Venison Stroganoff

Do you have a deer hunter in your family?  Get tired of eating deer steak and deer chili?  Or just don’t like the taste of deer meat at all?  Well give this Venison Stroganoff a try!  I promise you won’t be able to tell it is deer meat, and it is delicious!

Here’s what you will need:

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. ground deer

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic (I was out this time, so I used about 1 T. garlic powder)

1 1/2 c. sour cream

4 T. flour

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth

3 T. ketchup

1 package noodles of your choice

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First in a large pot, brown your meat, cook onions until tender, and add garlic.  Because you are using venison it is doubtful you will need to drain any grease at all.  Add chicken broth and cook on low heat while you prepare flour mixture.  During this time I would also start cooking my noodles in another pot.

In a separate bowl mix sour cream and flour together until completely mixed.  Add to the chicken broth, and stir in.  Go ahead and add 3 T. ketchup to the mixture.  While stirring allow to come to a boil and thicken.  When your sauce is thickened, you can turn it off and cover until your noodles are ready.

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Venison Stroganoff Sauce – ready to add noodles!

You have two options on eating your stroganoff.  You can separately serve over hot buttered noodles, or you can mix the two together.

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Venison Stroganoff ready to eat! Enjoy!

Additional option:  You can also add a can of mushrooms to the meat/onion/garlic at the beginning to make a more traditional stroganoff, but that is not our preference!  Enjoy!

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Italian Wedding Soup

I mentioned yesterday that I am a Southern girl, so another fact about Southerners…..we use venison (aka deer meat) for absolutely everything.  At least around our house we do!  Reasons for this:  we have it on hand, it is a leaner meat, and we like it a lot!  So tonight we had Italian Wedding Soup, made with homemade Venison meatballs.

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Pictured are the ingredients you will need to make your meatballs.  I forgot to set the ketchup bottle out, but you will need that as well. 

Here’s an ingredient list for your meatballs, and for the rest of the soup: 

1 1/2 lb. deer (or turkey or beef)

handful of crackers (I prefer Ritz for this, but all we had were Saltines and they did the trick.  I started tonight with maybe 6 or 7 crackers, and after combining the meat mixture I felt it was too loose and added about 4 or 5 more crackers to the mix.)

1 egg (we only use egg whites at our house)

garlic powder (1/2 tsp. or more if you love garlic)

salt & black pepper (to taste)

minced onion (at least a Tablespoon)

dried parsley (I use parsley liberally – several Tablespoons)

sugar (I would say no more than 1/2 tsp.)

cheddar cheese (maybe a couple of Tablespoons worth of cheese – not too much)

ketchup (one good squirt – probably around 2 or 3 Tablespoons)

Ingredients for the soup:

Meatballs (I had 29 meatballs tonight)

Chicken broth

Spaghetti noodles (gluten-free, whole wheat or regular should work just fine – I did not use an entire package of noodles.  Just eyeball it – you want enough noodles that your soup doesn’t look like chicken broth with a few floaties, but you don’t want it as thick as spaghetti, either.)

16 oz. Frozen spinach (16 oz. is probably way too much spinach for most people – so unless you really like spinach like us, I would only use half the package.)

So let’s get started on the meatballs.  I am one-quarter Italian and this is the recipe handed down from my great-grandparents to my mom, and from her to me.  Of course, the original recipe uses ground beef, but I have made it with all of the meats listed above and it is good with any of them.  Because this recipe is an old traditional recipe, it has never had the amounts written down.  It is one of those trial and error recipes.  The first few times I attempted it, they turned out okay, but not exactly like my mom’s.  These days….YUM!!!!  This is also the way I make traditional meatballs for my spaghetti (which I will have to post one day!).

Combine all the ingredients for your meatballs in a large mixing bowl.

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Take off any rings and jewelry and thoroughly wash your hands, because the only way to mix this up is with your bare hands!  Squish the meat with the ingredients until it is well-mixed.  Then form into small 1 inch balls (or smaller).  I thought I was being so smart today and placed a baking rack inside my pan to cook the meatballs on, to help cook out the extra grease.  However, I forgot to spray the rack with cooking spray and they were slightly stuck.  So spray your pan!

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Cook the meatballs at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, then set aside to cool while you put the soup together.

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For your soup, bring chicken broth to a boil (I add some water to the broth – personal preference), and add your frozen spinach.  Go ahead and salt and pepper to taste.  When spinach is almost cooked, add in your noodles and meatballs. Once your noodles are tender and the seasoning is to your liking, your soup is ready!  It is not the prettiest soup, but the taste is so good!  My 2-year-old cleaned his bowl and my 5-year-old ate half an adult-sized bowl, so give it a try to see what you think!!!!

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Oven-Baked Grease Taters

So any Southern girl knows what “grease” taters are, and has probably consumed her weight in them…..and because of that has probably seen her weight grow significantly, too.  Potatoes of ANY kind are my favorite!  I love white potatoes, red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes….any dish made out of those, I am all over it!  My husband and I recently began exercising together and trying to eat healthier, so I’ve really been trying to curb some of our “Southern” comfort foods into something healthier.  Tonight I decided to combine the idea of “grease” taters with the idea of regular roasted potatoes, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Because this is my very first blog post, I am sorry to say I did not take pictures during all of the preparation steps, but I will try to next time!

Oven-Baked Grease Taters

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel potatoes and slice into shoestring-sized french fries.  Using about 2 or 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl, toss your potatoes to get them completely coated with oil.  Use sea salt liberally.  Spray a pan with cooking spray, and spread potatoes on pan.  Pour remaining olive oil you used to toss your potatoes in onto the pan as well (so that your potatoes are not completely dry like roasted potatoes, but not soaked in grease like “grease” taters).  I cooked them for about 15 min. then stirred and flipped them and returned them to the oven for another 10-15 min.  Mine didn’t stick to the pan at all, they weren’t dried out, but they weren’t soaked in grease!  I will make these again when we are in the mood for one of our Southern favorites – and we won’t even be clogging our arteries!  Enjoy!

Oven-Baked Grease Taters
Oven-Baked Grease Taters

Suggestion:  after the first 15 min. of baking, if they seem to be getting too dried out, you could drizzle another Tablespoon of olive oil over them.  You don’t want them completely dried out, but we are also trying for the least amount of grease possible while making them seem like real “grease” taters.