If I were to ask you to raise hands for someone who loves venison, I’m curious what response would we look at?
When Michael, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, inquired about venison recipes, I turned the wheels in my head.
You know, when I was a very young girl, and we lived in the famous Amish country of Holmes County, Ohio, we rarely had venison because deer were rare in those densely populated areas.
Moving to Flat Rock, we were blessed with plenty of wildlife throughout our 90-acre farm. There were so many deer in the area that they would become seriously ill unless they were thinned.
My father would go looking for his family year after year. Although some years were more difficult to sack a deer, he continued to do everything in his power to feed his family this natural meat. Although we felt blessed with all the venison we could get from year to year, it was an adjustment to switch from beef to venison.
Some don’t mind the wonderful flavor; Others declared it less than delicious. We soon learned that by cutting out as much fat as possible and using only doe meat in a burger, you can get a minimum of game flavor.
My mom, a wonderful chef, had a knack for seasoning it properly with some taco seasoning and chili powder, concealing any game effect she might still have.
We also have many special memories of the times we spent with my father in the woods or the family butcher where my uncles and their families joined us after the deer hunting season. We were giving it our all as we spent the entire evening slaying tea, snacks, and exciting conversations.
There’s an evening I’ll never think of without a smile on my face—and my heart for that matter. There was a circle of us around the big table. Our knives were kept busy while we were talking. Then I turned to Uncle Paul, who had been my employer for several years when I worked in their store and became their favorite uncle, and I asked him, “What would you say if I had a date on Sunday?” His expression was priceless. He said, “You have to make up some crazy stories!” (Since courtship or dating is only for those who are seriously considering marriage, the first date is very problematic and is “the talk of the town.”)
Turning toward the others, he asked, “Is she serious? Come on, is she serious?” Now Paul was always considered the type to discover surprises or events, but he knew nothing of them even once.
Then I triumphantly asked, “What do you think of Daniel, son of Ephraim Yoder?” Even without an answer, I knew he would be impressed – who didn’t respect this amazing young man? You might be like, “Come on, there are more good guys by his side.” Well, I agree, but for me, Daniel was one and only, and today, after 13 years, he still is!
And now Daniel is the one providing us with venison for our growing family. I wonder how life can bring so many changes, so slowly but indescribably fast. Yes, there are countless good times children spend with their father in the woods, sharing a snack and simultaneously having conversations with their father.
Besides, this winter we tried something new for our family. We’ve butchered one type of grass-fed beef, and added a delicious dimension to putting it on the table, not to mention the health benefits of eating real meat that’s been raised in actual natural living conditions.
Now back to Michael from Pennsylvania. Thank you for your enquiry. Yes, we use any recipes that call for beef interchangeably with venison.
I’ll leave you with the recipe for beef/venison my mother gave us when I had the flu a couple of weeks ago. It is perfect for cold winter evenings. These are the times when I am so grateful for the hundreds of pounds of meat in the freezer to feed my pups at any given time. Why yesterday afternoon, when I was making casseroles, Julia came over and asked if she could have some brown venison burger. “Why sure!” And you answered. She quickly ate a bowl of venison topped with her favorite sweet-sour sauce and a spoonful of pizza sauce. It was declared one of the best snacks.
And you should see little Joshua. At 1½ years old, he seems to be getting along with his dad being a carnivore. He doesn’t eat all those solid foods, but he’ll grab a burger any day.
Mexican Taco Soup
¾ pound hamburger
½ c minced onion
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup chicken broth
Small can of black or pinto beans
1 cup sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Half a teaspoon of cumin
1½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fry the hamburger until the pink color fades; behavior. (Add onions in a few minutes of frying to fry slightly.) Sprinkle with flour and stir well. Now add tomato juice and broth, stirring until heated up. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until boiling. Stir frequently. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve with corn chips and a cream of ranch dressing.
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