Favorite Thanksgiving Venison Recipes from Network Stars

If you're looking to venture away from the traditional turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving, give these outdoor television celebrity venison recipes a try

Favorite Thanksgiving Venison Recipes from Network Stars
Venison Wellington (Photo courtesy of Karin Holder)

Most American households will serve the traditional turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving holiday, but in hunters’ homes, Thanksgiving — out of other holidays — is an ideal time to serve wild game.

Aptly celebrated in November, it is a day to give thanks to the harvests and blessings of the last year, hunting families revere this sentiment intensely.

On the first Thanksgiving in November 1621, turkey was not the centerpiece of the meal. Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow noted in his journal that guests of the Wampanoag tribe arrived with an offering of five deer, most likely roasted on a spit and also made into stew. Though geese and ducks were the preferred wildfowl, wild turkey did made a notable appearance. Other wild eats included seafood, such as lobster, clams, fish and eel.

This Thanksgiving, try skipping the turkey and opt for something more historically accurate. Serve that deer you worked so hard to harvest. Share the season’s bounty and be content with the company of familiar family and friends.


Venison Sausage and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recipe by: Gregg Ritz, Hunt Masters


Venison Sausage and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash
Venison Sausage and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash (Photo courtesy of Gregg Ritz)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Venison sausage
  • White wine
  • Butter
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 cups of kale

Directions:

  1. Cut a large acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake until soft, up to one hour. 
  2. In the meantime, brown venison sausage in a pan. Remove from pan and set aside. 
  3. Add a splash of white wine in the pan and butter and scrape up the brown bits. Add a chopped leek and 2 garlic cloves and stir until softened. Add 3 cups of kale and sauté until wilted. Add venison sausage back to the pan and combine. 
  4. Scoop into acorn squash. Enjoy!

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Venison

Recipe by: Leigh and Travis Creekbaum, The Chase on The Sportsman Channel


Ingredients:

  • Venison tenderloin
  • 7 to 8 slices of thick bacon
  • 1/2 block of cream cheese, softened
  • Fresh or marinated sliced jalapenos peppers
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut tenderloin horizontally (butterfly), but not all the way through.
  2. Open butterflied tenderloin and spread with cream cheese and lay sliced jalapeno peppers along the bottom half of the meat. Fold together, wrap with bacon and if needed, hold with toothpicks. Season with salt and pepper and grill to preferred doneness.
  3. Slice into medallions and enjoy!

Venison Wellington

Recipe by: Karin Holder, Raised Hunting


venison wellington recipe
Venison Wellington (Photo courtesy of Karin Holder)

We don’t get to cook too often but when we do, we like to do it up right. This recipe will knock your socks off! Throw some cheesy mashed potatoes with it, and you will have one happy family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds of trimmed venison loin
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of English mustard
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 package puff pastry (all-butter if possible)
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten

venison wellington recipe cut
Venison Wellington (Photo courtesy of Karin Holder)

Directions:

1. Dry the venison and then season well with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the meat all over for about 8 minutes. Brush with mustard, leave to cool, and then chill for 20 minutes. Save any juice for the gravy.

2. Melt the butter and soften the shallot and garlic. Add the mushrooms, herbs and seasoning, and cook for 10 minutes until you have a paste-like mixture. Add the brandy and cook until it's evaporated. Leave to cool.

3. Overlap 2-3 sheets of cling film on a clean surface and lay the prosciutto in 2 rows, slightly overlapping each slice. Spread the cooled mushroom past all over the prosciutto, creating a thin, even layer. Place the loin in the center of the mushroom mixture. Using the edge of the cling film, carefully draw the layer of prosciutto and mushroom around the meat. Roll into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of the cling film as you do, to form a tight log. Chill for 30-40 minutes to firm up.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a rectangle — a little larger than a magazine — and trim the edges to neaten. Carefully unwrap the prosciutto parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry. Fold over the bottom half of the pastry. Lightly brush the rest of the sheet with beaten egg. Roll the whole thing around the meat to encase. Neatly fold under the shorter edges to create a parcel.

5. Transfer to a baking sheet and using your hands, smooth the pastry around the meat, pressing it firmly to avoid any air being trapped. Brush the pastry all over with beaten egg yolk. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Then, using the back of a knife, mark the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through.

6. Heat oven to 400º F. Lightly oil a non-stick baking tray and heat until hot. Put the Wellington on the tray and bake for 30 minutes (35 minutes for well-done). Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: Looking to do more with your venison? Check out these marinade ideas from “Petersen’s Hunting.”

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