Willamette Sportsman Show Recipes

Goat Chili – Sesame Ginger Goat – Goat Breakfast Sausage

While any wild game can be substituted for the following goat recipes, these recipes were created to show cooking methods best suited for any wild game. From Low & Slow to Hot & Fast to Sausage, different parts of the animal benefit from different cooking methods.

If you made it to the Willamette Sportsman Show, I hope I had the chance to meet you when I was demonstrating these recipes. If you didn’t make it to the show this year, hope you enjoy these recipes anyway!

Goat Chili


  • 1 pound goat or other wild game, ground or cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained


In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté venison, onions and garlic on medium-high heat until meat is browned.  Add spices and continue cooking 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Add black beans and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes.  Garnish with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado and cheddar cheese, if desired.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS: To simplify meal preparation in camp, make this chili at home ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze before reheating. Foil Dutch oven liners work great for freezing and reheating chili, soups and stews. They also allow for fast and easy clean up.

Sesame Ginger Goat Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 pound meat, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Green onions
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sesame seeds

In a small bowl mix soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Place meat in the marinade at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Stir-fry onions until caramelized. Push onions aside and add marinated meat. Stir-fry meat 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook as wild game is best served medium-rare. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, serve in a lettuce leaf or over rice.

Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup fresh lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoons white or rice vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon red chili paste or red pepper flakes

In a small bowl or jar, whisk all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Goat Breakfast Sausage

1 pound ground game (goat, deer, elk, antelope, turkey, duck, goose, etc.)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. The more you mix, the more dense your sausage will become. Sausage can be pan fried, baked, grilled or smoked. Cook sausage until browned on all sides or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160º.

Flavor add in’s: Italian (add 1/2-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley and/or basil, 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese); Southwestern (add 1/2-1 teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder, oregano, minced jalapeno peppers, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro); Maple Bacon Breakfast Sausage (add 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 2 tablespoons maple syrup in place of the brown sugar, and grind 2 slices of bacon with the ground game).

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The Importance of Big Game Field Care: Podcast

Episode #2 Wild Game Culinary, part of The Sporting Life Podcast with Bob Svetich is out. The Importance of Big Game Field Care: Having a plan for your harvest before you take off on the hunt is imperative to big game meat quality.

Show Notes

Start your planning before the hunt. Know what the weather, terrain, facilities at camp and refrigeration situation will be like. Bring what you need; game bags, sealable plastic bags, knives, cutting board, freezer paper. Find out if you will likely be breaking the animal down in the field or if you’ll be able to bring it back to camp. If you will be flying, find out how and where you can freeze your meat before travel.

Once an animal is down it’s important to gut the animal and get the meat cooling. Whether hanging whole or butchering down to packable portions (front shoulder, hind quarter, etc) meat should begin the again process between 33º-44º. Sometimes the weather cooperates perfectly and the animal can be hung to age in a shop or garage but other times it must be broken down and put in a refrigerator. Always age meat uncovered in the refrigerator. Air circulation is an important part of the aging process.

When breaking down an animal always get rid of any blood-shot meat. This meat will spoil quickly and ruin the rest of the meat. Remove heart, liver, tongue and tenderloins and put in sealable plastic bags in a cooler or refrigerator.

We like to age meat 5-10 days. If there isn’t time to age meat on the bone prior to processing, freeze the cuts and age prior to cooking. Meat can be aged in the refrigerator, uncovered, on a wire rack. Put something under the rack to catch blood drippings that will occur while meat is defrosting. Always defrost meat under refrigeration. It takes longer but will yield much better flavors.

Subscribe to The Sporting Life Podcast, here.

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Wild Game Culinary Episode #1: 5 Ways To Cook Venison

Wild Game Culinary Episode #1 : 5 Ways to Cook VenisonFirst off, THANKS for listening! It’s really exciting to share my experiences with you and it’s my greatest hope that you take away information that helps you put more wild game on your table.

Listen to the podcast here.

From “Low & Slow” to “Hot & Fast” how you cook venison makes a big difference to the taste and texture.

Low & Slow = crock-pot, Dutch oven or slow cooker recipes. Great for neck meat, shanks & roasts.

When slow cooking it’s always beneficial to brown the meat in olive or coconut oil. Roast on high 5-8 hours or until meat reaches desired tenderness.

Slow cooking can bring on gamey/livery flavors due to all of the blood being cooked out of the meat. To combat this always add something sweet to the slow cooker like sweet onions, garlic, roasted green chilis, apples, pears, dried fruit or a tomato based sauce or salsa.

Serve meat as is from the slow cooker or shred it and add BBQ sauce for “pulled” venison sliders. Use the meat in burritos, stroganoff, hash, etc.

Cooked venison can be vacuum sealed and frozen for a quick meal anytime.

Hot & Fast = Stir-fry, pan-fry, grilling

Think fajitas on a griddle or stir-fry in a wok or large frying pan. Wild game only needs a few minutes in the pan. Use a healthy cooking oil like olive or coconut oil and do not overcook! We always eat our game meat rare to medium-rare. If you like your game well done, slow cook it.

