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Ali’s New Adventure

Ali’s New Adventure

Ali’s New Adventure

From Minnesota deer camp, to hiking mile upon mile in the mountains of Idaho in search of elk, I’ve always been up for an adventure or a challenge. Yet, I never thought I would be where I am today. Five, yes, FIVE days away from my due date!

Entering into motherhood is never something I had dreamt about in my youth but, as I got older, the draw to becoming a mom became pretty dang strong. Now at 28, here I am, about to embark on my biggest adventure yet.

The Power Of High Quality Protein

Being pregnant, I’ve tried to maintain a fairly healthy diet. I’ve definitely had my cravings…ice cream and pickles at odd hours of the night. I’ve also had weird hankerings for anything sour. However, the one thing that has remained consistently healthy is the protein that I consume. I guess I never realized how unique I was until someone recently pointed it out to me. I don’t even have to think about the nutrition of the meat that I eat. In fact, I haven’t bought beef from a grocery store or meat market since before I met my husband 7 years ago. The black Angus beef in my freezer comes from my husband’s family farm. It’s a farm that’s been around for nearly 120 years. The pork in our freezer also comes from one of the hogs that were raised here, just for the family.

Happy Cows

We live in a modest house right near the barns where the cows have their calves each Winter to Spring. In the summer, they are free to graze and are rotated throughout the land so the grass can be regenerated. They are truly free range, happy cows. They graze the same land that we hunt geese, grouse, and deer on. It’s land that just keeps giving and giving and giving.

Ali's-New-Adventure-Modern-Carnivore-Calf

A new calf on the family farm in the spring of 2019

Not Slowing Down

My pregnancy journey has been fairly “easy”. Well, as easy as growing a human can be. Yet, the adventure has never ceased. My baby girl was with me when I traveled to South Dakota for a ladies archery antelope hunt. She was with me when I attended the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener, when I harvested a doe with my bow in October, and when I spent the weekend hunting at Pine Ridge Grouse camp. She also sat with me on the chilly November day when I harvested a buck with my bolt action Savage AND she took a trip to Florida at 28 weeks to help me chase after gobblers. She was visibly there as the cutest “bump” when I crawled 50 yards to get within range of my 26 pound Tom (a mature male turkey). I may have been a little more tired than normal, but we did it together. Through all of these hunts, my freezer is abundantly full of wild game along with beef, pork, and fish we’ve caught. Between my husband and I, we processed and packaged enough wild game meat to last us for the year, plus some to share.

Ali's New Adventure Modern Carnivore 28 weeks pregnant turkey hunting

Success in Florida at 28 weeks of pregnancy.

The Value Of Wild Game

Meat processing has been ingrained in my lifestyle since before I even realized that I wanted to learn to hunt. My family has always maximized every part of of a deer that is able to be consumed. When I was young, we were fairly poor and venison simply was the meat that was available. That said, I’ve always preferred venison over other meat, but I never really thought of it’s nutritional value until I became an adult. These days, there is a lot of “buzz” about consuming free-range, organic protein and, here I was just living my best life without knowing the goldmine of nutrition that I’ve had right in my own freezer.

Ali's-New-Adventure-Modern-Carnivore

A freezer full of quality meat from the family farm and recent hunts

Babies Like It Too!

At this point, I get it. I love knowing exactly how the animal that provides me with meat lived, and how it died. There truly is no meat better for you than wild game. It’s leaner and lower in fat content but higher in Omega 3 fatty acids. Wild game is a great source of iron and zinc, which has been AMAZING  for my pregnancy. Iron is also crucial in pregnancy and zinc is an antioxidant that helps with immune system function and digestion. But, like hiding the peas in a hot-dish, I probably won’t tell my baby girl all about this nutritional goodness right away. She’ll fall in love with the lifestyle and the meat on her own, in her own time, by living it.

Ali's-New-Adventure-Modern-Carnivore-Spring-Turkey-Hunt-While-Pregnant

Editor’s Update:

On June 9, 2019, just days before we published this story Ali gave birth to a healthy baby girl who was 5 pounds 15.5 ounces and 19 inches long. We’re couldn’t be happier for Ali and her family!

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The Summer Hunter

The Summer Hunter

(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of posts by Ashley Peters. Ashley is relatively new to the hunting and fishing world, and we’ve been working with her since the early days of her inquiry. In this series she’ll share thoughts and perspectives of a new hunter in hopes of helping others out in their journey. I hope you enjoy the conversation! Mark)

The Summer Hunter

Three years ago I was curious about hunting, but I wasn’t convinced it was for me. Thinking about all the gear, logistics, questions, and skill-building was intimidating. The same thought crossed my mind several times given how overwhelmed I felt: Will I really be ready by fall?

The answer for me was “Yes, absolutely” and it’s probably the same for you. There’s ample time between spring and fall to take things step by step. The timeline leading into hunting season is perfect for pushing yourself, but not to the point of exhaustion. Preparing for hunting can reinforce things you’re already doing.

Below are a few ways that someone like you can make the most of the season as a summer hunter.

