About Joshua Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz enjoys finding words to describe his sportsman lifestyle and his reflections on life.

How to Make Venison Burgers

How to Make Venison Burgers

They say extra lean ground beef is healthy for you. This recipe cooks up even leaner meat, venison. Venison burgers will leave ya feeling satisfied, not stuffed and ready for a nap. You’ll feel lighter than you would eating a beef burger.

Now, because venison’s such a lean meat, it requires more attention while cooking. It’s easy to overcook venison since there’s minimal to no fat in deer meat. Leave some red color to the meat so it’s juicy. If you want leftovers, leave more red to the meat so you won’t overcook it while microwaving tomorrow’s dinner.

how to make venison burgers

Venison burgers are a quick way to enjoy a great meal. Great thing is that condiments/sides that go well with beef burgers also go well with venison.

 

What you’ll need to make venison burger meal pictured:

  • 1lb or less of ground venison or enough to feed however many you’re feeding
  • Charcoal grill or George Foreman grill preferred
  • Pickles, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard any seasoning desired. – I chose not to use seasoning.

What you do:

  • Make patties with hands
  • Lay on grill
  • Watch them closely, 5-10 minutes
  • Toast bread if desired, enjoy a quick way to enjoy a wild game meal!

This post is long overdue and is part of the series of venison dinners I made from my first deer. Two other recipes will be posted in the coming weeks. One’s for making venison chili and the final one’ll be for a venison roast.

Here’s other venison recipes worth a shot:

Andy & Josh’s Steezy Boarding Adventure

Andy & Josh’s Steezy Boarding Adventure at Cascade Mountain.

ChairLiftRide

The conditions were great with light wind and the temperature ranging between the high 20s to low 30s.

 

Two videos straight from Cascade Mountain taken February 7, 2015. Andy and I filmed each other snowboarding. We both used our iPhones. First time filming each others steezy rides down the slopes. Glad Andy and I met our goal of not wiping out while on tape!

 

Recommend folks film themselves or others while snowboarding. It’s neat to look back at your run. You get to see yourself and friends snowboarding in a different perspective. You can also see your technique on film and how you turn and carve. Plus, it’s a memory you can watch again.

One tip for filming, or taking pics, with your phone is to hold your phone horizontal, I’ll have to remember this the next time if I continue filming while boarding. This makes me wanna get a GoPro!

cascade mountain black diamond run

One of my favorite things about snowboarding is looking out at the horizon when getting off the chairlift.

 

Relaxing view and awesome sunset while driving back on I 90/94.

 

Back to Blogging

Going to get back to blogging here. I got a few more venison recipes to post, one is for venison burgers. Since the last post, I moved, and, time flies, so that brings me to now. My last post is from April 2014 and April 2015 is coming up here in a few months. If one thing’s for sure it’s that time keeps going.

The next post will be about my first time filming during a snowboarding adventure. Good times for sure!

Venison Fajitas Using Deer Chops

Venison Fajitas Using Deer Chops

venison fajitas using deer chops

Fresh off the stove, the blurriness is actually steam. Thinly sliced deer chops are the best cuts of venison for fajitas. Very tender meat that cook fast for a quick meal

 

What you’ll need

  • About a pound of venison chops
  • One green pepper
  • One medium sized onion
  • Olive Oil (just pour till you think you’ve got enough in the pan)
  • 1 Fajita seasoning packet (do not follow cooking time instructions as they’ll be for chicken of beef) – or make your own
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper if ya want a kick

 

sliced deer chops - venison fijitas

Slice deer chops thin.

What you do:

  •  Rinse deer chops under cold running water
  • Cut away silver skin and clean up deer chops as needed
  • Slice-up venison chops for fajitas.
  • Slice green peppers and onions into strips

Once sliced, fry in a pan with olive oil for 2-4 minutes, flipping once. Do not over cook, in fact leave some purple color to the chops. Then, add in your favorite seasoning and veggies.

venison fijitas ingredients

Here’s what I chose to use when making venison fajita’s.

 

Other venison recipes:

Appreciating Nature While Outdoors

Appreciating Nature – God’s Creation 

snow on trees

Each time you’re afield, take time to appreciate nature; things that you can only observe from being outdoors. Sounds simple, though, do we always do this?

While out hunting during this past year, this thought came to mind, “enjoy the simple and come back for more.”

Slow… down… and enjoy the world around you; observe what’s around you. What’s the weather doing? How do the trees look? What’s above you? What are you walking on, dirt, sand, gravel, is there a marsh coming up?

Feel the sense of freedom of the great outdoors. Exploration makes up hunting as well as the shot itself. It’s just another reason why “smacking some birds” or “smoking a deer” are not the only things that make up hunting.

appreciating nature

Reached out to catch the snowflakes as they fell during Wisconsin’s late bowhunting season.

