Homemade Pheasant Stock

“Be worthy of your game.” ~ George Bird Evans

Learning to process game meat has been an eye opening experience.  It is a challenging and ever-evolving labor.  Cleaning a harvest is different, not only for different groups of animals, but even for different species within a specific subgroup of animals.  For example, it is obvious that a fish is cleaned differently than a duck, but it isn’t always obvious that a duck may be cleaned differently than a goose, or even another species of duck. Cleaning also varies on how you plan to prepare or use the animal.  I feel I have only touched on the surface of cleaning animals.

Cleaning is just the beginning step of processing game meat too.  Storing and preserving meat is an entirely different story.  And not to mention learning how to use different parts of the animal! We often hear stories of how Native Americans used every part of an animal. Meat was obviously processed and eaten, but hides or feathers were used for shelter creation or clothing, bones could be constructed into tools or weapons, and tendons or sinew could be used to create thread or string.  Of course, those few examples only brush on the surface of how many parts of an animal are useful.

Utilizing the entire animal was definitely a survival tactic for Native Americans, and as a modern day hunter, that drive for survival isn’t quite the same.  However, many hunters strive to use as much of an animal as possible.  Whether this desire comes from a simple curiosity as to what you can come up with to use what you have at hand, or is from a deeper desire to use every part of the animal as a form of respect, there are limitless possibilities on what to create or how to utilize an animal in its entirety, and it is definitely a learning process.

So, while this might be a small step in terms of all the possible things I could use a pheasant for, it is a first step and I enjoyed trying something new with a different part of the bird.  After cleaning all the meat from the pheasant, I saved the carcass and made a simple pheasant stock.  While I was excited to find a use for the leftover bones of my pheasant harvest, my primary drive for creating a pheasant stock developed from a nagging feeling I got when using chicken stock in my pheasant recipes.  For some reason, it bothered me when I would create a soup or sauce recipe for my pheasant meal, but had to use chicken stock as the base.  It seemed silly. So, I made a small batch of pheasant stock from the carcass and can now use that as the base for whatever pheasant recipe I work on next.

For the stock, a few simple ingredients are necessary to help develop a deeper flavor profile.  Aside from the pheasant carcass, you will need carrots, celery, and onion.  I used around four medium sized carrots, three stalks of celery, and two medium sized onions.  You could also add a few cloves of garlic.  To create a little uniqueness in my stock, I also added in a four inch piece of whole ginger root.

Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit and roast the pheasant carcass, celery, carrots, onion, and ginger root for 20 minutes.  There is no need to cut anything up or do any type of prep work before roasting.  The only step I took was the cut the onions in half.  I did not peel the carrots or even remove the onion skin.  If I had added garlic to this stock, I would have roasted the cloves whole as well.

Once the vegetables and pheasant are done roasting, transfer everything to a large pot.  I did remove some of the skin from the ginger root before adding it to the pot, but that was about it.  I left the onions whole and broke the celery in half so it would fit in the pot, but other than that not much work to be done!  At this point, toss in a couple of bay leaves and add enough water to the pot to cover everything by about two inches.  The amount of water needed will vary based on the size of your pot, but it should be somewhere between eight and twelve cups.  I used ten for my pot.  Heat the pot over a medium heat and watch until the water starts to boil.  Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let the stock simmer for a few hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is still enough liquid in the pot and that the pot is still just simmering and not boiling.  I let my stock simmer for about four hours.  The liquid reduced from ten cups to eight by the end of the cooking time.

If you are interested in creating a little bit of a different flavor profile for your pheasant stock, instead of using onions you could substitute leeks.  You could also add fennel for a hint of licorice.  Herbs can also be infused into the stock, such as thyme, sage, or basil.  Strain the entire pot through a fine mesh colander, and discard all the vegetables and carcass.  Allow the liquid to cool.  In the end, the stock should be a beautiful auburn color and have a mild savory flavor.

I plan on using my stock within the next couple of days, so I poured it into mason jars and stuck it in the fridge.  It should last in the fridge for about five days.  Canning the stock is another option; however the process for cooking is a bit different.  I prefer to freeze homemade stock that I am not going to use.  I put it in a large Tupperware container and just pop it in the freezer.  It will last indefinitely in the freezer.

This stock has a hint of the richness from the pheasant bones and also a clean, fresh taste from the vegetables.  It is not salty, which took me a minute to get used to.  When using store bought chicken stock, the stock is salted and, for me, that is the main flavor that stands out.  This pheasant stock is a base starting point for any sauces, broths, or soups you might create with it.  Think of the stock as a building block that will enhance and develop flavor in your dish.  This recipe allows you to extract the umami (one of the five basic tastes) to use as an ingredient from a bird carcass or other bones.  It also gives a little more reward to yourself and the animal that provided for you.

Happy Hunting!

Homemade Pheasant Stock

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

2

Serving Size: 4 cups

Homemade Pheasant Stock

Ingredients

  • 1 pheasant carcass, cleaned
  • 2 medium onions, cut in half
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 medium sized carrots
  • 1 four inch piece of ginger root
  • 3 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the pheasant carcass, onions, celery, carrots, and ginger root on an ungreased baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large stock pot, place roasted pheasant, onions, celery, carrots, ginger roots, and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and pheasant by two inches, about eight to twelve cups.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Simmer the pot for four hours, checking occasionally to see if more water needs added.
  7. Pour the entire pot through a fine mesh strainer and allow liquid to cool. Liquid should be a rich auburn color.
  8. Store in fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.
  9. Enjoy!
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Asian Style Elk Meatballs: A Perfect Party Appetizer

“I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night.” ~ Lady Gaga

I am not always the best pre-planner. If I am headed on vacation, I am the one packing my bags thirty minutes before we are scheduled to leave.  I tend to forget essentials, you know, like my tooth brush.  I do not know why I have to wait until thirty minutes before our scheduled departure to start preparing for my trip, but I do it every time.  And every time, as I am realizing I don’t have any clean socks to pack, because that would require a pre-check of my dresser drawers to ensure there are socks available for my trip, I curse myself for procrastinating.  You would think I would learn my lesson.  Arriving at your destination without pants to wear can be quite unfortunate.  But every vacation, no matter what, I still find myself packing that bag thirty minutes before jumping in the car and hastily roaring away, most likely with a pair of dirty socks, no toothbrush, and pant-less.

