Wild Game Lunch Meats

A Trio of Lunch Meats

A Trio of Wild Game Lunch Meats

½ pound, each recipe

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A variation on a duck/goose recipe that appears in my Duck & Goose Cookery book, (which is no longer in print) these three variations also appeared in Rifle Loony News, Volume 4 Issue 3. This is an easy to make–and vary–recipe that goes with crackers, on toast, or in your pocket–as a sandwich to take hunting.  These three are my current favorite variations.  But all require a little cooked meat.  That’s why I’ve added the primer on dry roasting game meat–which is the easiest way to get that little bit of cooked meat.  The meat can be any big game animal: deer, elk, antelope, moose, caribou, even bison, if that’s what you have in the freezer.  Then if you have never tried dry roasting game (or not done it successfully) check out the basic roasting instructions which follow the three recipes.

The first variation is a basic Montana wild lunch meat spread I’ve run into more than once over the years, but our friends Dee and John Stuver were the latest.

#1: The Traditional, Improved

  • 8 ounces cooked venison
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons bottled yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

#2 Easy Tex-Mex

  • 8 ounces cooked venison
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2-3 teaspoons Chipotle Tabasco Sauce (or to taste)

#3 Scratch Tex-Mex

  • 8 ounces cooked venison
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mild chilies (canned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Chop the cooked venison into chunks, toss into a food processor and purée.  Now toss the rest of the ingredients into the processor and process a second or two until it all looks uniform in color, but not much more. Transfer the meat spread to a bowl, cover and chill for several hours.  Now, you can use your sandwich spread on crackers, toast and in sandwiches–including adding it when making grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Dry Roasting

EC

Generally dry roasting requires a more tender piece of meat than wet roasting–otherwise known as pot roasting.  (You know: putting a cheap cut in a covered pot with bouillon and cooking it long and slow to tenderize it.)  Tender meat comes from young animals–like forkorn bucks–but can also come from does and mature males of the species, with luck and proper aging. Tender is also a matter of geography: even in a mature animal, the most tender meat is high and rearward, so rump roasts, and steaks taken high on the hind quarters will always be more tender than those taken from the high or low on the shoulder or front quarters.  (Of course they can be tender, too.  With wild meat, you take pot luck.)

But since we’re going to dry roast and THEN purée the meat, don’t waste that tender stuff on this.  And since we’re also adding some pretty stout seasoning, you can use something you’ve been afraid to cook for company.  (Don’t go crazy in that direction though, ‘cause even cumin and chili powder won’t hide a really rank buck. And while we’re on that, if it’s a gamy buck, be sure to remove all the sinew and connective tissue before cooking.)

So, now you have a chunk of raw meat in front of you.  Totally thawed out.  Take a ruler, and stand it up behind the roast.  How ‘tall’ is it? That’s what determines cooking time.  (Not weight, length or even overall size.) 

 Most deer roasts are about 1 ½ to 2” high, some a bit more, some a bit less, so let’s give that as a starting point.  In a 325ºF oven, a 2” high roast will be about medium rare in about an hour.  (All these ‘abouts’ are a bit of a fudge factor.  This is what happens in my oven, at 3500 feet above sea level. But just use a meat thermometer, and take the roast out when it reaches an internal temperature of 135ºF or so. A little more isn’t going to hurt anything, just don’t go much farther above medium.)

For more on dry roasting, and for a roasting table, Slice of the Wild has detailed timing for both 325º, 450º in your oven–and roasting indirectly outdoors on your grill–for roasts of all heights.

Remove the roast from the roasting pan once it’s cooled to the touch, and place in the fridge, covered with foil.  Once it’s chilled for a few hours, it’s ready to purée and mix with the spread ingredients. 

Now you just have to decide which flavor suits your taste buds.  

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