 

Take snowflakes for example. We have learned that snowflakes are geometric patterns either from articles, science class or pictures of them.  However, to actually hold a snowflake in your hand and make out their geometric design is awesome and in real time. It’s one of the mysteries of God’s creation. God created this world for us, you and I to enjoy.

A random thought here, It’s always amazing to me how the trees can grow upright, against gravity.

 

 

appreciate nature

Saw a fallen tree from a distance and pictured myself making a fort of it if I were stranded.

This post been in my head for a while so decided to take a break from the venison recipes to share. Next post will continue the venison recipe series.

Venison Macho Nachos Recipe

Venison Macho Nachos

venison macho nachos recipe

Venison macho nachos were made on-the-fly. On this night, I ran out of tortillas and still had a lot of taco leftovers, (lettuce, cheese and cooked ground venison). I improvised with chips on-hand to make macho-nacos. Ya see, I was too hungry to get more tortillas at the store.

This is a venison meal recipe that’s low cost and quick to make. (I used recipe below with one pound of ground venison.)

Stuff to use:

  • Lettuce
  • Sharp cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
  • Multi-grain chips (or any tortilla style chip)
  • Salsa
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • taco seasoning packet

What you do:

  • Semi-brown ground venison
    • (leaving some pink color will keep venison moist so you’ll be able to microwave leftovers without overcooking.)
  • Add seasoning
    • (while following directions on seasoning packet, remember cooking time should be shorter because most packets are writing for cooking with beef.)
  • Scoop cooked ground venison on a plate, add in chips and condiments.

Making meals with what you have on hand allows you to be creative. You’ll discover new meals to use the food you already have, ya may surprise yourself!

 

Other venison recipes:

Deer Heart Grilling

Deer Heart Grilling (warning, eating the heart will increase buck fever)

deer heart grilling

Recommend putting tin foil on grate first, then, place deer heart on the tin foil. Midway through grilling I threw tin foil down over grate. Tin foil will prevent the heart’s soft meat from getting scorched. (Use two layers of tin foil, or one layer of heavy duty tin foil.)

MeatEater has an episode where the featured meal is deer heart tacos. Ever since watching that episode, I had it in my mind to cook and eat the heart of my future deer.

Cooking and eating a lovely deer heart dinner is exactly what I did with my first deer, (and will continue to do with future deer). In this post, I’ll be sharing with you the deer heart recipe I used. Saving the heart was a priority while field dressing.

This was my first time cooking deer heart, so, before firing up the grill, I tweeted to MeatEater about venison heart recipes.
MeatEater responded with two deer heart recipes.

Seeing as I would be using a small grill, had apples and garlic powder on-hand, I improvised MeatEater’s apple-roasted venison heart recipe. I did not have a lot of tin foil so chose to cook heart on the grate instead of in the coals.

 

Supplies used when grilling deer heart:

  • Charcoal grill
  • Tin Foil

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 deer heart
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 apple – cubed

What you do:

I used a granny smith apple because it's what I had on-hand. Granny smith has a bold flavor, would recommend using.

(Before the grill photo.) I used a granny smith apple because it’s what I had on-hand. Granny smith has a bold flavor, would recommend using.

  • Clean out and trim deer heart
  • Rinse deer heart thoroughly with cold water
  • Cut open deer heart and lay flat
  • Shake on garlic powder as desired
  • Stuff apple cubes in the heart ventricles
  • Grill heart until the top layer of skin is brown, keep checking, do not walk away from the grill.

Lessons learned: Here’s the mistakes I made:

  1. Not laying tin foil over grate to begin with. As a result, the heart’s outer layer got overcooked. (middle of heart was unharmed)
  2. Cooked the heart too close to coals. (cooking heart higher above coals would be recommended.) I found the heart is very soft, delicate meat.

One deer heart satisfied my appetite. If this were for two people or more, side dishes would be required. Next time you fill your tag, take the deer heart home with you. You’ll love the meal!

dear heart grilling

(After grilling photo.) Meal turned out well! Heart was very tender. Looking in the middle you’ll see it’s still pink, which is a must while cooking heart. Only the outer skin got a bit overcooked.

If you have cooked deer heart before, please share how you cooked it. If you decide to use my recipe let me know how it goes and if you added some ingredients along the way. Enjoy hearing how wild game is cooked and what parts of wild game are cooked. Good huntin’ and good eatin!’

Read Other Venison Recipes:

Venison Meatballs

Venison Meatballs

 

venison meatballs and pasta

This was the first spaghetti meal with venison meatballs.

In the previous post, “the hunt continues,” I mentioned doing a series of posts on venison meals from my first deer. So, let’s start making venison meatballs!