Finding Good Recipes

Pheasant, grouse, duck…you name it! The prospect of a good meal will get you excited to visit your favorite grocery store (public lands!). Whether it’s pheasant roulade, venison katsu curry, or biscuits and gravy with duck sausage, there are a plethora of recipes that will make your mouth water. Even if you don’t have wild game, try out a few of the recipes to determine which you like best and how to do them well.

pheasant-roulade-recipe

Pheasant roulade with cilantro chutney

Exploring New Places

Determining where to hunt is one of my favorite things. Looking at maps and marking public lands is the first step, but there’s nothing like getting out and seeing land in person. For example, if I’m on my way to a state park or state forest for summer activities, I’ll note the wildlife management areas along the way. Quick detours for new-to-me natural areas are key to planning an enjoyable fall season. It means wasting less time while hunting when finding entry points and choosing habitats. As a bonus, certain hunting lands are prime birding spots in the summer, so bring your binoculars!

Getting Outside More Often

Finding new hunting spots can get you get outside more. When I know that a trip out of the city has more than one purpose, I’m far more likely to get out. Last week, I had a long drive through Iowa that normally would’ve been all road time. But I know I want to hunt pheasants in Iowa this year. I built time into my road trip schedule to stop at a wildlife management area. Checking out the landscape lets me know what to expect later this year.

Spending Time With Friends

Summer is the ideal time to have happy hour with other hunters to talk about your plans. It’s also a great time to sharpen or to learn new skills. Especially if you’re new hunting, spring and summer are the perfect time to join clubs, attend learning sessions, and connect with other hunters. I’m not sure I would be a hunter if it weren’t for the amazing people. I met other hunters through trap shooting meet-ups and also, public lands advocacy groups like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Regularly interacting with people that I like and who inspire me is the best way to ensure that I’ll stay active.

Women competing in the Train To Hunt challengeTesting Out Gear And Equipment

Who doesn’t like playing with new gear? Trap shooting, sighting-in your gun, and regularly using a new dog-tracking collar are just a few ways to become familiar with your gear. Simple things like finding the right hat, sunglasses, or ear protection can make your experience that much better. When you’re finally out hunting, the last thing you want is ill-fitting gear or malfunctioning equipment.

Saving Up

While there are cheap ways to get started, there are also unexpected costs. Putting away money each week in the summer can help ease the sticker shock of hunting. Seasoned hunters will tell you it’s smart to set aside extra dollars for unanticipated vet visits, injuries, or car trouble. Not to mention, you can always use extra funds for new boots, gear bags, or equipment for your dog.

Learning Something New

For very new hunters, the summer is a good time to consider personal questions about hunting without getting too overwhelmed. When I chose to start hunting, it felt like a big decision because part of my self-identity shifted as a result. You may experience something similar. One of the best ways to ease anxiety is to learn more about your questions and to identify helpful resources. Using the spring and summer to explore new ideas is a great, gradual way to understand a different side of yourself.

hunter recruitment-woman-shooting-gun

Learning to shoot in preparation for hunting

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Podcast Ep. 010: Jon Wipfli – FISH Cookbook

Podcast Ep. 010: Jon Wipfli – FISH Cookbook

FISH Cookbook

The Modern Carnivore Podcast

In today’s podcast I sit down with Jamie Carlson and special guest Jon Wipfli. Jon is a Twin Cities chef who grew up in Wisconsin and then went off to get trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York before heading back to the Midwest (Minnesota) where he continued his food journey. He’s the founder of Animales Barbeque Co. which sits just outside of Able Seedhouse brewery in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. He’s also the author of the cookbooks VENISON, and the forthcoming FISH cookbook (links below). We talk about growing up in the midwest, learning to hunt and fish, and then dig into what it means to cook great fish. Enjoy the conversation!


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking FISH (the forthcoming cookbook) with its author Jon Wipfli #fish #fishing #cookingwild #meat
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Links from Today’s Podcast

(Note: Modern Carnivore is part of the Amazon Associates program and may receive compensation from sales that result from clicking on the above links to Amazon.)

Fish Cookbook - Northern Pike Modern Carnivore

Why Listen to The Modern Carnivore Podcast?

With all the podcasts out there why would you want to listen to this one? Well, if you’re looking for a new adventure in the outdoors we’ve got some very interesting guests talking about topics related to honest food and wild adventures. Get ready to be entertained and enlightened on topics related to hunting, fishing, foraging…and more.

Here are a couple other podcasts you may be interested in:

Episode 9: Foraging For Wild Food with Jenna Rozelle from “Downeast” Maine

Episode 8: Hunting and Fishing In The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Have a question you’d like answered, or have an idea for the Podcast? Shoot us a note at info@modcarn.com.

Subscribe to the Modern Carnivore Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and Podbean.

Please support the podcast by giving us honest feedback on iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast. And if you do like it, don’t forget to tell your friends about it!


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking FISH (the forthcoming cookbook) with its author Jon Wipfli #fish #fishing #cookingwild #meat
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Transcript Of Podcast – Fish Cookbook by Jon Wipfli

Introduction: 00:08

Welcome to the Modern Carnivore Podcast. A guide for those interested in hearing more about hunting, fishing and other paths to eating more responsibly. Now here’s your host, Mark Norquist.