Another method would be a light breading and pan frying. For best results slice meat thin or pound steaks out thin before breading. The first 5 recipes in my book, Cooking Big Game, have our favorite pan-fry recipes (including Jim Zumbo’s Ginger Coconut Venison).

Defrosting Tip: For the best flavor/texture, ALWAYS, defrost wild game under refrigeration.

Recipe Picks from Cooking Big Game, by Scott & Tiffany Haugen

To order, Cooking Big Game, click here.

ORDER BOOK HERE: Get our other book, Cooking Game Birds, free with your order by putting “WILD GAME CULINARY” in the notes.

BBQ SANDWICH One large crock pot of venison can be the basis of our dinner all week long.  This sandwich is one of many meals that are a quick fix from a slow cook.  Once cooked, this meat freezes well and can be added to soups, stews or casseroles.

  • 3-4 pound venison roast, neck or shanks
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a large skillet, brown all sides of meat on medium-high heat. Place venison roast in a large crock pot. Add chopped onion. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour over roast and cover. Cook on low heat 5-8 hours. If shredded venison is desired, use two forks to pull roast apart into bite sized chunks. To enhance flavor, allow to slow cook an additional 15-30 minutes. Place on artisan bread of choice and serve warm. Meat prepared in this way also makes a great baked potato topper or can be served with buttered noodles or rice. Kept warm in the crock pot it is an easy, convenient addition to any pot luck.


There is more to a good mixer than one may think. Living in Alaska without fresh vegetables for so many years, we became great fans of tomato juice and the many flavors it imparted on our wild game meals. From pizza to Spanish rice to spaghetti, many dinners were prepared using tomato-vegetable juices as a base. This is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes in the book. The cooked venison can be enjoyed for one meal on its own and added to virtually any dish that requires cooked meat for the next night. We used this repeatedly with caribou over the years.

  • 2-3 pound venison roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 3 cups Bloody Mary mix

In a large skillet, brown all sides of meat on medium-high heat. Place meat in the crock pot. Cover with Bloody Mary mix. Cover and cook on low heat 5-8 hours or until meat is tender. Once fully cooked, roast can be sliced to steak portion sizes with the liquid used as gravy.  Venison can be cubed, mixed with sauce and served over rice or pasta, or meat can be shredded to use as sandwich, burrito or meat pie filling.


The most memorable meal in the Fountain house was “candy meat.” It was always served in celebratory fashion because any time a deer was shot in my family, it was shared by my dad, his two brothers and his father. We all celebrated the hunt by receiving a portion of the backstrap. It was also a memorable time because my father was always the one in the kitchen cooking dinner that night. He was the one who taught me how to make lump-free gravy as well as lump-free mashed potatoes. Lumps were a big no-no in the family and everyone strived to have gravy and mashed potatoes as smooth as Grandma Fountain’s. Combine that with tender backstrap, and the meat tastes good as candy.

  • 1-2 pounds venison backstrap, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Gravy:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet or Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Slice venison across the grain 1/4″-1/2″ thick. Salt and  pepper meat to taste. Dredge seasoned slices through flour, coating all sides. This can all be done at once just take care that the flour stays dry on the outside of the meat. Sprinkle more flour on the meat if needed. Heat a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Melt butter and add venison carefully to avoid spatter. By the time all of the pieces are in the pan it is time to turn them all over. The pan is hot and the thinly sliced meat cooks very quickly. Once cooked, remove meat and place on a warm plate. Repeat the steps as needed for the rest of the meat. More butter may need to be added to the pan. After the meat has cooked, do not clean the pan, the drippings and brown bits you scrape up are what flavor the gravy. Add additional butter and melt. Using a wire whisk, whisk flour into the pan. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add milk, stirring continuously. After each 1/2 cup or so of milk, let the gravy thicken to desired consistency. When it thickens, add a bit more milk. Add remaining ingredients and serve over warm candy meat.


Famed hunter, writer, TV host and game cook, Jim Zumbo shared that his favorite dish is ginger elk. Ginger is one of our favorite flavors with wild game. It compliments a tender cut and reduces strong flavors in an older cut. The addition of coconut milk makes this dish rich and decadent.

  •   1-2 pounds venison steaks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk

In a sealable plastic bag add steaks, onion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Marinate 2-8 hours. Using a fork, remove steaks one at a time from marinade mixture.  Dredge in flour, keeping bits of onion and ginger on the meat. In a heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat peanut oil on medium-high heat. Add floured venison and brown 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle in remaining flour and continue browning, until flour is mixed in. Turn heat to low, add coconut milk and simmer 30-45 minutes or until meat is tender. Serve over rice or noodles. Crock pot version:  After browning meat and flour, place in a crock pot and add coconut milk. Cook on low heat 2-3 hours or until meat is tender, add water to thin if necessary.

Venison Fajitas

Great as a salad or main course with corn tortillas, Fajitas can be presented in a variety of ways. Pupusas or sopas (thick tortillas) are an interesting change and can be purchased or made from scratch. All colors of bell peppers and mushrooms are also great fajita additions.

