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Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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Wild game on menu at Grace Lutheran By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Bandera County Recipe Box

The next treat to tempt Bandera's palate is the wonderful and belly bustin' Wild Game Dinner, set for Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Grace Lutheran Church.

Since the church volunteers do a great job each year creating the fundraising all-you-can-eat buffet, we thought we'd pay them homage by featuring wild game recipes in the Courier this week. Suffice to say, in my opinion, however, it would be much better to pay the reasonable $10 a plate and let the fry daddies, grill lizards and pit crew do all the heavy lifting cooking.

That's what El Guapo and I intend to do at any rate.

See you there!

The first two recipes come from "The Broken Arrow Ranch Cookbook," by Mike Hughes and published in 1985 by Austin's University of Texas Press.

The vintage edition not only features delicious recipes, but also striking pen and ink illustrations. If you can dig it up at a secondhand bookstore or flea market, don't fail to add this cookbook to your collection.

Texas Venison Chili

- When grinding venison for chili, be sure to remove any tendons and sinew to prevent chewy meat.
2 pounds venison, coarsely ground

Water, beer or beef bouillon as
¼ C. bacon grease or vegetable oil
1 t. ground cumin seed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 t. paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
3 T. chili powder
2 10-ounce cans Rotel tomatoes

In a Dutch oven, brown venison, onion and garlic in bacon grease or vegetable oil. Add the remaining ingredients and enough beer, water or beef bouillon to cover the meat. Cover and simmer over low heat for 11/2 to 2 hours. For a thicker chili, blend one tablespoon flour with two tablespoons cold water, add to chili and cook a few minutes more.
Serves 6 to 8

Fried Rattle- Snake

A 3- to 4-footer is the best eating size. Cut off the head, let the body drain and skin from head to tail. Rattlesnakes are fun to skin. The skin strips off easily except for the point at which the tail bulges slightly, just in front of the rattles. A few slices with a knife will finish the job. Slit the belly up the middle. The entrails are easy to remove, leaving almost all meat.
Cut the body crosswise in 1- to 2-inch lengths. The chunks are then rolled in beer batter and fried. Or, if you prefer, the meat can be rolled in cornmeal before frying. In wither case, lightly salt and pepper the meat before coating with batter or meal. Allow 1/3 pound of meat per serving.
In "The Texas Cookbook," published by Little, Brown and Company in 1965, Mary Faulk Koock captures the flavors of The Lone Star State. This recipe comes from the Houston area.

Roast Wild Duck

1 to 1 1/2 pounds wild duck, per person
2-3 sticks celery with top
½ C. concentrated orange juice
Grated orange rind
1 C. chicken consommé
After cleaning duck thoroughly, rub with little salt and grated orange rind and place celery in cavity. Pour orange juice and consommé over the duck and cook in 350º oven approximately one hour, basting during cooking.

Edited by John M. Mullin and his daughter, Peggy Mullin Boehmer, "Wildlife Harvest Game Cookbook" features a collection of recipes from North America's hunting resorts and game farms. My 1988 copy was inscribed by both editors.

1 C. vinegar
¼ t. pepper
12-ounce can of beer 1 or 2 rabbits, cut in serv ing pieces
2 large onions, sliced ¼ C. flour
1 T. mixed pickling spice
¼ C. fat
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
Combine vinegar, beer, onions, rabbit, pickling spices, salt and pepper in large crock or plastic container. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days, turning meat occasionally. When ready to cook, dry rabbit pieces with absorbent paper, then dip in flour. Melt fat in large skillet. Add meat and brown on all sides. Pour off fat. Strain marinade and add with sugar to meat. Bring liquid to boil, reduce hear, cover and simmer 40 minutes or until tender. Thicken gravy with flour mixed with a little water.

First written in 1946, the "Gayelord Hauser Cook Book" was revised for the 1963 Capricorn edition. Hauser was the original proponent of the you-are-what-you-eat crowd. I mean, who else but Gayelord was rhapsodizing about the virtues of soybeans in 1946? Here's his method for cooking game birds.

Broiled Game Birds
Tender young birds such as quail are prepared and cooked much like chicken. When purchased in a market, the butcher will draw and split them or ask him to bone the quail. If the birds are from a friend's game bag, take them to your butcher and prevail on him to dress and draw the quail for you.
Wash, dry and brush with melted butter and broil in a preheated broiling compartment. Game birds are lean and require extra fat during cooking. Light meat birds such as quail should be well done.
Length of broiling time will depend upon the size of the bird; quail will take 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with vegetable salt just before removing from the oven, and serve hot on toast with a tart jelly.

From Mrs. Harvey Wuest of Seguin - via Jane Trahey's classic cookbook, "A Taste of Texas," published by Random House - comes another game bird recipe. Stuck in the 1949 cookbook was a handwritten recipe for Congealed Beet Salad. You'll have to wait a while for that, however.

Dove Dinner

24 doves 1 C. claret wine
4 shallots
Salt & pepper

Set oven to 250º. Roll birds in flour, salt and pepper. Brown in deep fat with shallots. Pour off some of the hot fat and make thick gravy with flour and water.
Place birds in Dutch oven, add wine and gravy. Cook 2 ½ hours, adding more wine if necessary. Serve with wild rice ring.