Venison meatballs turned out to be a favorite way to use ground venison.

There’s two ways I prepared venison meatballs and I’ll share with ya the recipes below. First, we’ll go over the part that’ll make or break your venison meatballs: cooking time.

 

Cooking Time
For venison meatballs, 10-12 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees will get ‘er done. Anything over 12 and you start losing flavor, drastically. Less is more when it comes to cooking time, especially if you plan to reheat wild game meals for leftovers. This leads me to the next point: cook venison meatballs closer to 10 minutes so microwaving won’t over cook leftover venison meatballs.

venison meatballs

Prepare a 9×13 pan with butter or extra-virgin olive oil. Then place rolled venison meatballs, with ingredients added, in the pan. Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

You always need to be attentive and near the grill, oven or stove that you’re using to make a wild game or fish meal. Stand by the cooking source, do not leave it.

Two Venison Meatball Recipes To Try

Recipe 1) Using seasoning:.

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 lb ground venison

What you do:

Roll up ground venison with your hands. While rolling, shake on Italian seasoning and garlic powder. (*No measuring of spices required. This way, you’ll find some meatballs  will have more garlic, some more Italian season. Each one will have it’s own flavor, a surprise in every bite!) Place meatballs in a 9×13 pan pre-treated with either butter or extra-virgin olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil is meant for baking at high temps). Put pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Recipe 2) Using fresh onion and garlic:

  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 minced small onion
  • 1 lb ground venison

What you do:

Mince garlic cloves and small onion. Mix together the minced garlic and onion on cutting board. Roll venison meatballs into a ball with your hands. While rolling, sprinkle in minced garlic and onion mixture. Add as desired. Place meatballs in a 9×13 pan pre-treated with either butter or extra-virgin olive oil. Put in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Venison Meatballs-garlic and onion

Note: a butcher knife is the recommended knife for mincing. A sharp knife is a must.
I do not have a butcher knife, the knife pictured did the job becuase it was sharp!

(Before cooking my first deer, I had no desire to mince anything. Yet, when seeing minced garlic was an ingredient to making venison chili, I learned by watching “how to mince garlic” YouTube video. To me, hunting and fishing create a willingness to learn more about cooking.)

 

Next Venison Meal: Grilled Deer Heart 

 
 

The Hunt Continues

The Hunt Continues After The Shot.

(Second blog post on my first deer.)

Remember, the hunt continues after the shot. After the shot, the deer will need to be gutted. After gutting, the deer will need to be skinned and processed. It’s why hunters say, “the shot is just one part of hunting.”

My dad, grandpa and I worked to skin and quarter my first deer. (The quartering process was another part of the hunt that made memories.) After skinning, I took the meat to be processed. Taking the meat to be processed took priority to getting the head and hide to the taxidermist.

Cooking Your Trophy Is the Greatest Trophy

In my book, the meat was the trophy. I say this because when fishing and hunting, obtaining a meal is my main objective. The goal of my previous deer hunts was to obtain deer meat. Going 13 years without shooting a deer, made each meal of my first deer it’s own trophy. With my first deer, I’m able to cook meals with meat from a deer I shot myself. (Achieving the goal set when obtaining my hunter’s safety license.) At each meal, memories of those who have helped me come to life again.

grilled deer heart

Grilling the heart of my first deer. Eating the heart brought the hunt full circle that much more.

When eating wild game from your hunts, the hunt is prolonged. Each time I sink my teeth into venison, I relive the shot, as well as, gutting and skinning the deer.

First deer mount

The European mount of my first deer was a bonus. Trophy from the hunt: venison and sharing time with family

Gain Responsibility 

It’s a fact that hunting also teaches how to be responsible with the game you kill. Hunters should remember this; anti-hunters must learn to understand this. Therefore, as a sportsman, I want to respect the animal by making sure the meat does not go to waste. This is why hunting teaches responsibility. Hunters learn the value of life and what it means to be a steward of the land.

Learn Cooking Skills

Just as fishing helps me cook, hunting teaches me about cooking as well. In the next series of blog posts I will be sharing meals and recipes made with the venison from my first deer taken during the 2013 Wisconsin bowhunting season.

Here’s a few venison meals – more meals to be added to this list:

The Hunt Continues

Above all, I’ll continue to look forward to future hunts and meals with wild game and fish, and, yearn for the next hunting season. It’s why “the hunt continues.” And if I don’t get anything, that’s alright too. My passion for the adventure and the thrill of even finding sign is what drives me. Read more on the following posts:

Blessings: A First Deer

God blessed me with my first deer on September 21, 2013.