Mark: 00:23

Hello everyone and welcome to this episode 10 of the Modern Carnival or podcast. Today I am joined by John Wipfli and Jamie Carlson. Jamie, you are probably familiar with as he is a regular contributor on Modern Carnivore and if you haven’t checked out a couple of his recent recipes, I highly recommend it. One of them is a nettle pasta and if you think about stinging nettles, they’re generally something that you want to avoid when you’re in the outdoors because obviously they can create a stingy irritation, uh, to your skin. But Jamie shares with everyone a recipe for turning these wild weeds into this beautiful green pasta, which I think is pretty fascinating. Another recipe he recently did was a venison heart tar-tar. If you have not eaten heart from a large angulate like a, like a deer, you’re missing out. The tar tar recipe is, is essentially a way to prepare it raw and, uh, I’ve had heart with Jamie before and I know he knows how to prepare it very well and so I think you would find that recipe fascinating.

Fish Cookbook

Mark: 01:40

So I’m also joined today by John Wipfli. John is a new guest on the Modern Carnivore podcast. John and I get to know each other several years ago when he was an executive chef developing menus for a major barbecue chain and I knew at that time given his background that he was going to do a lot of amazing things. He was just getting ready to finish up a wild game cookbook called Venison, which we have talked about on Modern Carnivore before and he has a forthcoming cookbook here in the summer of 2019, early summer, that is called Fish and it is a comprehensive fresh water fish cookbook. And we talk about that today. John’s got a really great background. He is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York. He launched a few years ago, the Minnesota Spoon, which was a way to share barbecue in the north. And his regular gig now is he created a food truck called Animales Barbecue, which is in North Minneapolis where it sits outside of Able Seedhouse, which is a phenomenal brewery, uh, in the, uh, in the north loop area of Minneapolis. So if you are in the area, please go check it out, check out the food truck, checkout Able Seedhouse, and most importantly check out John’s fish cookbook when it comes out here in the next few weeks. Enjoy the podcast.

Mark: 03:18

Okay, we are at Able Seedhouse in North Loop area of Minneapolis. I am joined today by a couple of guys here. Why don’t you introduce yourselves.

Jon: 03:33

I am John Wipfli, uh, owner of Animales Barbeque Co, which is right outside Able (Seedhouse) Brewing four days a week. And I also wrote the Venison cookbook that’s sitting next to you and I have an upcoming fish cookbook that we’ve released this on May 15th.

Mark: 03:52

There you go. We’re done with the podcast

Fish Cookbook

Jon: 03:54

There you go. Drink some beer.

Mark: 03:58

That sounds good. We do have good beer.

Jamie: 04:01

I’m Jamie Carlson. I’m a contributor to Modern Carnivore and here to provide entertainment as always

Fish Cookbook

Mark: 04:09

So a little bit noisy here in the, in the brewery, but these guys were kind enough to let us come in here, uh, on the day when it is closed. And as you mentioned, Jon, we are sitting about 20 yards from your food truck and uh, you know, why don’t you just, let’s start with that. Explain a little bit about, about the food truck.

Jon: 04:30

Uh, you know, planning for this food truck went back probably a year and a half now. Um, more than that actually. And we finally got it launched last August, end of the summer. So we missed the busy season. We just went through our first winter. I think we closed only for two or three days throughout that terrible winter we just had it so it was a long, a long winter to be working in a food truck

Mark: 04:55

I do notice you’re in flip flops today.

Jon: 04:58

Yeah, man.

Mark: 04:58

…and we’re supposed to get 15 inches of snow on Thursday

Fish Cookbook

Jon: 05:01

(yea) It’s stupid.

Jon: 05:02

No, I can’t, I’m over it. Um, yeah, so, so we finally got the barbecue food truck up and running. Uh, we just smoke fresh meat four days a week, serve them right over the smoker kind of deal. And we smoked meat until we run out. And that’s just, that’s how it works.

Mark: 05:22

And we, we are, we are a, the reason you’d grunting is we do have somebody else here with us today. And who is that?

Jon: 05:29

That is my Weimaraner Hank who was usually fairly well behaved, but the moment you stop paying attention to him, he does stuff like this.

Mark: 05:38

He’s a big boy.

Jon: 05:39

He IS a big boy

Fish Cookbook

Mark: 05:40

So, um, I have had your barbecue before, but before you had this truck and so I’m looking forward to trying it out. You’ve got some, some crazy, uh, uh, items on the menu there that look really good. And I know your tagline on your Instagram account is a stretchy pants recommended, which I like. I like that. Um, but you got what? The Meat Tornado, is that a, is that one of your items?