This incredible skill of procrastination is also useful in other situations.  This past New Year’s Eve, I was invited to a late night celebration.  I was invited well over a week in advance, and was told to bring three simple things: myself, a drink to share, and an appetizer dish to share.  Guess what was ready with an hour before party time?  Nothing. Not my drink to share, not my appetizer dish, and certainly not myself.

Realizing people would probably not care if I stopped at the store and grabbed a bottle of some drink to share and that I was dressed like a slob (with dirty socks of course), I did think people would notice if I arrived with no appetizer in hand.  I contemplated buying one of those pre-made vegetable or meat and cheese trays, but I figured my fellow procrastinators would also devise this plan and arrive with the same appetizer.

I opened my refrigerator in search of something to throw together, and luck would have it, there was a pack of elk chunk waiting to become my quick, throw together New Year’s Eve appetizer.  I quickly ran the chunk through my meat grinder.  It resulted in about a pound of ground elk.  To the ground elk, I added a cup of panko bread crumbs, some fresh chopped parsley, and a little nutmeg.  I also seasoned generously with salt and pepper.  I also added in one beaten egg and two tablespoons of milk.

I find the best tactic for mixing meatballs is to just dig right in with your hands.  This gets everything incorporated really thoroughly.  Also, it allows you to test the consistency of the meatballs.  If the meatballs feel too wet and things aren’t really sticking together, add more panko bread crumbs.  If things feel to dry, add in more milk.

Since this was a quick throw together appetizer, I used what was available in my pantry to make my meatballs.  If you don’t have, or maybe you don’t like, panko bread crumbs, traditional bread crumbs will also work.  Also, I don’t always have fresh parsley on hand.  I actually never have it on hand, but for some reason on this particular evening I did.  If you don’t have fresh parsley, dried would also work.  You would only need a tablespoon of dried parsley instead of a quarter cup like with the fresh.

Roll the meatballs into balls using about a tablespoon of the meat mixture.  Place them on an ungreased baking sheet.  For easier clean-up, line the sheet with aluminum foil.  Bake the meatballs in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  The meatballs should be slightly browned and your kitchen should smell delicious!

While the meatballs are roasting away, pull out a crockpot.  Set the crockpot on low heat.

To the pot, add 3/4 to 1 cup of hoisin sauce.  I started with 3/4 of a cup and then added more at the end of I wanted more of the hoisin flavor to stand out.  A beautiful dark amber color, hoisin is a sweet and salty sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine.  It is a pungent sauce packed with a ton of flavor, so start with less and you can always add more.

To the hoisin, add one tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame seed oil, two cloves of minced garlic, and a teaspoon of ground ginger. To help liven up the flavor of the spices in the hoisin sauce, add a tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar.  Give everything a stir and a quick taste.  The sauce should taste salty and a bit spicy.  Now it is time develop the sweetness of this sauce.  I always taste things before I start adding my sweetener to see where things are at.  This is important with the hoisin because it also adds sweetness to the dish, and you don’t want the meatballs tasting like lollipops!  Anyway, slowly add the honey in a drizzle at a time, tasting as you go, until the sauce is where you want it.  If you desire a bit more salt, add a little more soy sauce.  If you want more hoisin flavor, drizzle some more of that in.  I ended up with about a tablespoon of honey at the end.

After the meatballs are done cooking, add them to the hoisin sauce, making sure to coat all the meatballs with the sauce, and you are ready to party!  I took the entire crockpot to the gathering with me, this way everything stayed nice and warm.  To serve the meatballs, sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top.

Meatballs are a great party appetizer.  A pound of meat and a few simple ingredients make a deliciously quick treat.  They can be served using only toothpicks, so there is no need for utensils or plates.  They can also be made in advance and then just added to the crock-pot to heat back up.

These salty and sweet Asian-style meatballs received lots of praise at the party, and no one suspected they were a product of procrastination.

 

Asian Style Elk Meatballs: A Perfect Party Appetizer

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

20-25 meatballs

Asian Style Elk Meatballs: A Perfect Party Appetizer

Ingredients

    For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground elk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For Hoisin Sauce
  • 3/4 to 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

    For Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. For easier clean up, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground elk, panko bread crumbs, parsley, nutmeg, milk, beaten egg, and salt and pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients. If meatballs seem to wet, add more panko. If meatballs feel to dry, add more milk.
  3. With around a tablespoon size scoop of meat, rolls the meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for 12 minutes, until meatballs are browned.
    For Hoisin Sauce
  1. Turn the slow cooker on low.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the hoisin, rice vinegar, soy sauce , sesame seed oil, garlic, ginger, and honey. Taste to see if it is as sweet or salty as you desire. If you want it a bit sweeter, add a little more hoisin or honey. If you want things a bit saltier add a little more soy sauce. If you want more acid, add a little more vinegar.
  3. Once things taste how you want it, pour the bowl into the crock pot. Add the meatballs.
  4. Allow meatballs to cook in crock pot for ten minutes before serving so everything is evenly warm. Garnish meatballs with sesame seeds and serve using toothpicks!
  5. Enjoy!
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Wild Turkey Chili: A One Pot Delight!


