• Kenneth Kieser: Turning a good deer into a good meal

  • By now many of you or someone you know has harvested a buck or doe.

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  • By now many of you or someone you know has harvested a buck or doe.
    There are few greater accomplishments better than shooting a huge buck. This is why people think I am crazy to constantly claim to prefer young does. The meat is tender with much better flavor.
    Experienced hunters realize that deer meat is not the same as beef or pork. Many only grind up their venison for chili or spaghetti, but I like to keep different cuts for steaks, chops and, of course, ground venison. The problem is, many do not realize how to prepare deer.
    Generally venison is darker meat with little or no fat. I should mention that deer fat should be trimmed away and disposed of. Many believe that this undesirable fat taints the meat – and I have found that to be true, even in ground venison. Replace with pork suet to add more oil to this extremely dry meat.
    Some like the taste of deer steaks or chops as it is. Others, like me, would rather take steps to pull out blood and any impurities that make the meat taste “wild” by marinating in butter milk or Italian salad dressing. My friend, Roy Cox, formally of Blue Springs, made deer nuggets by adding lemon pepper and other spices in his batter before frying with great results.
    I have provided you one of my favorite recipes for ground venison below, but remember that ingredient amounts are suggested and all recipes should be cooked to your taste. Experiment lightly when adding extra ingredients. I have ruined many good meals by putting in too much of the wrong seasoning or other additions, so be careful and remember that all cook occasionally create a failure, so just keep trying!
    Here is a recipe to make your ground venison more delicious:
    I cook chili for many events like football games and sportsmen meetings. I recently fixed my three bean chili for a group of Brazilians who came here to hunt ducks. We had a great visit and almost most all of the men ate between two to three bowls. They informed me that Brazil does not have this kind of chili because of less available ingredients.
    Chili is not a complicated dish; the best versions are simple and products of experimentation. My family long ago decided that plain chili was not enough. So I had to try a number of meats and other ingredients to find this recipe, the final result of 40 years of cooking chili.
    I, in fact, created a couple of chili versions that the family rejected and even the hounds would not eat – the height of rejection for any self-proclaimed chef. Yet getting away from traditional chili was wrong as well. So here is the version that everyone loves, including my hunting and football buddies.
    Page 2 of 2 - Kieser’s chili recipe
    Start with these ingredients:
    n 2 pounds of venison, elk, moose, bear, antelope or buffalo burger.
    n Two large white onions, diced.
    n Two 14-ounce cans of black beans drained.
    n Two 14-ounce cans of brown beans drained
    n Two 14-ounce cans of kidney beans drained.
    n 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes with garlic and basil.
    n Packet of chili seasoning.
    n 24 ounces of tomato sauce
    n 10 ounces of water.
    n Jalapeno (or other) peppers, optional.
    Mix the meat and diced onion with diced jalapeno pepper (if you like it spicier) in a skillet, occasionally turning with a spatula. Make sure you brown every part of the meat while stirring in chili seasoning to taste, I prefer Williams Chili Seasoning, but you can use a five-alarm type seasoning or the milder versions. Next, when the meat is browned, add tomato sauce and stir, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
    Add the remainder of ingredients. Cook on low for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add a cup of applesauce and cook on low an additional half hour for a different flavor – again, stir occasionally. Then let cool and serve that evening with flour tortillas or crackers. I always let my chili set in the refrigerator for a day or two to combine flavors.
    MEAL IDEAS: I like to serve this chili as a main entrée or poured over tamales or burritos. I buy the tamales, but make my burritos by cooking up mashed brown beans with a touch of butter, salt and pepper. Next lay out flour tortillas on aluminum foil and spread on the bean paste, add onions with shredded cheese and fold to wrap up for the freezer.
    Pick an evening when you don't feel like cooking and thaw out a couple of the burritos, pour on some of your leftover chili or melted cheese with taco sauce and enjoy a tasty and inexpensive meal. Oh yes, don't forget the chili dogs, too, by simply pouring leftover chili on a hot dog with or without buns.
    Bon appetit!

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