Jon: 06:06

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a one day a week item. So that’s a Sunday-only item. And that thing, I mean, just honestly, it just started as a joke. And um, we basically, so the way that came up as we take our ribs are ribs have 12 bones in them. We take the last two bones off of each rib, smoke those, and then take the meat off of it. And then we turn that meat into a sandwich cause it eats better after it’s picked. Um, and instead of trying to eat it off the bone where it can get kind of fatty down there. And um, so we were trying to figure out a way to use that meat that was still a quality way to use it. And then I was watching a parks and rec one night and Ron Swanson has a meat tornado line and we just decided to run it. And then people like recognize a reference and then Instagram caught onto it. And we haven’t been able to not run it since then. So Sundays, start selling it at noon. We do about 40 a week and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Mark: 07:03

So how often are you selling out of a, of product

Fish Cookbook

Jon: 07:07

Uh, summer months. We sell out a pretty much every day (that) we open right now. We sell out of our smoked meats. The way we do it is we load the smoker up, we fill it with pork belly, ribs, um, and sausage. And for example, we’ll load at once on a Saturday at 7:30 in the morning and then once at noon and we’ll sell out the first round by 4:30. And then we pull out the second round and usually sell it out by 8:00. But then there’s some other items like Tacos and bowls you can get later on into the evening.

Mark: 07:34

Okay, cool. Cool. So, um, you know, the, the main purpose of our conversation today is to talk about your forthcoming cookbook called Fish, correct? Yup. You got it. But, uh, let’s, let’s step back a little bit first in, talk a little bit about you in your background. Cause we’ve talked about having you on the podcast for a long time.

Jon: 08:01

Yea, a while now.

Mark: 08:01

And, uh, I just mean it was back before Venison when we were, when we first started talking about some different things. Um, but uh, when did, when did you start hunting and fishing? Did you grow up with it? Did, did you learn it later on?

Jon: 08:16

Yeah, so my family…I grew up in a hunting and kind of an outdoors family. And so I was always around it when I was a kid and it was a part of just our daily (routine). You know, I grew up in the middle of Wisconsin, so that’s not that uncommon. Um, it was just a part of the day-to-day sort of operation. And then I took part in it to a small degree when I was younger and through high school. And then when I left Wausau, Wisconsin to move on to go cook, I really didn’t take part in hunting. Um, and kind of for like a 10 year span, I was more focused on other outdoor activities: camping, biking, hiking, snowboarding, all that stuff. Um, and then when I moved back to the Midwest when I was, I guess I had been 26 or 27, it just naturally fell into place as a thing to do in the outdoors. I have a huge circle of friends who hunt fish and it’s just the, you know, it’s just the best activity you can do in the Midwest and this region. So when I moved back here, immediately started, uh, just participating in those activities again. Um, and then it just kind of fell in line with cooking. Um, obviously as a byproduct of hunting. You end up with some meat occasionally. If you’re lucky. And uh, yeah, now we’re here

Fish Cookbook

Mark: 09:38

Very cool. So when you were growing up in Wisconsin, did you deer hunt?

Jon: 09:45

I didn’t deer hunt until my twenties. It was, I always, well, I would go to deer camp and, you know, hang out with the guys and drink beer. Um, but it was mainly, uh, birds and fishing.

Mark: 09:58

Okay. Okay, cool.

Jamie: 09:59

When you were younger, the venison, the game, whatever you had, was it any good?

Jon: 10:09

Man, you know? Uh, it’s hard to say. Yeah. One thing I do remember is eating, uh, eating a lot of lead and I didn’t like that experience. Experience. Yeah. Um

Fish Cookbook

Mark: 10:24

I don’t know, I think it’s a good ingredient.

Jon: 10:25

So it’s a little toothy.

Jamie: 10:28

Growing up. I’m actually surprised that I’ve actually enjoyed wild game anymore because any deer that was shot was turned into summer sausage.

Jon: 10:38

Yeah.

Jamie: 10:38

Uh, all of it. There was nothing left over. And anything else that was shot was cooked until it died a second death. And the ducks that we’d get, the geese that we get, we’re dry and stringy, and at that age, you know, I’d take a glass of milk, the at each bite down. Yup. So I was just curious if other people had similar experiences here in the Midwest

Fish Cookbook

Jon: 11:02

I think, you know, I think there was a lot of crock pots involved.

Jamie: 11:06

Yes. And cream of mushroom soup.

Jon: 11:08

Yeah. Uh, yeah. And that’s kind of my memory of it. It definitely wasn’t an elevated experience,

Mark: 11:14

You know, you know, for me it was a, it was the, uh, probably the worst preparation for, for game, uh, when I was a kid was, was ducks where my grandmother’s recipe that my dad would always follow was roasting them, and we always plucked her ducks. We never would never skin or notes, always, always plucked him no matter how small, little teal to large mailers. Um, and then, uh, in an attempt to keep them moist, you know, he put two bacon strips across the top, you know, cross cross her, which did no good really in the end. I mean, I think it was, you know, you’d bake it for, oh my gosh, I don’t even know. Hour and a half or whatever it was…

Jamie: 11:59

But you got to eat two pieces of bacon…

Mark: 12:03

Actually, they were never cooked that well, so, you know, and they would just get so dried out like that. I still remember when I was in my early twenties, first time I read a recipe on super high heat baking, just just with the duck and then serving it rare and going, oh my gosh, why haven’t I been doing this my whole life

Fish Cookbook

Remainder of transcript available upon request.

Thanks for listening to the Modern Carnivore podcast with Mark Norquist, Jon Wipfli and Jamie Carlson. You can continue the journey by going to modcarn.com.