  • 1 pound venison, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 2 cups bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fajita Spice Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, mix spice rub ingredients. Completely coat meat with rub and let sit 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 6 hours. Heat oil in a large skillet, sauté onions and peppers on medium-heat until soft. Add venison and continue stir-frying 2-3 minutes. Serve over pupusas, sopas or with warm tortillas and all the usual fajita fixings.

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Zucchini Sheets

Sheets? Pasta? Flavor Layers? Not sure what to call these gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, raw, 100% zucchini things. They are ALL zucchini, and by all, I mean the skin and the pithy, seedy inside. Squash seeds carry all the protein so if you are looking for healthier vegetables/fruits, then eat the whole thing. The middle also carries fiber to balance out the carb load of zucchini. It’s also nice to know when you accidentally grow a giant zucchini, nothing will go to waste.

There’s really no recipe here, simply chop up your zucchini, put it in a high-speed blender with about 1/4 cup hot water (to get the blend going), pour on to dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 140º-145º until sheets are pliable or slightly crisp (8-12 hours). Once you decide to make your own, the flavor additions are endless. Try adding fresh herbs, garlic, onion or other seasonings. I also make them with apples and eat it as a “fruit-leather” or dry it extra dry for a delicate Apple-Zucchini Chip.

Here’s what my best foodie friend did with the sheets at RassasyMe.com. 

Layered Veggie Trifle

Use sheets immediately or vacuum seal for long-term, shelf-stable storage. They can also be frozen in sealable bags.

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When I lived in Spain, I wore red cowboy boots everywhere, slept in the trunk of a car on the Portugal border, ate salad from a bucket and learned how to make Paella.

This is my version of the recipe published in California Sportsman Magazine also found in my book Cooking Seafood.

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Wild Game Chili

My favorite summertime chili is in the spotlight again, this time in the August issue of California Sportsman Magazine. 

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Fish with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Eat Nutria, Save the Environment, Visit New Orleans

Next month I am NOLA bound for #IFBC2018! Not only am I looking forward to another great food blogging conference, I can’t wait to visit New Orleans. Or should I say, taste New Orleans? And yes, I’m super excited for gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, beignets, shrimp po-boys, and red beans & rice, but what I really can’t wait to try is ragondin.  

My husband grew up trapping nutria for their fur but his family didn’t eat them. It wasn’t until our family participated in a few hunter pot luck dinners, that we discovered how tasty these creatures actually are. Still, most of our diet is full of other wild game like deer, elk, wild boar, antelope, wild turkey, waterfowl and other game birds and it wasn’t until our meat cache started running low that we decided to help a local farmer out with this terribly destructive, invasive species.

It’s good, I created four meals cooked using four different cooking methods from only two nutria. To be honest, I didn’t really want to eat them, I didn’t want to like it. Nutria are one of those “so ugly they are cute” kind of animals and here’s why you should give them a try if you have the chance.

Grilled Nutria Backstrap Bacon

Nutria Dandelion Green Scramble

Instant Pot BBQ Nutria

Slow Cooked Garlic Ginger Nutria

Why Eat Nutria?

1. Nutria is delicious, many compare it to rabbit or wild turkey in taste. It has a mild flavor taking on whatever seasonings it’s cooked with. 

2. Nutria is easy to cook, much like venison, but very tender. The best cooking methods are hot & fast (think stir-fry or fajitas) or low & slow (crock pot or Instant Pot).

3. Nutria is healthy. It has more protein and less cholesterol per serving than beef, chicken and turkey. It has the least amount of fat of any commonly consumed meat at 1.5 grams of fat per 100 gram serving. That’s 1/2 the fat of chicken and a fraction of the saturated fat beef carries. 

4. Nutria is clean meat. They are free-ranging vegetarians and scavenge on nothing. There’s no gamey flavor to the meat and they are easy to butcher at home.

Backstrap, hind quarters and front shoulders from two butchered nutria.

5. Nutria has fancy names like, “coypu” and “ragondin.” It’s served under these names in a handful of upscale restaurants in the USA and commonly served in South America. 

6. Nutria is free if you are willing to hunt them. There are no seasons, no permits, no tags, you only need a hunting license (in Oregon and many other states).

7. Nutria are a huge threat to our environment. They are an invasive species, natives of South America, they were brought to the US for their pelts in the late 1800’s and released into the wild when the fur trade collapsed. They destroy plant life by chewing the roots, eating only a small portion of the plant before they move on to another. The loss of wetland habitats threatens countless native species across North America. There are many resources in regards to nutria, and many opinions. The first one that caught my eye was Louisiana specific by Christopher Cooper. One published just a few months ago highlights the nutria situation in Italy.

And if you are wondering what they look like, this is my husband and our hunting dog with the bounty.

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Caramelized Leek & Yogurt Salmon

Alaska Sporting Journal, June 2018

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Fried Fish Bites

California Sportsman Magazine, June 2018

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