This day, and the preparation for this day, was filled with teamwork. Each venison meal brings back memories of the hunt I shot my first deer. It’s a great taste. There’s only one “first deer” for a hunter.

first deer

A trail camera about 30 yards from the tree I was sitting in captured me and my first deer. We found the deer the morning of September, 22. I dragged it from the brush to the clearing.

It was a calm September evening. I was sitting 20 feet up a tree listening to a Tom turkey calling, while anticipating any kind a movement from a deer. All of a sudden tall grass was moving in the distance. Then, lower branches of a tree on the edge of a cornfield began to shake. (If I was sleeping, I would have missed the subtle movement, and possibly, my first deer.)

Deer were walking through the woods towards the cornfield.

My heart began pumping quicker as the deer kept walking. I couldn’t make out if the two deer were bucks or does at this point because they were in the brush.

At first it seemed they were heading into the cornfield. Next minute, it seemed as if they were heading towards me. A few seconds passed and, sure enough, the deer were heading my way!

Instantly, my heart started to pound and my breathing increased. They were closer and out of the heavy brush, one was a buck, the other a doe.

Both deer stopped at a clearing about 40 yards away. Suddenly, the buck started walking towards me. He then stopped abruptly, shook his head violently and jogged back towards the clearing’s edge where the doe was standing still. I asked myself, “Did he get wind of me or hear me breathing hard?” (I jokingly wondered if they could hear my heart because it was still pounding.)

To my surprise, the doe he was with began walking in, hugging the treeline beside the clearing. Closer and closer she game. She then stopped and began feeding. She was 20 yards from me.

whitetail doe

The buck followed this doe. The trail camera captured the doe that was with the buck I took.

The buck, still at the clearing’s opening, started towards the doe following her path. As the buck walked closer, I could tell it was a young buck. As he continued to walk into a comfortable shooting range, about 20 yards, his walking slowed. Aiming for the rib cage I released my arrow. Thunk! I heard and saw the arrow hit.

Upon impact, the buck dashed towards the West through the treeline and into tall grass. Turning away from the cornfield ahead of him, he stayed in the tall grass and made a half circle back towards the woods. I took mental pictures of that path and continued to look where I heard him last.

Man, was I shaken-up and full of adrenaline. I took several deep breaths while thinking, “I just arrowed my first deer! I get to eat venison! Now I must wait 30 minutes before I start after him.” It was 6:30 when I shot him. (Rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes before looking for a deer, especially in bowhunting.)

 Patience In A Tree
That was a long 30 minutes. I spent it thanking God for this hunt, praying my hit was as solid as it looked and observing nature. My heart rate gradually fell as I looked towards the sky. Also figured this was a good time to pull out my phone to remember how high I was. It was clear and the sun was shining on the cornfield enhancing its golden color. Most leaves were still green with a few turning color this second weekend of bow season.

When my pocket watch f i n a l l y reached 7 o’clock, I slowly climbed down the the ladder-stand. Walking towards where I shot the buck, I heard movement behind my treestand. I paused and questioned myself, “Am I starting too soon?” Silence shortly followed, so I continued to where I remembered the deer take-off after the shot. I found tracks, blood and a few feet further, my arrow. The arrow provided proof it was a good hit. There was red blood and it didn’t have a foul smell.

I found blood and started tracking until I came across a small creek and lost the blood trail. It was now 7:20 and getting dark. I took out my flashlight but could not pick up a blood trail again. Because of the movement I heard early on, I turned back and headed to camp to get advice of more experienced hunters.

Sunset while deer hunting

Walking back to camp that evening, I turned to admire the sunset.

 Around 8PM
Back at camp, I told my hunting party I had hit a deer, felt confident of my shot, lost the blood trail and asked for advice. After seeing my arrow, they also said it was a good hit. We headed back out after the deer.

Arriving at my stand, I picked up the initial blood trail and we all continued to follow it. Finding more of the trail than I did, we found an area of heavy blood and it seemed as if this was the end of the blood trail. We decided to head back and return in the morning.

 Is It Morning Yet?
The night was long. Prayer and anxiety made it tough to fall asleep. I was still replaying the shot in my mind.  Although I was confident of my shot, I was questioning the hit since we were going back out in the morning to look for the deer.

Morning came. We headed out to begin the search. Not long after searching, we found my first deer! The deer was about 50 yards behind the tree I was sitting in. It was found beside a tree in thick brush.

Holding my first deer.

Fulfillment is the best word to describe how I felt walking up to the deer and laying hands on it. Though hunting is a solo sport, it took teamwork for my first deer and I appreciate everyone that helped.

I have been gun deer hunting since 13 and started bowhunting in 2012. Although I didn’t get a deer in 2012, I learned hunting skills and bowhunting preparation that was crucial in getting my first deer on September 21, 2013. The friends and family who helped out are as much a part of this as myself.