Bacon Butter Potatoes – from the Walleye Capital of the World

2 bottles (12 oz. each) medium-bodied ale (3 cups)
4 pounds red-skinned potatoes
8 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring beer to a boil in a 5- to 6-qt. pot that can hold a steamer basket snugly. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and put them in a steamer basket. When beer boils, put steamer basket of potatoes in pot, cover, reduce heat to low, and steam until potatoes are tender when they are pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, chop, and set aside. Pour off fat in pan, but don’t wipe out or rinse. Return pan to medium heat and add butter and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to brown (about 10 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, put potatoes in a serving dish, reserving beer in bottom of pot. Add 3/4 cup beer and reserved bacon to onions, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of frying pan.
4. Pour bacon mixture over potatoes, add pepper, and stir gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve hot or warm.

Recipe is courtesy of Lake of the Woods Tourism:; Phone: 1-800-382-FISH (3474); Email:


Yummy Venison Nacho’s for Super Bowl Sunday

venison_nachosThis is a great time to relish the satisfaction of delicious meals that can result from the success of MSG-free sportsmen pursuits of hunting wild game and fishing.

There is something very special about the culinary delights that connect us to conservation practices, the purity of organic food from wild harvest, and the reality of incredible taste from this healthy food source.

venisonnachos_ingredientsGreat tasting healthy food helps to justify the cost of the license and gear, and all the time we spend learning about how to be successful.

A few years ago, my family started looking around for proven recipes that would provide even more range on how we prepare the wild bounty from our lands and lakes around us.  We discovered the “Wild Harvest Table” from Cornell Cooperative Extension nutrition educator, Moira M. Tidball, a culinary aficionado who enjoys cooking all kinds of wild game and offers free, proven, advice.  The result has been delicious and nutritious!

For this Super Bowl weekend, we are preparing a crowd-pleasing recipes that has become one of our favorites: venison nachos.  They are awesome!  Let me share with you that there is never any leftovers from either recipe.

For the venison nachos, health consumers today all appreciate that using the venison instead of beef lowers the fat content of typical nacho recipes, that’s all good.  This recipe is quite simple.

In a stock pot, add one tablespoon of olive oil and brown the venison over medium-high heat.  Add one medium to large chopped white sweet onion and cook 3-5 minutes more until the onion is translucent.  Add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic and 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder, cook another minute (don’t let the garlic get brown). At this point, adding one teaspoon of oregano and one teaspoon of cumin is optional, if you like those flavors (I do).  Then add one tablespoon of brown sugar and one 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (or one quart of home canned tomatoes) and gently stir the entire mix in the pan.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, once there, lower the heat and simmer the chili about half an hour until it thickens and starts to smell “so good!”  Then add one 15-ounce can of red kidney beans or black beans, your choice, but drain and rinse before adding.  Then cook 20 minutes or so until heated through and the consistency is thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

We then pour the mix into a wide baking dish, sprinkle one cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the top and place it in the oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Heat some tortilla chips in the oven at the same time.  Remove when the cheese melts (about 6 minutes or so).  Spoon some of the mix right into the warmed tortillas, add some sour cream topping and dig in!

Nutritionally, a one cup serving is about 360 calories, offers 25 percent of daily adult needs for Vitamin A and Calcium, 30 percent for Vitamin C and 20 percent for iron, with 24 grams of protein!

This recipe makes six to eight one-cup servings.

Simple and Delicious Venison Steak


Simple and Delicious Venison Steak
Easy and Fun from Freezer to Dinner Plate

venisonsteak_ingredientsThis simple venison steak recipe we mostly use for the backyard grill, but it can also be easily cooked in the broiler of your kitchen stove, on a griddle-plate or in the colas of a wilderness hunt campfire a hundred miles from civilization.  It’s easy and delicious!

First, trim your steaks of any obvious fat as venison fat is not sweet, it is tart when cooked.  On both sides of the steak(s), rub in a dash of salt, pepper and any of your own personal favorite garden herbs.   Then, on a sheet of heavy aluminum foil large enough to allow fold-over and enclosure of the steak in the middle, spread a drop or two of olive oil on the bottom where the steaks will be placed.

Position the steak(s) in the center of the foil (can place two small steaks side by side), smear the top of the steak with a tablespoon or two of Campbell’s mushroom soup, right from the can.  Carefully place a semi-thick slice of sweet onion on top of that, add a thinly sliced collection of red or yellow peppers atop the onion, drop in a quarter teaspoon (or so) of minced garlic and carefully start to fold the aluminum foil around the steaks to form a sort of sealed envelope package, being extra careful to leave a small opening on one top end.

In this opening, add four to five tablespoons of water.  Now close-up that foil opening nice and tight, place on a medium heat grill (300F) or in an oven for 15 minutes.

The foil envelope forms a sort of mini-pressure cooker.  Once cooked, you’ll be able to hear the water boiling, be very careful when you open the foil.  The steam is super-heated and looking for a quick escape, so use your oven gloves.  If you don’t have steam exiting, you may have cooked it too long or did not add enough water, remember that for next time.

Remove the steak from the foil wrapper and to your plate to serve with the other preparations you wish to eat.  We like whole sweet potatoes, green beans or carrots and a small salad with a glass of red wine.

The steak is so tender it will literally fall apart.  You can add your favorite steak sauce if you like, but most of my family simply eats right out of the wrapper from the grill.

So simple, so delicious, so good for you.