise about 1/2-inch thick and serve with heated reserved marinade.
Rozanne’s favorite tip: “People always compare elk to beef, but you will get much better flavor seasoning it like chicken and using chicken bouillon or soup with it.”