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Nettle Pasta

Nettle Pasta

nettle-agnalotti-with-mushroom-filling

Nettle Agnolotti with mushroom filling

The spring foraging season is finally underway here in Minnesota. Many people will be out in the woods looking for mushrooms or ramps. I will be looking for those as well but one of the first things I want to find is stinging nettles.

If you are anything like me, stinging nettles have probably been a problem for you all of your life. As a kid, there were nettles everywhere around my grandparent’s place. No matter how hard I tried I always seemed to get into them. Before I knew it my legs and arms would be on fire.

I had no idea back then that nettles were actually edible. I am pretty sure had you tried to get me to eat them back then I would have protested with all my might. About ten years ago I tried them for the first time and was not impressed. To me, they tasted like grass and dirt. That might have just been the way they were prepared but I did not enjoy them.

It took a couple of years before I tried them again and when I did I had read a recipe for nettle pasta. It sounded different and the picture of the green pasta had me interested. I tried it and really loved the pasta. When I started looking around for more ways to use nettles I found out there are hundreds of ways to use them.

Nettle-gnocchi-with-bacon-and-sage

Nettle Gnocchi with sage and bacon

I have used nettles to make pesto, gnocchi, chimichurri sauce, tea, beer, and creamed nettles. They really are a very versatile plant and after doing a little research I found out that they are really good for you as well. A one cup serving of nettles has a large amount of potassium, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.

So how do you get stinging nettles into your food without being stung? The answer is gloves; you definitely want a good pair of gloves when you go pick your nettles. Nettles pretty much grow everywhere and most people who spend time in the outdoors know where to find them because they have gotten into them a time or two.

hillside-of-nettles

If you don’t know where to find them start looking along ditches and open fields next to woods. You will almost certainly find them. In the early part of spring, they start pushing up before most anything else does. When they first shoot up out of the ground the stalks are still very tender. Nettle stalks become very woody when they get taller and are not good table fare. The very tops of the plant are the very best part and if you only pick the tops the rest of the plant will continue to grow and you will be able to come back year after year and find more in the same spot.

nettle-puree-in-trays

I like to keep nettles on hand all year so I can make pasta. The best way I have found to do that is to sauté the nettles and then puree them in a food processor. I like to pour the nettle puree into ice cube trays. I can then freeze them and vacuum seal 3 cubes in a pack for later use. Three cubes of nettle puree are about a half cup which is the right amount for most of the pasta recipes I use.

This year I have been playing around with different kinds of noodles. Earlier this spring I made an alkaline ramen noodle. I also made cold Soba noodles. Soba noodles are  Japanese and made with buckwheat flour and are usually served chilled with a soy dipping sauce. It was pretty amazing. I have included the recipe for the soba noodles and the regular pasta.

To make the Nettle Puree

Pick one pound of stinging nettles. Wash them in the sink very well. I like to fill the sink with water and then pour all the nettles in and stir it around with a wooden spoon to get rid of any insects or dirt that might be hiding inside. Drain the nettles and then working in 4-ounce batches sauté the nettles with 2 tablespoons of butter per batch. When the nettles have wilted transfer them to a food processor and pulse until they are an even puree.

nettle-soba-noodles

Cold Soba Nettle Noodles

2 cups Anson Mills Ni-Hachi Sobaka

½ cup nettle puree

4-6 ounces boiling water

 

In a food processor, combine the nettle puree and the soba flour pulse a couple of times then turn the food processor on and pour in the hot water very slowly. Add water just until the dough comes together into a large ball. Once it comes together take it out of the processor and work it on a hard surface dusted with more flour. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.  Using a pasta roller make your sheets of pasta dough first then feed the sheets into the cutter to make the noodles.

Nettle Pasta

This will make enough spaghetti for 2 large portions or 4 small portions

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup nettle puree

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Make a mound of flour in the middle of a large surface and make a well in the middle. Stir the yolks and nettles together and pour into the well. Add the pinch of salt and then with your fingers start to stir the nettle puree into the flour. Work it all together until you get one ball of dough. If it is to dry add a few drops of water at a time until you get a dough with the consistency of Play-dough. Once you have reached this point the possibilities are endless. Using a pasta roller make your sheets of pasta dough first then feed the sheets into the cutter to make the noodles.

 

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Podcast Ep. 009: Foraging For Wild Food

Podcast Ep. 009: Foraging For Wild Food

Foraging For Wild Food

The Modern Carnivore Podcast

IMPORTANT NOTE: Eating and foraging for wild food of any sort (including mushrooms, nuts, berries and plants) carries inherent risks. If you forage for food please make sure you know what you are gathering, and that it is safe to eat before consuming any of it.

In this ninth episode of the Modern Carnivore Podcast I’m joined by Jenna Rozelle and Jamie Carlson where we talk about all things outdoors, but mostly foraging for wild food. Jenna lives in Maine and has spent her life looking for ways to get food, medicine and more from the bounty of wild. We talk mushrooms, black walnuts, rosehips, squirrel hunting and more. Below are links to related materials.

