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Kentucky Venison

When my brother starts using words like sorghum plots, tree stands, glazed meat, racks, and bows, I know it’s a very special harvest time here in Kentucky. Many families enjoy venison this time of year and a few enthusiasts, like my brother, plant acres of deer-friendly plots to produce strong deer and healthy antlers. As we all give thanks this harvest season, let us remember to be responsible hunters and respect the land that provides us this wonderful bounty.

VENISON ITALIAN
2 lbs. venison, cut into strips
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 large can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Cooked pasta
Parmesan cheese

Brown venison strips in olive oil over high heat until browned. Remove and drain on paper towels. In a Dutch oven, sauté onion and celery in olive oil until transparent. Add butter, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cooking until liquid is reduced and sauce is very thick. Add venison strips, cover, and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.

ORIENTAL VENISON
2 lbs. venison
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooked rice, optional

Trim venison of fat and tendons, and cut into strips. Combine soy sauce, onion, water, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl and marinate meat 3-4 hours. Grill or broil to desired degree of doneness. Baste often with the marinade. This dish is excellent served over cooked rice. Serves 4-6.

SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH VENISON
1/2 cup carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon shortening
1 can beef gravy (I use Franco-American)
3 cups ground venison, cooked
1 cup peas, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Cut carrots into wide strips and steam or cook in small saucepan with a small amount of water until fork tender. In a medium skillet, sauté onions and celery in shortening until transparent. Add gravy, cooked ground venison, carrots, and peas. Allow to simmer 3-5 minutes. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasoning. Spread mashed potatoes over top. Bake at 400° about 20-25 minutes until brown on top. Serves 4.

JANICE’S VENISON SWISS STEAK
2 lbs. shoulder, roast, or ham venison
2 large onions, cut into strips
3/4 cup dry red wine such as a Cabernet
1 large can tomato paste
1 (15-1/2 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of dried rosemary
Pinch of thyme
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 Tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer

Cut venison into strips about 3 inches long and 3/4-inch thick, trimmed of any fat and tendons. Brown meat in olive oil on all sides.

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking in slow cooker for an additional 8 hours. Serves 6-8.

CHARLIE BRATCHER’S DEER FRITTERS
3/4 lb. venison roast or shoulder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1 Tablespoon meat tenderizer
5 green onions, white parts only
Vegetable oil for frying

Cut venison into 2-1/2 inches long by 3 wide and 1/2-inch thick pieces. Put meat in bowl with salt water, and let sit for 24 hours in refrigerator. Remove meat from bowl and rinse in cold water. Combine remaining ingredients, except for oil, in bowl and dip fritters into batter. Spread on a large platter and refrigerate for 4 hours. Fill large skillet with 1/4-inch vegetable oil and fry on medium until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 3-4.

Coming Next Month: Holiday Goodies

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