Lately the types of food that I have been cooking are on the wild side. Venison, fish, and Cornish hen have been on my dinner plate this last week. The fish have been from the days I spent out at the lake working to fill the freezer. The venison is from a deer one of my buddies got last fall. As for the hen, well I bought that.
The deer I helped track, drag out of the woods, and clean once it was at my buddy’s house. While he took the back straps for steak and almost everything lese, he let me have the neck roast. There must have been close to fifteen pounds of neck roast sitting in my freezer. Between turkey, fish, and venison something had to start moving out to make room for the fish I would be catching this summer.
I thawed out the venison. I sliced up some of the thicker strands and cubed it to make a stew. The larger pieces I trimmed and let it sit in some herbs and spices in the fridge overnight. Before putting it in the stove for two hours, I packed garlic between the folds.
The beans for the stew had to sit in water over night. A can of spicy cubed tomatoes was added to the stew along with fresh chopped onion and minced garlic.
When the meals were done the smell of venison filled the house. I now understood the comment people would make about how it’s gamey.
My buddy who shot the deer came over and I grabbed a bottle of dandelion wine from the basement. I don’t know what the alcohol content of dandelion wine is but I have had people compare it to moonshine.
In both meals the venison was tender. My buddy went for seconds and slice some roast, then drizzled the stew on top.
Over 90% of the food and drink on the table was either from hunting or grown in the backyard. If I didn’t have the spicy cubed tomatoes the meal wouldn’t have been a loss.
The neck roast by it’s self was enough to feed four people or more and there was plenty leftover.
What are some ways I could have made this meal without a stove? A Dutch oven would have been best for the roast. Set over a fire it would have had the same result. As for the stew cooking in the same way over a fire with a pot would have worked. I’ve never had trouble regulating heat in a fire once the fire is established. If the fire does become too hot make sure the cooking device can be raised or lowered above the fire to the desired temperature.
Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.