 


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking foraging for wild food with Jenna Rozelle and Jamie Carlson #forage #cookingwild
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Jenna Rozelle, Jamie Carlson and Mark Norquist recording podcast in Boise.

Links from Today’s Podcast

North American Mycological Association – Club Listing

Ramps In Shallot Butter – Recipe by Hank Shaw

Making Maple Sugar –  Video by Joe & Zach Survival

Why Listen to The Modern Carnivore Podcast?

With all the podcasts out there why would you want to listen to this one? Well, if you’re looking for a new adventure in the outdoors we’ve got some very interesting guests talking about topics related to honest food and wild adventures. Get ready to be entertained and enlightened on topics related to hunting, fishing, foraging…and more.

Here are a couple other podcasts you may be interested in:

Episode 8: Hunting and Fishing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Episode 7: Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer

Have a question you’d like answered, or have an idea for the Podcast? Shoot us a note at info@modcarn.com.

Subscribe to the Modern Carnivore Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and Podbean.

Please support the podcast by giving us honest feedback on iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast. And if you do like it, don’t forget to tell your friends about it!


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking foraging for wild food with Jenna Rozelle and Jamie Carlson #forage #cookingwild
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Transcript Of Podcast – Foraging For Wild Food

Introduction: 00:08

Welcome to the Modern Carnivore Podcast. A guide for those interested in hearing more about hunting, fishing and other paths to eating more responsibly. Now here’s your host, Mark Norquist.

Mark: 00:21

Hello and welcome to episode nine of the Modern Carnivore Podcast. Today I am joined by Jenna Rozelle and Jamie Carlson. Jamie as you know, is a wild game cook and a regular contributor, uh, Modern Carnivore. And, uh, we always love getting Jamie’s perspectives on different things related to wild food. And Jenna is somebody that, uh, that we connected with, uh, this last year at the, at the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers National Rendezvous in Boise, Idaho. And we just had a lot of fun talking with her about all things wild and plants and mushrooms, et cetera. Jenna lives in the state of Maine and she learned the value of wild plants as a young girl from her mother and has really carried that through into her lifestyle as an adult. She really makes a living by connecting with wild foraged items and sharing both expertise and sometimes the bounty of the forest with, with others. And, uh, and so it’s fun to hear her perspectives on, on foraging. And she’s also got an interesting story from the standpoint of she came to hunting as an adult. So for those of you who are considering the idea of hunting now, uh, I think she’s yet one more example of somebody who came to this activity as an adult and really saw how it connects to her passion for all things wild. So we talk about foraging for wild food, which can be anything from mushrooms to plants and berries and more. Um, and I do want to caution you or just give you some guidance to make sure that you find a local expert before you head out into the wild yourself to, uh, to forage for food. Make sure you understand what’s edible, what is not, just as important. Um, and especially when you look at things like mushrooms, which can be risky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So in the show notes page, we will put a link to the club listing of the North American Mycological Association, which has at least one club in most states and provinces. And you could also find out on social media and other places, uh, people who have a connection within your local community oftentimes and are passionate foragers. Just make sure they know what they’re doing. Um, and you can really, uh, have your eyes opened to a whole new opportunity out in the wilderness. So enjoy today’s discussion.

Foraging For Wild Food

Mark: 03:14

Okay. I am joined today by Jen and Rozelle. Did I pronounce that correctly? Yes. Okay. And Jamie Carlson. And, uh, we are in Boise, Idaho. And, uh, just wanted to sit down for a few minutes and talk a little bit about foraging, hunting than any other interesting things that are, that are coming along. So, uh, why don’t we kick it off by, Jenna, I want you to maybe give us a little bit of background on where you’re from, where you live, et cetera.

Jenna: 03:46

Uh, currently I’m living in Parson’s Field, Maine, which is about an hour due west of Portland. Okay. Um, I spent the majority of my life living in, uh, the southern half of the state.

Mark: 03:58

And what do you call that “Down East”?

Jenna: 04:00

No, “downeast” is actually not down as you would imagine. Uh, I did homestead in downeast Maine, but that’s actually like mid-coast, you know, mean comes out to like a nose and then comes back in. Yeah. Down East is right on the nose.

Mark: 04:18

Okay. Okay.

Foraging For Wild Food

Jenna: 04:19

So that’s kind of the middle of the state, on the coast.

Mark: 04:21

And so that’s different from where you’re at now?

Jenna: 04:23

Yep.

Mark: 04:24

Okay. Okay, cool. So you homesteaded, you are, you’re off the grid, right?

Jenna: 04:29

Yup.

Mark: 04:30

Which is something unique, I think.

Jenna: 04:34

Not new, but yeah. Not

Foraging For Wild Food

Mark: 04:36

People use it all the time, right.

Jenna: 04:40

Probably not by choice.

Mark: 04:41

Yeah, exactly. So you grew up there though, and tell a…

Jenna: 04:45

I grew up in southern southern Maine, but yeah, I’ve been in Maine for the majority of my life. I did a couple stints in New Hampshire and one in New York City and they didn’t last long.

Mark: 04:56

A little different. New York City.

Jenna: 04:57

Not into it.

Mark: 04:58

How long?