“When turkeys mate they think of swans.” ~ Johnny Carson

I am always amazed how different wild turkey is from farm-raised turkey. With my first wild turkey harvest, I plucked the entire bird and roasted it in traditional Thanksgiving style. I was so excited for that dinner. I was having Thanksgiving in May complete with mashed potatoes, wild turkey gravy, cranberries, and stuffing. I love the smell a roasting turkey fills the house with, and this wild bird was no exception. Somehow the day was transformed from a typical May evening with sparse clouds, a warming breeze, and blooming flowers to a fall evening, with crisp leaves, a chill in the air, and that beautifully roasting turkey. As I pulled the turkey out the oven and let it rest on the counter, I was bursting with excitement and anticipation of the delicacy before me.

My family sat around the table, and we even shared a few hunting stories about past bird hunts. It was a so much fun! And then we started eating the turkey. It was dry. Really dry. Like chewy, can’t swallow, force a bite down and chase it with a giant gulp of water, dry. I was heartbroken. It had appeared so perfect, the skin was lightly browned and glistening, and it smelled so great. It even felt tender and juicy to the touch while I carved it, but it did not taste that way.

No one really said much about the turkey until long after dinner.

“That turkey was good,” my dad ventured. “But it was, kind of, I don’t know…”

“Dry,” I unenthusiastically replied.

“Yes,” he concurred.

Not only was I disappointed in the turkey dinner itself, as I had tried so hard to roast it at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, but I felt like I had wasted the bird. I felt bad that I had prepared it so poorly, and I felt basically disrespectful.

After that first turkey experience, I decided to prepare subsequent harvests with more thought and planning. I got creative with how I used my bird, and this also led to using more of the bird efficiently, such as the legs. Typically, the legs are very, very tough and basically inedible on a roasted wild turkey. I make wild turkey and dumplings soup with my legs, and it is easily one of my favorite meals.

So far with the breasts, I have only experimented with grinding. Both of these meatball based recipes were made with pheasant, but they would work really well with turkey too: Marsala Meatballs and Brandy Apples and Onions. I plan on spending this spring working with some other types of recipes with different preparation methods for the breast.

For this chili recipe, I started the same as the meatball recipes by running the turkey breasts through my meat grinder. I used the 3/8″ hole meat grinder plate. It is also a good idea to have the meat at a relatively cold temperature when grinding. This will help to prevent the machine from pulverizing the meat, or as some people term is “mashing” the meat through the plate. A lot of people even partially freeze the meat before grinding it.

After running through the grinder, I drop the meat directly into my ceramic dutch oven, which I just have to quickly add that I love it because it is wonderful for both the stove top and putting directly into the oven. Anyway, I start browning the meat over medium high heat and while it is cooking I dice up a large onion, chop the bell peppers, mince four to five cloves of garlic, and chop up one jalapeno. If you like a lot of heat in your chili, leave the seeds in the jalapeno. If you are not that big of a fan of hot and spicy foods, then I would suggest removing the seeds before chopping up the pepper. Add those ingredients to the turkey and cook until the meat is browned and the onions start to soften, about eight to ten minutes.

On a quick side note, did you know you can freeze your peppers from the garden hole and they are great for use in soups, sauces, stews, and chili’s all year!  Yep, those are frozen peppers in the picture.

To the cooked turkey, add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander. A little tip for quick measuring when cooking is to use your hand instead of measuring spoons (although be sure you washed your hands good before this because nobody wants to eat from a dirty palm!) The rough estimate way is done by filling the base of your palm for a tablespoon and the small little cup in the center of your palm for a teaspoon. Since everyone has a bit different size of hand, the best way to find out what this means for your hand is to take a tablespoon and fill your hand with a scoop of something. Make a mental note on how where that fills to on your palm. Do the same for a teaspoon. This is just a little trick I learned from a cooking show, and it just helps save on dirtying measuring spoons, which makes more dishes, which I hate!

For the tablespoon of chili powder, I roughly estimate it in the palm of my hand. It fills basically the entire base of my palm when a slight cup is made with the hand.
For the teaspoon of cumin, oregano, and coriander, I also measure in my hand. A teaspoon fills the base of the little cup your hand makes when slightly cupping your palm.

I also like to add a pinch of nutmeg when I make chili. So, throw that pinch in there, season the pot with black pepper and salt, and drop in three bay leaves. Give everything a quick stir and coat the turkey and onions in all those delicious spices. Add three tablespoons of tomato paste, stir, and let the pot cook for one minute.

After the minute, pour in the red wine. I tend to use a merlot when I make this chili, but any dry red wine will work, such as a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon. You could also use chicken stock if you are not a wine drinker. The pot should be hot when the wine hits the pan, and it will make this glorious sizzling sound. You want to stir the turkey mixture at this point and break up all the bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan that the wine has helped release. This adds flavor to the dish!

Next, add in the tomatoes. I use my home-grown garden tomatoes. During the summer, I harvest tomatoes and fill a quart size bag with them. I cut the stem and a little bit of the core out of the tomato, but I don’t remove the skins or do any other prep work. I simply place the bag in the freezer and then dump the entire bag into any soup, stew, or chili that calls for a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. It is easy and tastes great! If you don’t have home preserved tomatoes, you just add a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes at this step.

I have to preface this caption with the fact that this picture is UGLY! I actually went back and forth quite a few times on if I should use it because the tomatoes look…well…gross. In the end, I have decided to stick it on here because I want to show how I literally cut the quart size bag off from around the tomatoes and drop the entire blob into the dutch oven. I don’t even take the time to thaw it.

