This past Christmas, I cooked a delicious Venison Wellington that I can’t wait to make again! It was the first Christmas I cooked the entire dinner myself and I knew I wanted to make something special. I had backstrap still in my freezer from the doe I shot the year before, just waiting for the “right” recipe to use it.
Summer is here and what better time to grill up some delicious venison bacon burgers! You might be wondering where the bacon is, this recipe has it inside the burger creating a great flavor!
One complaint I’ve heard about venison burgers is how dry they can be. Not this recipe! Big, juicy burgers full of flavor that go great with a beer on a beautiful summer day.
Click below to get the recipe!
You read that right—I used to be a vegetarian long before I became a hunter.
It’s why when my dad tells people I shot a deer, he follows it up with, “she’s the LAST person I ever would’ve thought would shoot a deer.”
So how did I end up here? Now butchering my own meat.
When I was around 16 years old, my best friend and I decided we’d become vegetarians. There wasn’t much to it. We likely watched some ridiculous video or read an article and decided it was a good idea. To be honest, I think it had more to do with being an angsty teenager making things difficult for my parents by refusing to eat meat. Sorry guys! I’m sure karma will come back my way when I have my own children!
Here’s the thing, I still loved meat. Not a day went by that I didn’t want to eat a piece of bacon or a steak. It hurt to see someone ruin a perfectly good steak by ordering it well-done instead of medium-rare. Obviously I wasn’t the greatest vegetarian.
So after a year, being a vegetarian became a thing of the past. Fast forward more than a decade and now I’m a proud hunter.
How did the pendulum swing so far?
When I started learning more about hunting, one of the things to spark my interest was being able to provide organic meat for my family. Knowing exactly where your meat is coming from really intrigued me. It’s why when I shot a deer, I wanted to watch and learn all I could about skinning and gutting a deer.
Later, when my brother showed me how to butcher the meat, I was still intrigued to keep learning. It was fascinating seeing how all the cuts are connected. You don’t really realize how it’s all put together when you only buy packaged meat from a store.
Learning how to process a deer myself really gave a new appreciation for meat and where it comes from. And now I’m able to cook delicious meals with venison and I have no questions about the quality of the meat. I know because I was involved in the processing of the deer from step one.
So it’s a little funny when people who don’t agree with hunting tell me I should be a vegetarian. Been there, done that—it’s not for me. Just like hunting might not be for them.
I’m going to keep eating meat whether I hunt or not. I’d just much rather the meat come from the field than a store!
So, what about you guys? Anyone else make the same change from vegetarian to hunter? Share below!
This past weekend, I cooked up a batch of delicious and easy venison chili! With the cold winter months, nothing is better than a warm bowl of chili.
This is an easy recipe with only 7 ingredients.
Country Huntress Venison Chili
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 333 per serving
- 1 lb of ground venison (beef or turkey could be used too)
- Four 10 ounce cans of diced tomatoes and green chiles
- Two 14.5 ounce cans of pinto beans (or whatever bean you like best, kidney or black beans would work well too)
- One large onion (chopped)
- Three cloves garlic (minced)
- 1-2 tablespoons Chile Powder (Depending on how much heat you like, add to your preference, I love spicy food so I use 2)
- 1/2 tablespoon Ground Cumin
You can simmer anywhere from 20 minutes up to an hour. I think the flavors develop more the longer you let it simmer. But if you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, 20 minutes will do!
The chili definitely has a kick to it from all the chile powder. I love spicy food. If you don’t, maybe add only a tablespoon of chili powder. I’m definitely an “eyeball” the measurements cook, so feel free to change what you’d like to your preferences. This is a great base chili you can really make your own.
To top it off, I add a nice dallop of sour cream. This helps cut down the spicy heat when you’re eating it. You can also add cheese, green onion, or olives.
A few weekends ago, I made my first venison meatloaf and it turned out incredibly delicious!
I hosted a “Friendsmas” dinner with several friends and made a feast of venison meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole (my personal holiday favorite). Meatloaf was one of my grandma’s specialties and I’ve always liked it. So I was excited to try out this recipe because I hadn’t eaten it in years. It didn’t disappoint!
To make the meatloaf, I first needed to grind up some of the venison in my freezer. This meant I got to use my new meat grinder for the first time! I took out a couple packs of stew meat to thaw out so they’d be ready to grind.
I read the manual, it seemed easy enough so I started grinding the stew meat.
I ran it through a coarse grinder plate on the first pass through. Then, I switched it to the fine grinder plate on the second.
When it was all done, I was left with over a pound of venison! So cool and really easy to use. I can’t wait to try out the sausage stuffing setting on there.
For the meatloaf, I followed this recipe. The venison weighed out to around a pound and a quarter, so I increased all the ingredients a bit.
Like my grandma always said, the only way to mix meatloaf is to get in there with your hands. I combined all the ingredients together and then filled a small loaf pan. It smelled amazing, but to make it even better you add some bacon strips on top.
Mine took almost twice as long as the recipe said to cook. An instant thermometer was a life saver cooking this one! Make sure the inside temperature is at least 160 degrees. I poured over the BBQ sauce mixture and viola!
I think the next time I make it, I’d form the meat into the rectangle shape on a baking sheet. That way you put full slices of bacon over the top and sides. And the entire meatloaf will be covered in the sauce that everyone said was their favorite part. I think the sage adds a really great flavor to this recipe so don’t skip that ingredient or swap it out!
Writing this post makes me want to cook this again, it was so delicious! This meatloaf is also great the next day between two white slices of bread with mayo. But it’s not likely you’ll have leftovers!
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already 2016! I don’t know about you but last year went by in a flash. I hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends!
It’s crazy to have my first year of this blog in the books.
