Wild game and cheese go well together. Wild game meat is usually dry because of the lack of fat. Cheese is high in fat. When you combine the two, you have a magical meal.

 I had a great time cooking on the Pheasants Forever Wild Game Cooking Stage. I expected to only cook pheasant or quail, so I was surprised when they asked me to make a dish with venison and cheese.

 I cook a lot with of venison. For some recipes you can switch out the beef for venison, but in other recipes, such as tacos or spaghetti, you can’t. Many people can taste the difference and expect their tacos to taste a certain way.

 I have learned over the years to create new recipes with wild game, so people do not have any expectations. They are pleasantly surprised when they taste something completely new. 


Vanilla Bourbon Venison with Colby Corn Cakes

 2-3-pound venison roast (if the roast is small, use 2)

1/2 cup bourbon

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

12 ounces of Wisconsin Spotted Cow Beer or Minnesota Grainbelt Nordeast Beer

1/3 cup vanilla dry rub (see recipe below)

 Preheat oven to 325º.

Pat roasts dry with paper towels. Coat roast with dry rub seasoning and place in a Dutch oven. Slowly pour beer down alongside the pan being careful to not pour over venison. Top roast with remaining dry rub. Cover with foil and tightly seal with Dutch oven cover. Bake for 4-5 hours until tender. 

On a large cutting board, using two forks, gently pull the meat apart. Return to Dutch oven and toss in cooking juices. Keep warm until ready to serve. Serve with vanilla plum sauce and Colby corn cakes.

Vanilla plum sauce

1/2 cup plum or berry preserves

1/4 bourbon

1/3 low sodium soy sauce

1/2 vanilla bean

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes until sauce is thickened; about 10 minutes. 

To make Colby Corn Cakes:

1-1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 -1/2 cups Colby cheese, shredded

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup butter

1 cup corn

1 can cream corn

1/2 to 2/3 cup milk

3/4 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

 In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cheese and toss; set aside. 

 In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add onion and green pepper. Cook until tender; about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes. 

Add the cream corn, corn, milk, salt, and eggs to the dry ingredients. Add the cooked onion, green pepper, and butter. Stir to combine. 

Preheat griddle to 375º. Using a 1/3 cup measure cup, scoop batter onto griddle. Cook until the edges are bubbling and golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Repeat until batter is gone. Serve with sour cream and chives.


To make Dry Rub:

 1 tsp. coarse salt

1/2 fine ground fresh pepper

1/2 vanilla bean

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

 Cut the vanilla bean in half. Reserve the other half for the berry sauce. With a sharp knife, carefully cut vanilla bean lengthwise without cutting through the bottom layer of the bean pod. Peel back the pod, and with the back of a spoon, scrape the seeds into a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. 

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