Finally, it is time to add the beans. I use three 15 ounce cans of beans when I make chili. The type depends mostly on what I have in the pantry at the time, and it generally includes pinto, red kidney, and black beans. But you can add whatever cans of beans you prefer. If you are simply a black bean fan, just use three cans of those babies. If you like a variety, add all three types. Or get crazy and drop in a can of great northern beans or navy beans. It’s totally up to you!  Be sure to drain the beans before adding them in.

Bring everything to a boil, cover the pot, and then drop the temperature down to a low simmer. Let the dutch oven simmer for one hour, stirring every once in awhile. During this time, the flavors will really start to develop and blend together. This chili is a very hearty dish, but because of the wild turkey, it is not a greasy dish. It offers up a beautiful mixture of tomatoes and chili flavor with the hints of cumin and oregano jumping out. And as with most chilis, it is even better the next day!

For serving, pile on some cheddar cheese, maybe a few fresh chopped onion pieces, and a dollop of sour cream. I also enjoy a corn bread muffin for soaking up those juices on the bottom of my quickly emptied bowl. Enjoy!

Happy Hunting!

Wild Turkey Chili: A One Pot Delight!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

8

Wild Turkey Chili: A One Pot Delight!

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1.5 pounds ground wild turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (with or without seeds depending on desired heat level)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 15 oz. canned beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, such as a ceramic dutch oven, brown ground wild turkey over medium high heat.
  2. While the meat is browning, chop and dice up peppers, onions, jalapeno, and garlic. Add to the pot as you chop. Cook until meat is browned and onions and peppers are soft, about eight to ten minutes.
  3. To the turkey meat mixture, add chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drop in tomato paste and stir. Let cook for one minute. Add in bay leaves.
  4. Pour the wine into pot and stir, releasing bits and pieces from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and canned beans.
  6. Bring pot to a boil, cover, and reduce to low heat. Simmer the pot for one hour.
  7. Serve chili topped with chopped onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream!
  8. Enjoy!
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Pheasant Meatballs with Brandy Apples and Onion

brandypheasantingredientssmall“When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible.” ~ Dale Earnhardt

As I sit here about to write-up this recipe for pheasant meatballs with sweet apples and onions in an apple and brandy sauce, the one who made this all possible is curled up right on top of my feet.  I call her my puppy, but she is no longer a puppy.  She is a seasoned, seven year-old chocolate lab with a passion for pheasant hunting named Sienna.  I am not a bird dog trainer.  To be honest, I am not even much of a day-to-day discipline dog owner.  Sienna knows a few simple commands, like sit and lay, and she is probably the best heeler I have ever met.  I didn’t teach her that though, she just kind of naturally decided that her place when walking with you is pressed against your right knee.  And like I didn’t teach her to heel, I certainly didn’t teach her to hunt.

I have only been bird hunting for a few years, and Sienna has been hunting even less than that.  She spent her first five or six seasons wandering around through the reeds, most of the time behind you, smelling everything but bird scent.  I had actually given up on pheasant hunting trips being anything more to her than just walks through horribly thick vegetation.  I was trying to learn the ins-and-outs of pheasant hunting myself, I certainly didn’t have time to learn how to train a very unenthusiastic chocolate lab.

Three seasons ago, something changed in that little chocolate lab that I can’t explain.  She was wandering around, sniffing at her leisurely pace, lackadaisically pushing reeds and brush out of her way.  Our hunting group ignored her as usual and continued on our way.  She jumped a bird, and no one even took a shot because of the shock of the entire situation.  She jumped three more that day, and left the field a new girl.

This season was a very uneventful one.  In three weeks, we jumped one bird, which of course we missed. There just wasn’t anything out in all the usual places.  Sienna seemed bored while we were hunting, returning to her old habits of smelling flowers instead of working. I complained a lot about carrying my shot gun and having to walk through such rough terrain.  It was a disappointing season, which resulted in a sour attitude.

I had given up on the whole idea of even trying to hunt anymore when the closing day arrived.  I’m sure everyone has experienced that feeling.  You go out into the field, it is empty and lonely.  That desolate atmosphere makes you think life must not even exist in this area because there aren’t even bugs.  You dramatically decide to give up hunting forever.  And then the closing day arrives, and you can’t ignore the nagging desire to go out just one more time, just to make sure there really is no hope.  I had hit that point.  I thought Sienna had as well, but I was wrong.  Closing day of the season was one of the best hunts ever.  Sienna was jumping roosters and hens, tracking them down, retrieving, flushing.  You name it, she was doing it.  It just goes to prove, you never know what is going to happen out there in the field.

In honor of a memorable closing day to the 2016 pheasant season, I decided to make a pheasant dinner for everyone out in the field with me and my splendid chocolate pooch.  One of my favorite methods for preparing pheasant breast is to grind them, straight from the bird with no added fat or other meats, and make them into a flavor packed meatball.  I used the same meatball base for this recipe as I did for pheasant marsala meatballs.  The recipe can be found for those at this link: Pheasant Marsala Meatballs.