I thought it’d be fun to do a look back at the 10 most popular posts from the last year… so here we go! (Click any of the titles to read the posts!)
- The Value of Female Hunters
Remember when a man working a booth at a hunting expo ignored me and focused his attention on my male friend? This was an unexpected post I never thought I’d be writing, but I loved all your comments and learning about the experiences other females have gone through being in the male dominated hunting world.
- Huntress – What’s In A Name?
The word huntress — surprisingly debated in the hunting world. I personally like it, how else would you know a lady ran this blog if I just called it Country Hunter? Again, it was great to see how other women view the word and what they like being called! Regardless if you love it or hate it, we should support all female hunters.
- Salmon Fishing in The San Juans
This was a lovely trip to the San Juans and I was lucky enough to catch my first salmon. The backdrop was absolutely gorgeous! I actually have several pictures from this trip framed in my room.
- Washington Outdoor’s Women – Duck Hunting
One of my posts from the women’s retreat I attended last year. I learned so much about duck hunting and met some great women. I’m looking forward to going to their duck hunting workshop this spring!
- Surf Fishing on the Oregon Coast
This was a great experience learning about surf fishing. Not sure when I’ll get the chance to do it again, but it was definitely cool to see. It was another weekend that had gorgeous sunsets for the backdrop.
- Washington Outdoor Retreat – Day 1
What a great weekend, I encourage any women in Washington to attend this next year. If you live in another state, see if there’s a similar retreat for women that takes place! I’m definitely planning on going again this year!
- Shooting My 1st Deer
I’m so happy I was able to make this post this year. I shot my first deer and learned so much that I’ll carry with me every hunting season forward.
- From Field To Plate
My delicious first meal I cooked with the venison meat that I was taught to butcher myself! I promise I’m posting that recipe next, it was so good!
- Failure To Launch: Learning How To Fish
This makes me laugh this is one of the more popular posts I had last year. My somewhat embarrassing first moment of learning to fish at night. I’ve grown a lot since then and now enjoy night fishing!
- Taking A Woman Hunting? Avoid These Mistakes!
A great read for men who plan on taking a woman out to hunt for the first time! I’ve definitely had my own experiences that sound like what’s listed in the article. How you act on a woman’s first hunt can definitely shape how she sees hunting and if she’ll keep her interest.
Thanks for reading along as I continue to learn more about the world of hunting. Thanks to everyone who helped make some of these posts possible!
Here’s to a great 2016!
What was your best hunting moment of 2015? Share below!
When I got back from my hunting trip, I had four deer quarters to butcher.
My family has always hunted with farmers so they’ve harvested and processed their own deers for decades. Thanksgiving morning my brother came over and taught me how to butcher the meat.
We both started with one leg. He showed me how to work the filet knife between the different muscles to start separating the meat. He said the knife will do the work, just follow where the tension is. It was interesting to see how it was all connected.
He also showed me how to use your hand to feel where the muscle goes. Eventually, we got out our first big steak. Then came what he said was the most important part—cleaning the meat.
I got off all of the film that keeps the muscles together. Then I worked to cut off all of the silver skin, that part wasn’t easy! If any of the meat had fat left on it, I also cut that off. It took awhile, but when I was done we were left with really nice cuts of meat.
The reason he said this step was so important was all of those parts added to the gamey taste of meat. So the less of that on the meat, the less gamey it’ll taste.
It took us a couple of hours but we finished butchering two of the quarters. We were left with steaks and stew meat mostly. I learned a lot, my brother was really helpful at showing me how to do everything. It was nice being able to learn the family tradition of what they do after someone gets a deer.
He took two pieces of meat we’d cleaned and grilled them in a cast iron skillet. With only salt and pepper to season it, it was a delicious piece of meat! Not too gamey at all!
A few days later, I finished butchering the last two quarters. It took me a few hours. It probably wasn’t the best butchering ever done, but it was a good feeling to do it myself. It’s a lot of hard work, but rewarding to see all the meat you’re left with.
For Black Friday, I purchased a meat grinder from Cabelas. I’ll be using it for the first time this weekend as I grind stew meat to make a venison meatloaf. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Do you butcher your own deer or take it to be processed at a wild game butcher? Share your family’s tradition below!
If you missed Shooting My First Deer – Part 1, read it here!
I had just shot my first deer and now the hard work started as we began to track the blood trail.
Kelli and I began make our way through the thick salal bushes that were much taller than us. To be honest, I don’t know how she cleared a path for us to follow because the second we went through, the path was swallowed up by branches and leaves again.
Trying to follow a blood trail in that brush seemed impossible. We worked our way to one clearing and no blood was to be found. We looked in every direction she could’ve gone but nothing. We each took turns going back into the salal to try and see if the blood trail moved farther into it in another direction.
Eventually we decided to move from where we were to try and get farther back in the brush near where we saw bushes move. We made our way back in and again came to another small clearing. I looked down and there was another patch of blood—back to tracking once more!
A week ago, I shot my first deer! My life has been a bit hectic lately. But when I had the chance to get out to the San Juan Islands for a late season hunt, I jumped on it. I headed up on a Saturday to meet them at the marina and they took me over to Decatur Island–a small island in the San Juans not accessible by ferry. The couple helping me hunt is the same couple that helped me catch my first salmon.We ate lunch and made a game plan for the rest of the day. Kelli and I would head out to an area that they’d seen several deer before. I changed into my hunting gear and off we went. We made our way back through trees until it opened up a little bit. We found a large tree trunk that had a log in front of it that was a good spot to sit and have some cover. One of my goals getting into hunting has been to find other women to hunt with. It’s a lot easier said than done. So it was an awesome feeling to be out there with another woman! We sat quietly and the craziness of everyday life faded away. One of my favorite things about hunting is feeling connected to the outdoors.