Monday, December 20, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day for Deer in Seneca County

photo courtesy of Keith G. Tidball

Tomorrow (December 21) is the last day to take a deer with a muzzle loader or bow in Seneca County.

The snowy, winter weather is perfect for enjoying venison stew which can also be made in a crock pot. Hopefully you have had a productive and memorable big game season this year.

Venison Stew

1.5 lb cubed venison meat (can cube a steak or roast if you do not have stew meat packaged)
6 medium potatoes washed and cut in half or quartered
1 medium onion, diced
1 c. diced carrot (large chunks or can use "baby" carrots)
1 c. diced celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup flour (optional to season the flour with salt and pepper)
1 T. Italian season
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 T. balsamic vinegar (optional)
1.5 cups dry red wine or 12oz. of dark beer
1 can (about 14.5 oz) canned tomatoes (diced or whole)
4 T. fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees or turn on your crock pot. In a suitable braising pan (i.e. a deep pan with an oven-proof lid, such as a dutch oven) heat the 3 T. of olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile lightly flour the venison cubes. Brown the floured venison cubes in the oil until nicely browned on all sides about 3-5 minutes. Remove venison from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and seasonings to the pan and gently brown your veggies for about 3 minutes. Add the wine, Worcestershire and vinegar to the pan and gently scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Turn off burner. Add potatoes and tomatoes and add venison meat back into the pan. Gently stir all ingredients to combine and season with salt and pepper (about 1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper) and parsley (optional). Cover the braising dish and place in oven for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is tender.

If using a crock pot: flour and brown the meat in the olive oil as explained above. Place browned meat in a crock pot. Add the wine or beer to the pan that the meat was browned in and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add this to the crock pot along with the remaining ingredients and leave it to cook all day (4 -5 hours on high setting or 8+ hours on low).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pheasants until December 31

The hunting season is in full swing in Seneca County. If you have already tagged a big buck and/or have venison for the freezer, it could be fun to go out for pheasant. NYS DEC has some great information on the history of pheasant hunting, along with the regulations. Wild populations of pheasant can be hard to find, yet there are a few game preserves in the area that offer pheasant hunts, such as Whispering Pines.

Earlier in the season, a group of youth hunters went on a pheasant hunt and were then taught how to clean their birds and prepare "Pheasant Fingers". To read more about this hunt and see photos from the day's event go to Kuneytown Sportsmens Club website.

Here is the recipe for

Pheasant Fingers

2 T. flour
1-2 t. Cajun seasoning
1 lb. boneless, skinless pheasant breast cut into 3/4" strips
1 1/2 cups corn flake cereal
2 eggs

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet. Place flour and Cajun seasoning in resealable plastic bag. Place pheasant (3 to 4 strips at a time) in bag. Seal and shake to coat pheasant. Remove pheasant and lay on a plate. Place corn flakes in plastic bag and gently crush the cereal until you have finely crushed corn flakes. For "hot" fingers add 1/2 T. of Cajun seasoning. Lightly beat 2 eggs and place in shallow pan. Dip floured pheasant strips in egg and then place in corn flake bag and shake to coat pheasant evenly with corn flakes. Place pheasant on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until baked through and crispy on outside. Enjoy with your favorite barbecue sauce for dipping.