To start, cut two pheasant breasts into large chunks and drop them straight into your meat grinder. I use the 3/8″ hole meat grinder plate when I make meatballs.  It is also a good idea to have the meat at a relatively cold temperature when grinding.  This will help to prevent the machine from pulverizing the meat, or as some people term is “mashing” the meat through the plate.  A lot of people even partially freeze the meat before grinding it.

brandypheasantgrinder

Preheat the oven broiler to high.  To the ground pheasant, add panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, fresh chopped parsley, a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper, milk, and a beaten egg.  Mix everything together, and my suggestion is to use your hands for this part.  They let you really get down in there and work everything together.  Another suggestion I have when making meatballs is to not take the recipe word-for-word.  For example, it says to use a cup of panko and two tablespoons of milk per pound of ground pheasant, but you might want your meatball a bit drier or a bit wetter.  Also, the moisture level of the meat can play into how dry or wet the meatball turns out.  When I am making meatballs, I always start at a base point of one cup panko and the two tablespoons of milk, but if the meat isn’t rolling into nice balls that hold together well, I will add more panko or milk slowly until they start to form the way I want.  Also, you can roll the meatballs into whatever size you want, but for this recipe I used about a tablespoon of meat mixture per ball.

brandypheasantmeatballssmall

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Place the meatballs on an ungreased baking sheet and put in the oven for five to seven minutes.  They will not be cooked all the way through, but that is okay. They will finish cooking in the sauce.

While the meatballs are broiling away in the oven, it is time to start on the brandy apple and onion sauce.  Slice the apple into wedges about a half to an inch thick (be sure to remove the core first).  Cut the onions into long, slender slices. To a large skillet, add a tablespoon of cooking oil, I used olive but you could use canola or vegetable if that is what you have on hand.  Heat the pan to medium high heat and drop in the onion slices.  Allow them to cook for two to three minutes and then add in the apple slices.  Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle in the minced rosemary and cinnamon, and cook for five minutes more.  If you like a little heat to your dishes, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

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Once the apples and onions are starting to soften, and the room should be filling with the rustically sweet smells of cinnamon and apples, deglaze the pan with a half cup of brandy.  Brandy is a fruit-based wine that is distilled into a liquor and the taste varies depending on the fruit used.  I think the subtly sweet fruit flavor of brandy really highlights the apple and onion flavor in this dish, and nothing can compare to the aromas that brandy adds to a dish.  The house smells great at this point!  Let the apples and onions simmer in the brandy for two or three minutes.

brandypheasantmeatballscookingsmall

Next, add two cups of apple cider and two cups of chicken broth to the pan.  In a small cup, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water.  Mix until the cornstarch is broken down and there are no chunks.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir.  Bring the pan to a light boil and then let it simmer for about five minutes.  The sauce should start to thicken and become glossy.  After five minutes, add the meatballs to the pan, coating them in the sauce, and let the entire beautifully orchestrated dish simmer for an additional five minutes.  The flavors will really start to develop, with strong tastes of sweet apples and onion, and the meatballs will be cooked perfectly.

brandypheasantmeatballspansmall

I served the pheasant apples and onions over simple white rice.  If you are someone that likes a little more hearty dish, a great substitute would also be a mashed sweet potato or russet potato.  The sauce created from the brandy, cider, and stock really soaks up well in some type of a meal base, but if you were so inclined you could also just eat the meatballs straight-up.  Garnish with some nice fresh minced parsley.

Pheasant, apples, and onions are a tasty combination!  Pheasant is actually quite a mild meat, so it really pairs well with robust flavors like apple and onion.  The brandy also adds a new depth to the sauce of this dish and really kicks up the rustic flavor of the apple cider and hint of cinnamon.  This meal is perfect for a quick meal during the week, but it is also a great one for introducing friends and family to pheasant.  Enjoy!

brandypheasantfinalplate

Happy Hunting!

Pheasant Meatballs with Brandy Apples and Onion

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

6

Pheasant Meatballs with Brandy Apples and Onion

Ingredients

    For Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pheasant breast
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For Sauce
  • 3 red apples (I used macintosh), cored and sliced into wedges
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Instructions

    For Meatballs
  1. To the pound of ground pheasant, add the panko bread crumbs, parsley, shredded cheese, nutmeg, milk, and beaten egg.
  2. Using your hands, thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients. If the meat seems to dry, add another tablespoon of milk. If it seems to wet, add more panko.
  3. Roll about a tablespoon of the meat mixture into balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Cook under broiler on high for seven minutes.
    For Sauce
  1. To a large skillet, add a tablespoon of cooking oil and heat over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and cook for two minutes. Add apples, rosemary, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook an additional five minutes. Apples and onions should be starting to soften.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the brandy. Allow apples and onions to cook in brandy for two minutes.
  3. Add apple cider and chicken stock to the pot.
  4. In a small cup, mix together the corn starch and water. Add this to the pan and stir. Increase the heat until sauce starts to lightly boil. Allow the sauce to simmer for five minutes. It should start to thicken and become glossy.
  5. Add meatballs to the pan and simmer in sauce for additional five minutes.
  6. Serve meatballs, apples and onions over rice or mashed potatoes.
  7. Enjoy!
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Whiskey Elk Backstrap Steaks

henrymountainswebsize“You know what my drink is? Jack Daniel’s. Yes, that is a wild man drink. That should come with bail money, you know what I’m saying? Because on Jack, you don’t know where you’re going to end up, but you know when you get there, you won’t be wearing any pants.” ~ Dave Attell

You know that wonderful feeling when you pull out a coat or pair of pants you have not worn in a really long time and find money stashed in the pocket? You can pull out a $20 and you are on top of the world, or even pull out a $1 and think, “It’s gonna be a good day!” I love that feeling. I can’t accurately put into words how excited I get finding money in long forgotten places.

I had that feeling last week.  But it wasn’t evoked by a crumpled old bill hiding in my pocket. It was from the freezer. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out something to make to eat. Sometimes that happens. I am in the mood for something different, but nothing quite seems right or everything sounds too hard to make. I usually end up getting flustered and in a frantic attempt to pull myself out of my indecisive state end up making grilled cheese. That didn’t happen this time. Instead, when I opened the freezer sitting on the top shell, somehow forgotten, was a pack of elk back strap. I could not believe it had been missed! I thought all that was left was roasts or large chunks suitable for sausage or stews.

