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Venison recipes to warm the body and soul

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When the winter winds come blowing in and temperatures hover in the single digits, cooking and consuming great food warms the tummy and the soul. These venison recipes are sure to please.

Seboeis Stew

This recipe has been a time-tested favorite at a Maine North Woods deer camp frequented by a group of deer hunters who call themselves the Skulkers of Seboeis. This group celebrated its 50th year this year at deer camp! In the early days, this group’s annual Game Dinner included a large steaming bowl of Seboeis Stew, served with buttermilk biscuits and a nice red wine. The late Maine outdoor writer Bud Leavitt, who rarely missed a meal, liked this stew a lot. In his book Twelve Months in Maine, Leavitt wrote in November of 1977: “This is a concoction designed to please the inner man, V. Paul Reynolds, inventor:”

2 lbs. venison, cubed, trimmed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 cups water
1 medium onion minced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 carrots quartered
4 potatoes quartered
1 cup diced turnip
1 beef bouillon cube

Flour the venison and brown in hot fat with onions and garlic. Add water and all seasonings. Cover and slow slimmer for about two hours stirring occasionally. Then add the vegetables, slow cooking for about one hour.

Nana’s Mincemeat for Pie

This is my late mother’s recipe. She always insisted that it dated back to the era of the Pilgrims

5 C. deer meat
7 C. apples
1 C. suet
1 orange (skin and all)
2 1/2 C. molasses
3 C. sugar (part brown sugar)
3 C. cider
2 C. vinegar
4 t. salt
4 t. cinnamon
4 t. cloves
1/2 t. pepper
2 pounds raisins

Cook deer meat first and remove from bone. Grind deer into deerburger.
Cook deer meat, apples, suet, and orange until apples are soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook till browned up and glazed over (about three hours). Place hot into sterilized jars. Makes about 11 pints.

Diane’s Deerburger Soup

This is my wife Diane’s culinary creation. It is my favorite.

2 lbs ground lean venison
4 garlic cloves minced
1 big onion chopped
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1-2 cups diced carrots
corn cut from 4 frozen ears ( or 1 can whole kernel corn drained)
4-5 whole frozen garden tomatoes ( or 1 large can of whole tomatoes)
half can of beef broth, or 2 beef bullion cubes
1 tsp. Worcestershire
bayleaf, basil, fresh ground pepper, salt
1 tsp. sugar

To prepare, heat olive oil in large sauce pan. Add garlic, onion and meat. Cook on low heat for few minutes until meat is browned and onion is transparent. Then add broth and small amount (cup) of water. (You might need to add more water later). Add remainder of recipe and simmer until carrots are tender.

* Diane suggests experimenting with your favorite herbs. She believes that the herbs and veggies from the home garden and freezer really make the difference.

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The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine guide and host of a weekly radio program, “Maine Outdoors,” heard at 7 p.m. Sundays on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network. He has authored three books; online purchase information is available at www.maineoutdoorpublications.

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