Last week, I ran a collection of wild game recipes submitted by Council Grove’s Phil Taunton that were part of a hunter’s education handout he used back in the day.
This week, I have a few more recipes to offer up, but these are much more personal to me. These wild game recipes were from my Grandma Bonnie Rouse’s collection from her years of cooking up wild game brought in by her husband, Henry, and three sons, as well as her grandchildren. Grandma Rouse’s collection also included a few that were given to her by my late Grandma Bonnie Swader. And yes, both of my grandmas are named Bonnie. That wasn’t confusing at all when I was a kid.
I’m really excited to be able to share these with you, especially the first one — my Grandma Rouse’s famous goose salad recipe. If you’ve had chicken salad or ham salad, you know the basic idea behind this recipe. She perfected it after trying different variants and it is honestly one of my favorite dishes on the planet. After a long weekend of chasing snow geese across northeast Kansas, there is nothing better than spreading this tasty delicacy on some crackers or as a sandwich — or just eating it with a spoon, it’s that dang good!
For this recipe, you’ll need ground goose breast, mashed hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped celery, pickle relish and Miracle Whip, with just a little sugar added.
Cook the goose breast 1 1/2 hours (you can use Canada goose or snow goose) and grind the meat while it is warm. After it is grinded up, the breast meat can be frozen for later if you have more than you need. Mix the ground meat with the other ingredients and let cool in the fridge.
With the extended light goose season continuing through the end of the month, you still have a chance to try this recipe out.
Another great goose dish, this one from my Grandma Swader, requires goose legs rather than the breasts.
Put grease in a pan then slice a big onion and place eight legs on top of the onion. Cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then remove and put the ingredients in a crock pot with one can of undiluted cream of chicken soup on top and cook on the No. 3 setting for 10 to 12 hours.
Another great goose recipe from Grandma Swader that was a favorite in both households: fillet the breasts into strips, roll them in Kellogg’s Corn Flakes crumbs and fry them like chicken on medium heat for 20 minutes on each side.
For those who prefer ducks over geese, try Grandma Rouse’s braised duck recipe. You know this one is very good, because she wrote "(very good)" on the recipe.
Take five mallard ducks soaked overnight in salt water. Rinse and cut into serving pieces, pat dry. Roll each piece into flour mixture made up of 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon onion salt.
Brown in melted butter on all sides, then put in roasting pan with alternate layers of vegetables (three carrots, three onions, six potatoes and four stalks of celery). Then sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over all, dice one stick of oleo over all, cover and bake two hours on 350 degrees.
For you spring turkey hunters, here’s a recipe to hold onto.
Cut up your turkey and put it into the roaster, bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Check to see if almost done. If so, mix one can cream of mushroom soup, one can cream of chicken soup, one can celery soup and one packet of dry onion soup. When done, remove turkey from roaster and mix together soups with the turkey broth. Put the turkey back in the roaster and continue to bake for about 1 1/2 hours.
This recipe from Grandma Rouse makes for an excellent deer roast.
Cook your deer roast for about 2 hours in a roasting pan on 350 degrees until tender, then add one large sliced onion and mix together one can beefy mushroom soup, one can cream of mushroom soup and salt and pepper and pour over the deer. Bake another hour at 325 degrees and enjoy.
This recipe can be used for pheasant, quail or even rabbit.
Take 3 to 4 pounds of cut up game, dredge in 1/2 cup flour and brown in fat in a pan. Salt and pepper to taste, remove browned meat and pour off fat. Take one can of either celery soup, cream of mushroom or cream of chicken and mix with 1 1/4 cups of milk. Pour into the pan and add one small onion. Cover, cook until tender.
Last but not least, don’t forget this recipe for smothered pheasant.
In a plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoons pepper. Add cut-up meat pieces from pheasant, one at a time, shake to coat. In a skillet, brown the pheasant in hot grease. Arrange two medium onions on top of pheasant and add one cup of water. Cover tightly and cook on low heat 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the pheasant, measure remaining liquid, add water if necessary to equal one cup. Mix flour, salt, pepper until blended and stir into liquid. Cook until thickened. Cook two minutes more. Before serving, sprinkle paprika on pheasant. Pass the gravy from the skillet with the pheasant.
As a bonus, here’s a recipe probably no one else has, because it’s probably older than any of my readers — it’s my great-great grandma Myrtle Tipling’s fried cabbage recipe. To give you some context, she was born in 1880 and died in 1969 in Muscotah, about 20 years before I was born. This will pair well with any of these dishes.
And no, it’s not a health food option.
You will need:
• 4 to 5 slices of bacon, fried crisp
• one small head of cabbage, cut in slices
• one medium onion, finely chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon sugar
Combine cabbage, onion and seasonings in bacon grease, cover, mix often to keep from sticking. When cabbage is done, mix in sugar and serve.
If you have a favorite wild game or fish recipe (or morel mushroom recipes) you’d like to share, send it to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include a photo of the dish if you have one!
During this time of economic turmoil, I think we can all benefit from having a few recipes like this in our back pocket to make a tasty dinner that we can harvest ourselves.