It was exactly like finding that $20 bill in a pair of old jeans.

And instead of having a dinner of canned tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, I sat down to a fantastic, on-top-of-world feeling, perfectly marinated and cooked elk back strap steak dinner. It was a good day!

I was lucky to find my hidden elk back strap to use for this recipe, but deer or antelope would also work for this dish. Also, if you don’t have back strap on hand, probably because you are like me and ate it all immediately, other cuts that would work great for this recipe include: tenderloin (if you have that on hand, which I never do because it is always my first meal after my harvest and I always make a simple steak and eggs meal to share with everyone who helped me during the hunt), top sirloin (which is found in the hind quarter of the animal), and the flank steak (which is also called the infraspinatus muscle, and I think is greatly under-utilized).

While this is an easy meal to throw together, it does require a little bit of pre-planning in order to properly marinade the meat.  The meat needs at least four hours to sit in the marinade. To make this sweet and smoky whiskey flavored marinade, grab a medium-sized bowl and whisk together 1/2 cup of your favorite sipping whiskey, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a heaping tablespoon of Dijon style mustard (I always cheat and add a little more when I use Dijon mustard because I love that tangy flavor it adds), a quarter cup of honey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and some fresh cracked black pepper.

whiskeysteakmarinade

Lay the steaks into a large shallow pan and pour in the marinade. Throw a little plastic wrap over the dish, and toss that baby in the fridge. After two hours, flip the steaks over so both sides can enjoy equal time bathing in that delicious marinade.

whiskeysteakmarinating

Once the steaks are done marinating, pull them out of their soaking bath and let them rest on a plate for ten or fifteen minutes. This creates a little more even cooking of the meat if the temperature of the steak is consistent throughout. Also, I like to let the marinade dry out a bit on the surface of the meat, as it creates a bit more of a sticky or somewhat crunchy texture to the outside of the steak.

Get the grilling pan nice and hot. You want the steak to make that beautiful sizzling sound when it hits the pan. You know that sound, that sharp crackling sound when the steak hits the pan and then steam immediately flows off the steak. (Love that moment!) I usually test if my pan is hot enough by sprinkling a little bit of water on the pan. If it starts to sizzle upon contact, I know the pan is hot enough.

whiskeysteakcooking

Drop the steak into the preheated pan and allow it to cook for six to eight minutes on the first side. Try not to move the steak immediately after it first touches the pan. In that first minute or two, the meat tends to grab onto the hot pan and will tear if you try and move it. Once the first side of cooked, flip the steak and cook the second side an additional six to eight minutes. This should result in a medium rare steak. If you are more of a medium to well-done steak person, add a few minutes to each side. If you are a fan of the rare steak, subtract a minute or two per side. Transfer the steak to a plate and allow it to rest before slicing for about five minutes. Allowing the meat to rest is important because it creates a juicier and tastier slice of meat. Also, when it is piping hot and you cut into the steak it really just tears the whole thing up and makes things look not so pretty.

whiskeysteakfinalplate

Well, that is it for this super amazing meal! I served my steak with a side of grilled asparagus. Other fantastic sides would include potatoes, green beans, corn, a simple salad, crusty bread, wild rice, or whatever else your imagination can come up with.

Happy Hunting!

Whiskey Elk Backstrap Steaks

Whiskey Elk Backstrap Steaks

Ingredients

  • 4 elk back strap steaks (about eight ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup favorite whiskey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In large, shallow dish lay out steaks.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together whiskey, soy sauce, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and pepper. Pour over steaks and cover with plastic wrap. Allow at least four hours in the refrigerator, flipping the steaks half way through.
  3. Remove steaks from marinade and allow to rest at room temperature for fifteen minutes.
  4. Heat grilling pan over high heat.
  5. Add steaks to pan and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side.
  6. Let meat rest for five minutes before slicing.
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Elk Shepherd’s Pie: Dutch Oven Style

shepherdspiescoop
That is shepherd’s pie in all its glory right there: meat, veggies, potatoes, and ooey, gooey cheese!

“I do hunt, and I do fish, and I don’t apologize to anybody for hunting and fishing.” ~ Norman Schwarzkopf

I never had shepherd’s pie as a kid.  My mom never made it. No grandmother on either side of my family passed along their secret ingredient that made their shepherd’s pie a family favorite, requested for any special occasion.  Growing up, the closest I had to shepherd’s pie was when my mom would split a hot dog in half down the center, place it on a baking sheet, pile on a mound of mashed potatoes, sprinkle on cheddar cheese, and melt it under the broiler.  Not exactly shepherd’s pie, but I see some similarities I guess: meat, potatoes, cheese.

I wasn’t introduced to shepherd’s pie until I graduated high school.  Over a college break, I stayed with a friend’s family and we had it for dinner.  I immediately was a fan of the gravy soaked beef with vegetables under a dome of potatoes and cheese.  I was informed then that this meal was a family favorite, ever requested by aunts, uncles, and cousins when they came to visit.  I was secretly a little angry at my own family for trying to pass off hot dogs as an acceptable substitute.  Trust me, aunts and uncles weren’t requesting hot dogs as a special treat when visiting my home growing up.

Since then, I have prepared shepherd’s pie many times and experimented with different flavor and texture combinations.  I have used different meat bases: elk, deer, pronghorn, beef, lamb, buffalo.  I have manipulated the gravy from cream-of-this to cream-of-that or even gone broth or wine based.  I’ve switched up the vegetables: corn, celery, carrots, maybe a little cubed sweet potato.  Once, I even used mashed turnips in place of the mashed potatoes to see if anyone would notice.  For the record, they did, and not really in a good way.  The only thing I always keeps the same is a big pile of cheese to finish everything off.

