The benefits of hunting and fishing are immeasurable. Not only do you get to experience God’s creation and beauty, you also have a chance to bond with family and friends. For others this is a time to find solitude, inner peace or just time away from the office and the fast paced world we seem to live in. The above mentioned are all reasons that I hunt.
Another benefit to hunting is knowing where your food comes from. The rule in our house is we only hunt for what we will eat. I know how the game was raised (in the wild!) and processed, as we process our own meat. This is about as organic as it gets. Seemingly now more than ever this is an important factor. Have you seen some of the news articles floating around? Or some of the pictures circulating social media? Granted just because it is on the internet does not make it true… however, I would rather not risk it. Being a hunter you need to be healthy and in shape (hunting season is around the corner!) Take care of yourself with exercise and eating right. A component to eating right is eating clean. Knowing the food you are ingesting is not filled with chemicals and hormones is a good way to make sure you are getting “the good stuff”. You cannot go wrong by harvesting and processing your own food.
I have heard complaints of harvested animals having a “gamey” taste. There are many different ways to process your wild game. The standard process is to clean and freeze it. Expand your horizons!
• Can it, add some spices for extra flavor- the canning process seals in the flavor of added spices.
• Process it into sausage or sausage links, jerky or burger. Mix in a bit of pork or beef fat, since wild game is super lean, this additive will add some texture and extra flavor (you can purchase fat from your local butcher to add in).
• There are also resources available to refer to. Personally, I like www.allrecipes.com and my go to for birds is Tiffany Haugen’s “Cooking Game Birds” recipe book. Let your inner chef come out and experiment!
Below is one of my favorite wild game chili recipes… the great thing is you can either throw it in the crock pot and it will be done when you get home from a hard day or you can cook it on the stove top. I have used either elk, deer or turkey burger (freshly ground ourselves).
Cheers to healthy, clean eating and here is hoping you have a memorable hunting season – whether you harvest or not!
1-medium onion (cut in medium-large pieces)
1-TBSP olive oil
1-28 oz can tomatoes (with juice)
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1-small can tomato paste
Ketchup (to taste)
1-can each: Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans (with juice), white beans (without juice).
1- TBSP chili powder
1-TSP cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
In a sauce pan, lightly sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add browned meat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for 30-minutes.
CROCK POT –
Place all ingredients into a crock pot. Place on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.