It is about that time of year when many hunters and anglers look into their freezers and see frozen meat from last season (or the season before, or the one before that). You may think, “wow, I need to eat this up” or maybe,”I wish my family would eat this too.” Or maybe you say to yourself, “I shouldn’t keep so much meat this season or harvest so much game.” Well, here are some ideas to help get your freezer cleaned out and to help you feel good about enjoying your future harvest.
1. Take packages of meat out of the freezer regularly and put them in the refrigerator to defrost. Once the meat is thawed, you will feel more compelled to cook and eat it right away! Work it into your weekly menu.
2. Use game meat in casseroles, stews, and ethnic curries. Thai and Indian curries add lots of flavor, and slow cooking in sauce tenderizes the meat. You can combine summer veggies into these dishes and cilantro for fresh flavors….get creative!
3. Try new sauces. There are many different bottled sauces in grocery and specialty stores. Read the labels for recipe suggestions and substitute game meat.
4. Modify your favorite recipes, using game meat.
5. Search the web for recipe ideas. Many recipe sites have search features to find recipes for ingredients you have on hand. Or, try a recipe that is new to you from this site!
6. Have a “Wild Harvest Table” party, serving game-focused foods and pairing locally produced wines. Invite lots of people and have fun!
7. This Thanksgiving, feature wild game and fish on the menu.
8. Give some meat to friends and family (don’t give away meat that is over a year old) .
9. Make jerky to take with you hunting this year and to share with friends. Recipe here.
10. Consider donating some of this year’s venison to the Venison Donation Coalition. You can find a meat processor on their website – http://www.venisondonation.com. There is no cost to you for processing the meat and it goes to families in need through the Food Bank system.
Bon Appétite and Happy Hunting!