This recipe is a double bonus; it is a wild game dish, and it is a dutch oven recipe that is perfect for your hunting camp!  To start, light your coals.  I use a charcoal chimney when I am camping.  They heat the coals quickly, and the chimney is easy to use.  Simply pour the desired number of charcoal briquettes in the top, wad up a few pieces of newspaper, stuff them under the chimney, and light the newspaper.  The chimney should start to smoke and the coals should be ready in about 15 minutes.  You can tell they are ready to go when the top layer of coals start to turn to ash around the edges.

shepherdspieelkFor this recipe, I used a 12″ oven, but a 14″ would also work fine.  Place the oven over a fairly large number of coals, like 20 -25.  You want to get the oven as hot as you can in order to fry the meat.  You could also use a gas camp stove for this part, which would save on the number of coals needed for the entire recipe.

Drop in a pound of ground elk meat to the oven.  I used my homemade elk burger for this recipe, which is simply a 1/4 pound of bacon ends ground with 3/4 pound of elk.  I like the bacon because it adds a hint of bacon flavor to the burger but still the perfect amount of fat.  Brown the meat, which takes about five to seven minutes.  About half way through the meat cooking, throw in the diced carrots, onion, and celery.  You want them to cook until they are soft.  Once the vegetables are soft, add two or three tablespoons of tomato paste.  Season the pot with salt and pepper to your liking.

shepherdspievegetables

Okay, it is now gravy time!  With the pot still hot, pour in a cup of red wine.  You can use whatever type of wine you prefer or have on hand.  I used pinot noir this time because I wanted to have a glass of that wine with my dinner, but merlot or cabernet would also be great.  Let the wine reduce down by half and then add two cups of beef stock to the pot.  Continue to cook over medium high heat and allow this to start to reduce down, which can take around ten minutes.

shepherdspiecheeseWhile the beef stock is reducing, in a large pot of water boil two pounds of potatoes.  I used a Yukon potato, but you could use russet or red potatoes too.  Another great option when camping would also be the boxed instant mashed potatoes.  These would eliminate the need to boil a pot of water and cook the actual potatoes.  Boxed instant potatoes simply require adding boiling water to dehydrated potato flakes.  Another option would be to make the mashed potatoes at home and just bring them along.  You will heat them up when you melt the cheese, so this option works just as well as any.

To the potatoes, add a quarter cup of butter and a quarter cup of milk or cream.  You could also add a couple tablespoons of sour cream, if you so desire.  Be sure to salt and pepper the potatoes.

Once the stock has reduced down, pour in the can of corn.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the elk mixture, making sure to reach all the corners of the pot, and sprinkle on a cup of the cheese of your choice. I tend to use cheddar cheese when I make shepherd’s pie, but I went with a Monterey Jack for this recipe, thinking it would pair better with the red wine.  If you are cooking over coals, remove about half the coals, leaving behind 12-14 on the bottom.  If you cooked your meat over a camp stove, set out 12-14 coals for your oven to now sit on.  Place 15-20 coals on the top of the oven.  Let the shepherd’s pie cook for fifteen minutes, giving enough time to melt the cheese, heat the mixture thoroughly, and soften the corn.

shepherdspiefinalplate

Shepherd’s pie is comfort food at it’s best, and this dutch oven version allows you to bring comfort food straight to the outdoors.  Perfect for sharing around the campfire, this meal is hearty with fluffy cheese covered mashed potatoes, and a little bit sweet from the carrots, corn, and touch of red wine.  The elk definitely shines as the star of this dish!  Enjoy!

Happy Hunting!

Elk Shepherd's Pie: Dutch Oven Style!

Elk Shepherd's Pie: Dutch Oven Style!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground elk
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice

Instructions

  1. Start coals for dutch oven.
  2. In large pot add potatoes, cut into quarters, and boil.
  3. In dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook ground elk.
  4. Add diced celery, onion, and carrots, cook until soft.
  5. Add tomato paste and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour in red wine and reduce by half, about five minutes.
  7. Add beef stock and continue to reduce, about ten minutes.
  8. When potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes, mash and add butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Once stock has reduced, add the can of corn.
  10. Spread mashed potatoes over elk mixture, covering completely. Sprinkle on cheese.
  11. Cook in dutch oven over 12-14 coals on bottom and 15-20 coals on top for 10 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  12. Enjoy!
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Pronghorn Pumpkin Beer Chili

PronghornChiliBowl“I am the kind of person who really will drive hours for a bowl of chili. I’m not a three-star restaurant kind of a person; I’m just a food person.” ~ Nora Ephron

Yesterday while driving around on the mountain in search of deer, I started thinking about how much I just plain love fall. I find myself actually anticipating its arrival, which is such an abstract idea. I am anticipating the arrival of something that has no official starting date or time. I mean sure, there is the autumnal equinox, which this year falls on September 22nd, and that is the first day of fall by a calendar standard. But just because September 22nd happens doesn’t mean fall has officially started. There have been year’s here in Southern Utah where it is still 95 degrees out, and that doesn’t feel very fall like, if you ask me.

Anyway, I think fall is upon us, and this got me thinking about all the things I love about fall. There are the obvious ones: the leaves melting from green to brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow; the temperature dipping from hot to cool and leading to evenings where a jacket is necessary when venturing outside; the start of a new school year.

And then there are all these other loves I have for fall, like pumpkins and pumpkin style food and drink, fall fruit harvests like apples, peaches, and pears, warm pots of soups and stews and chili, backyard fires with marshmallows melting on sticks, pulling out fuzzy socks to cover my cold toes, and elk bugling! It is just a beautiful time of year.