Jenna: 04:59

Mm. Like four years.

Mark: 05:02

Wow. That’s pretty good run.

Foraging For Wild Food

Jenna: 05:03

Yeah, I went to college there.

Mark: 05:05

Okay. Okay, cool. You go back and visit?

Jenna: 05:09

Uh, a handful of times. Yeah. But no. Yeah, I do like it to visit, but not to live. I can’t afford it. Mostly is the problem. I think if I made more money I might have liked it a whole lot more. It’s not that fun being poor in a city. It’s a lot easier being poor in a, in a rural environment,

Mark: 05:28

So you grew up your, uh, your mom is like a homeopath?…

Jenna: 05:35

An Herbalist.

Mark: 05:36

Okay. Okay. And so as part of that, did you as a, as a kid forage?

Foraging For Wild Food

Jenna: 05:41

Yeah, that was my introduction to it. Okay. Okay. And what types of things would you forge? Um, well I guess my two, the two clearest memories I have from childhood, uh, like in that introductory phase with her, there was this one time, uh, I was standing on the porch, we had this big rottweiler and I was just throwing a stick for it and didn’t realize that the dog was attached to a rope and the rope was wrapped around my leg. And so it went off the porch and took me with it. And so I had like this massive rope burn around my knee, and then my mom came out into the yard and she just picked a couple of plantain leaves, common plantain leaves, and um Sorta chewed them up. Yeah. And rolled them up into her hand, made a little Poltis, put it on my rope burn and you know, it worked. Wow. Uh, so that was, I think that was my first memory of a, of like realizing that plants had something to offer me. You know what I mean? Like, oh, these are useful. They’re not just like here.

Mark: 06:56

Right.

Jenna: 06:56

Um, and then I think other than that, the other clear memory that I have is, uh, my, my great grandparents, uh, got a cottage on a beach in southern Maine and, um, the whole coast is covered in beach roses and they get those big fat rose hips. Yeah. Late summer, early fall. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so I remember eating those as kid.

Mark: 07:19

Can’t save ever eaten them.

Jenna: 07:20

Really?

Jamie: 07:20

How did you prepare?

Jenna: 07:21

I just ate them off the bush.

Jamie: 07:23

Really? The seeds and all?

Jenna: 07:27

No, you’ve got to eat it like an apple. You know, you got to treat the seeds like a core. The seeds are really irritate your mouth or fuzzy.

Jamie: 07:33

Yeah. They’re terrible.

Foraging For Wild Food

Jenna: 07:33

Yeah, they are.

Mark: 07:35

So, does it have any medicinal benefits that …

Jenna: 07:38

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Full of vitamin C. Yeah. Rizveratrol. Um, a bunch of other stuff then I’m probably not going to recall right now as you give a disclaimer, by the way that my brain is functioning at like 10% right now. I you’re getting like some, uh, uh, alter ego of myself right now. I will give you some slack. Thank you. Okay, I’ll take it. So, um…

Remainder of transcript available upon request.

Thanks for listening to the Modern Carnivore podcast on Foraging For Wild Food. You can continue the journey by going to modcarn.com.

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Pheasant Roulade Recipe

Pheasant Roulade Recipe

Worth Remembering

The first time I made this dish was at my family’s ice house on Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota. It’s a popular walleye lake and the first place my dad allowed me to drink some champagne one fateful New Years Eve, but that is another story. Let’s just say I ended up being the sole entertainment for the rest of the night. One thing I do remember is catching a lot of fish.

Several years later my friend and co-worker Ben and I were up at the ice house for an extended weekend. Our only goals were to have a little fun and maybe catch some fish. It was great to get away from the restaurant for a couple of days. Being the chefs that we were, the thought was to stop on the way up and buy a ton of ingredients we’d cook with over the weekend. No plan, no recipes. And before I give you the impression that we were only cooking fancy meals I’ll share that there was definitely hot dogs and cheap whisky in our cart as we left the store.

Raiding The Freezer

I had raided my freezer earlier that week for some meat so we could save some money on the grocery run. One of the items that ended up coming with us was a package of pheasant breasts. The thinking was that it’s versatile meat and it’s relatively easy and quick to cook. It was perfect for the ice shack and we’d figure out some kind of recipe, right? As long as it fit on my grandpa’s cast iron Griswold two-burner we were good.

Working Up An Appetite

The last evening our food supplies were getting a little tight and my buddy had plunged his leg into a fishing hole while we were ice golfing. This effectively ended the shenanigans. Luckily there was no shortage of liquid courage.

After a pit stop inside the ice shack he was as good as new, and hungry too. There were a few ingredients left to whip up dinner. The pheasant breasts were still in there, and they stood out like a beacon of hope. We pondered what would come next and then he asked me for a plastic bag. The next thing I knew we were back out in the cold and the pheasant breasts were being pounded thin with the ice as our countertop and my mini Kirby Puckett bat as the meat mallet. This is how our winter roulades were born.

This is an awesome preparation that can be filled with just about anything you can think of. The version we had that day on the ice involved apple, celery, carrot and onion because, as I said before, it was what we had left. The recipe here is equally as good as the first night I had this dish. If you don’t have pheasant, try goose, turkey or duck. They will all work great. After you finish dinner make sure to raise a glass or sip some whiskey for Ben. If it wasn’t for him this recipe would not exist.

