Labor Day is a time to relax with family and friends, watch NASCAR on T.V., host an end of summer BBQ, or just sit around the fire. Some people like to travel, go camping, or spend the three day weekend on the lake. People have various traditions for the holiday, including traditional foods. If you’re an avid hunter, you may still be working through your freezer of wild game from the year’s hunting trips. The following ideas will not only help you use up some of your catch in a delicious way; they will also get you excited for hunting season that’s just around the corner.
Give Your Guests Something to Remember
Not every hunter will admit it, but most of us have invented some less-than-appetizing wild game dishes, simply because we lack the culinary skills necessary to create a tasty meal. A lot of hot sauce on a squirrel taco will work in a pinch, but your guests will expect something that is a little more thought-out.
When done right, wild game can be exceptionally mouthwatering. If you don’t possess the cooking skills to create a great dish or two for your family and guests on Labor Day, there are plenty of easy-to-follow recipes available on the internet. However, here’s an easy one that’s sure to please everyone over the holiday weekend.
A Classic Twist
Do you love steak? How about venison steaks? This recipe substitutes venison for beef tenderloin. You can choose any cut you like, but boneless leg or loin filets might be best.
Herb-Crusted Filets With Horseradish Sauce
3-5 pounds of boneless filets or boneless loin.
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
3 teaspoons of Dijon (or similar) mustard.
3 Tablespoons of cracked black peppercorns. (You’ll get a more robust flavor when this is fresh).
3 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary (finely chopped).
2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme (finely chopped).
Salt to taste.
1/4 Cup sour cream.
1/4 Cup mayonnaise.
1/4 Cup prepared horseradish. You can buy this in the store, or make it yourself.
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard.
Make sure you have plenty of time, or prepare the day before you plan on cooking. This will set for at least an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator, so the meat can absorb as much flavor as possible. First rub the filets with olive oil, then coat generously with salt. Next, rub filets with mustard. Combine the pepper, thyme, and rosemary, and rub it all into the meat. Seal in a plastic container, or wrap in plastic. The sauce is separate, and easy–just mix the ingredients and chill.
You can use the oven, grill, or frying pan. A nice addition to this recipe would be to include some large, finely sliced fresh mushrooms. Cook meat to your liking, but it will taste best at medium-rare with an internal temperature of 125°F. Slice into 1/4 inch medallions for dipping, always making sure to slice against the grain.
This recipe will serve 6-8 people. Take your time when you’re putting it all together–flavor can’t be rushed. While you’re enjoying this delectable dish, envision the coming hunting season and start planning your next wild game dinner.