PronghornChiliGrinderSo, in anticipation of another amazing fall season, I want to share my latest love: pronghorn pumpkin beer chili!

For this hearty chili, I used pronghorn, but elk or deer would be excellent as well. I took a package I had labeled as “sausage cuts” and ran it through the grinder. When I am cleaning my animals, I package steaks, roasts, and scraps all separately. Scraps, or sausage cuts as I labeled it this time, are those small pieces that might have too much tendon for a roast or be too small for a steak but are worth keeping. Chili is a great utilization of these types of cuts. I don’t even bother to remove the tendons since I am grinding the entire piece. I also didn’t add any extra fat to the mix, as I would if I were grinding burger or sausage. I like leaner meat for my chili. I ground up about a pound of meat.

PronghornChiliPeppersIn a large skillet over medium high heat, I added a tablespoon of olive oil and started to saute my onion and garlic. You can use whatever type of oil you want (vegetable, canola, etc). I only added the oil to keep the onions and garlic from burning to the pan. Cook the chopped onion and garlic for two or three minutes, just enough to soften them up.

To the onion and garlic, add three diced bell peppers. Usually when I make chili, I like to add yellow, orange, and red bell peppers to the pot. I do this because I believe of you eat as much with your eyes as your mouth, and the colors the peppers add are very visually appealing.  I also like the slightly sweet flavor that the vibrant colored peppers add to the dish. This time, I went against my norm and used green bell peppers. My garden has been doing incredibly well this time, as opposed to the previous years where it has mostly died, and I have an overload of green bell peppers. And while I love the addition of the colored peppers, nothing can beat throwing in a homegrown ingredient! So, I used six of my garden peppers because they are a bit smaller in size than what one can pick up at the super market. Cook the peppers and onions for another three minutes.

 

Next, add the pronghorn to the pan. Cook for five to seven minutes, until the meat has browned. I also added a half teaspoon of salt and pepper to the mixture at this point. After the meat has heated through, turn the heat up to high and pour in an entire bottle of pumpkin ale beer. The beer will not only add flavor to the mixture, but also will deglaze the pan, allowing you to stir up all the goodness from your meat and onions that is starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir the beer around for about a minute, and then drop the heat down to low.

PronghornChlilPumpkinAle

In a large crock pot, add three cans of drained beans. You can add three of the same type or mix it up. For this batch, I used two cans of black beans and a can of red kidney beans. You could also use pinto, navy, or chili beans. You also might be someone that enjoys a lot of beans in your chili, and if you are then go ahead and drop in another can. This is chili, you can’t go wrong!

To the beans, add a can of pureed pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and some tomato paste. Give all that a little stir and pour in the meat, pepper, and onion mixture. If you like chili with a little kick to it, then you can also add a tablespoon of hot sauce. You could also mince up a jalapeno and add that. Things are sounding good, huh?

Alright, let’s continue with developing the flavors of this pumpkin themed chili! So, normally tomatoes are added to chili. Most recipes call for a 28 ounce can (the big boy cans!) of crushed tomatoes. That is a great way to go. But like I said before, my garden is doing really well this summer. I have been processing a lot of tomatoes, and it is super easy. I literally go out and pick a dozen or so tomatoes, squish them up, pack them into a quart sized freezer bag, and stick them into the freezer. I then have garden tomatoes all winter long for soups and chili. When the time comes to use them, I don’t even bother to defrost the bag. I break the bag off from around the tomatoes, and drop the entire block into the crock pot. It works super great, adds amazing depth of flavor to the chili, and I get a little moment of satisfaction in using something I grew myself (I am not much of a gardener, so these moments are rare and I must savor them to the fullest).

PronghornChiliTomatoes

So, after the tomatoes have been added, it is time for the secret ingredients: cinnamon and nutmeg. I know, I know, cinnamon in chili sounds a bit weird. And nutmeg sounds just plain wrong! But this isn’t traditional chili; this is pumpkin chili. And cinnamon and nutmeg go hand in hand with pumpkin. The pumpkin adds a really subtle sweet flavor to the hearty, savory flavors of the chili and the cinnamon and nutmeg help develop and build this sweetness. So, drop in that teaspoon of each.

Set the crock pot to low and let it go for six to eight hours. If you are a little short on time, you could also set it on high and it will be ready in about four hours. Don’t forget to get some grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, and whatever else you like for chili toppings. Oh, and of course corn bread makes a great side for dunking into a hot, steamy bowl of this chili!

Imagine now it is six to eight hours later, and you come home from work to a house smelling just like fall, with the sweet hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Mmmm…sounds good right? You better get started on this chili!

PronghornChiliFinal

Happy Hunting!

Pronghorn Pumpkin Beer Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

6-8

Pronghorn Pumpkin Beer Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Ground Pronghorn, Deer, or Elk Meat
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil (Olive, Vegetable, Canola, etc)
  • 3 Large Bell Peppers (Any Color)
  • 1 Bottle Pumpkin Ale Beer
  • 3 Cans Beans (Black, Kidney, Pinto, Navy, Chili, etc)
  • 1 Can Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1 28 Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil.
  2. To heated oil, add chopped onions and garlic. Cook for two to three minutes.
  3. Add chopped bell peppers and cook additional two to three minutes.
  4. Add ground pronghorn and cook until browned, five to seven minutes.
  5. Turn heat up to high, and pour in entire bottle of pumpkin ale. Let cook for a minute and stir to break browned bits from bottom of pan. Turn pan to low and set aside.
  6. To a large crockpot, add remaining ingredients.
  7. Add meat and pepper mixture to crock pot. Stir.
  8. Set crock pot to low for six to eight hours.
  9. Enjoy with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions.
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