Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recipe: High Speed Venison

It was a perfect setting for a tailgate party: We were parked next to the Lochsa River in Idaho's Clearwater National Forest. My brother Michael Pantenburg, hunting buddy Phil Walker, and I had just emerged from a several-day backpack elk hunt in the backcountry, and everybody was hungry.
This Dutch oven, and a source of heat, is all you need to make "High Speed Venison."
This Dutch oven, some simple ingredients and a source of heat, is all you need to make "High Speed Venison."

Check out the striker and charcloth for flint and steel firemaking!

by Leon Pantenburg
We were somewhere between the "Food is Fuel" and "Use the Dutch Oven to Cook Something Wonderful" philosophies of wilderness campfire cooking.
So this recipe, named "High Speed Venison" because of its speedy preparation, was chosen. Mike set up the stove and Dutch oven on the tailgate of my pickup; Phil sliced up some backstrap from a deer he'd killed, and I sliced onions. All this preparation took less than five minutes.
Ingredients for this dish go on every hunt. All you have to do is add venison, and you have a great, tasty meal that doesn't require a lot of preparation. We've cooked this same dish in the parking lot of the motel in Orofino, Idaho; outside of a motel room in Lowell, Idaho, and at home, when a quick meal was in order.
A great, easy side dish is to slice potatoes and onions, add butter, and wrap everything in foil. Toss this package in the coals, turn occasionally and cook until done.
While the other two went down to the river to swim and clean up, I watched the food. Phil came back up to the truck, so I could go take a swim. By the time everyone was cleaned up, we were ready to eat.
2-3 lbs venison steaks
1 pkg beefy onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 onions, sliced
3/4 C milk
salt and pepper
Trim fat off steaks and brown in skillet or cast iron Dutch oven. Mix together the mushroom soup, beefy onion soup mix and milk. Pour over steaks. Add onions and bouillon. Simmer one hour. Serve over rice.
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