Big Game Recipes

Venison and Mushroom Ragout on Soft Parmesan Polenta

A ragout is a stew with French roots that’s rich, hearty and pairs slow-cooked meats with vegetables or beans. I’ve mixed in a pile of mushrooms and serve it on top of soft, cheesy polenta. For my Southern friends, feel free to substitute cheese grits for the polenta. If you’re long on venison stew meat,…

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Italian-Seasoned Venison Roast

Most folks don’t think about eating venison meat cold, like any other cold cuts from the local deli. Marinated, seasoned and roasted to medium-rare, it’s as good — no, better — than store-bought sliced meats. Sliced thin and piled high on toasted bread with cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, now that’s a sandwich! This…

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Kinda Muffaletta

The “real” muffaletta originated in New Orleans and locals there are pretty particular about what goes on this formidable sandwich. I like to think of it as an Italian sub, but better. Finding true muffaletta bread is the big challenge. It’s an Italian-style bread that’s soft on the inside, crusty on the outside and sturdy…

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Rick Vonk's Elk Tenderloin

Broiled Venison Tenderloin

I don’t soak my venison tenderloins in buttermilk, teriyaki sauce or anything else that is supposed to get rid of the gamey flavor. If your tenderloins taste gamey, it’s your own darn fault. This picture is from filming The Sporting Chef TV series with guest, Chef Rick Vonk from Alabama. He made an elk tenderloin…

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homemade venison sausage

Maple Breakfast Sausage with Buttery Red Eye Gravy

It’s been my experience that most folks won’t bother giving a sausage recipe a second look. They think it requires special equipment and a chemistry degree. Grinders, cures and casings — and, really, what are those casings made of anyway? This breakfast sausage recipe is as simple as making venison burgers. Nothing more than a…

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Breakfast Venison Steak, Egg and Cheesy Cat Head Biscuit Sandwich

It’s a Southern thing, or “thang.” From the Mississippi Delta to the Appalachians of Virginia, I’ve been served cat head biscuits in various forms, and they’ve all been exceptionally good. Some are light and flaky, others a bit on the heavy side. The “cat head” name comes from the irregular shape of the oversized biscuits.…

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Potato Hot Dish

While working on a television show, I wound up in a popular restaurant in Brainerd, Minnesota, for lunch. One of the featured dishes highlighted on the menu was the “tater tot hot dish,” apparently the state casserole. Four out of five of us, the locals, ordered the hot dish. I was the odd man out.…

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venison neck roast

Apple-Braised Neck Roast

Following the usual braising protocol, the venison neck roast is first browned, and then slow-cooked in a shallow liquid bath in a covered container. I’ve added an additional flavor element by brining the roast for several hours before roasting. This process works just as well with any venison roast. I often hear fellow hunters complain…

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venison shank in pot

Braised Venison Shanks

Please, please, please stop throwing away those delicious venison shanks! Roasted in the oven and simmered in liquid, they make exceptional stocks and broths. But when braised osso bucco-style, the delicate, moist meat will impress even the most game-wary eater. The process takes a few hours, but it can be prepared a day or two…

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