Pheasant Roulade with Cilantro Chutney – Serves 4

pheasant-roulade-recipe

Ingredients
Six pheasant breasts boneless and skinless
4 tbsp unsalted butter
One bunch green onions

For the filling
1 pack crimini or button mushrooms
1 yellow onion
Three bulbs garlic
½ cup evoo
1 cup whole milk
Fresh thyme
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
¼ cup Italian parsley
Zest of one lemon
1 ½ cups bread crumbs or buzzed crackers
¼ cup grated parmesan

For the cilantro chutney
3 cups chopped cilantro
1 avocado
Juice of three limes
½ cup cold water to emulsify
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt to taste
½ serrano pepper (optional)

For the breading
4 eggs beaten
1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup finely buzzed Ritz crackers
Chanterelle powder (optional)

STEP 1
Cut the tops from the garlic bulbs, cut the onion into one inch chunks and half the mushrooms.
Place the garlic cut side down and add the onion and mushroom. Add the milk, olive oil, fresh
thyme and cover. Bake at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until the liquid is mostly absorbed and
the garlic is browned and soft. Set aside and cool.

Ingredients for pheasant roulade recipe

STEP 2
In a food processor or blender. Add all of the ingredients for the cilantro chutney and blend until
the sauce is very smooth. Keep the sauce cold. Slice your green onions, place them in cold
water and store them in a cool place.

STEP 3
Remove the vegetables, squeeze the garlic and strain any excess liquid. Add the roasted garlic, onion and mushroom to a food processor or blender. Puree until all ingredients are combined. In a mixing bowl add one cup of pureed mix (save the rest for crackers), the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parmesan and parsley. Mix until combined and season to taste.

STEP 4
Place pheasant breasts in plastic zipper storage bag and pound them with a meat mallet. You are looking for about and ¼ inch (tip: any blunt object will do for your meat mallet, like a peanut butter jar or soup can). Add ¼ cup of filling at the end of the pounded breast, formed into a log equal to the width of the pounded breast and roll tightly. Season with mushroom powder.

STEP 5
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. It’s now time to bread the roulade. Have your breading station set up in the order of seasoned flour, beaten egg wash and bread crumbs. Keep one hand for dry dipping and one for wet. Roll the roulade in the seasoned flour. Transfer to the egg wash and then drain any excess liquid from the roulade. Lastly, roll in the bread crumbs.

pheasant roulade recipe

STEP 6
Heat butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Brown all sides of the roulade and place in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160.

STEP 7
Remove roulade and let rest for 1-2 minutes. To plate, lay the sauce down, slice the roulades into desired portions and place over sauce, finish with the green onion and feast!

 

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Podcast Ep. 008: BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Podcast Ep. 008: BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Wilderness Areas and the BWCAW

The Modern Carnivore PodcastIn this eighth episode of the Modern Carnivore Podcast I take a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness ( BWCAW ) with a great group of guys to go hunting and fishing. That group included Miles Nolte from Gray’s Sporting Journal (but he’s now a member of the crew at Meat Eater), Lukas Leaf from Sportsmen For The Boundary Waters, Rob Drieslein who is the President of Outdoor News and Jack Hennessy who is an outdoor writer and wild game cook. I also focus on Wilderness (with a capitol “W”) and specifically the threats to public lands and waters like the BWCAW.


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking BWCAW grouse hunting and fishing #grouse #fishing
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BWCAW - hunting

Why Listen to The Modern Carnivore Podcast?

With all the podcasts out there why would you want to listen to this one? Well, if you’re looking for a new adventure in the outdoors we’ve got some very interesting guests talking about topics related to honest food and wild adventures. Get ready to be entertained and enlightened on topics related to hunting, fishing, foraging…and more.

Here are a couple other podcasts you may be interested in:

Episode 7: Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer

Episode 6: Tom Landwehr, former Commissioner of MN Department of Natural Resources talking deer camp.

Have a question you’d like answered, or have an idea for the Podcast? Shoot us a note at info@modcarn.com.

Subscribe to the Modern Carnivore Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and Podbean.

Please support the podcast by giving us honest feedback on iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast. And if you do like it, don’t forget to tell your friends about it!


The Modern Carnivore Podcast is talking BWCAW grouse hunting and fishing #grouse #fishing
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Transcript Of Podcast

Podcast: Wilderness Areas and BWCAW

Intro:   00:08               

Welcome to the Modern Carnivore Podcast. A guide for those interested in hearing more about fishing and other paths to eating more responsibly. Now here’s your host, Mark Norquist.

Mark:   00:23     

Hey everyone. Welcome to episode number eight of Modern Carnivore Podcast.

Mark:   00:30      

Today we’re going to talk about Wilderness areas. And more specifically, we’re going to take you to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is the most threatened Wilderness in the U.S. So before we get into that, let’s do a little background on what we mean by wilderness with a capital w. The Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1964 and it created the National Wilderness Preservation System and it also put a legal definition around the term Wilderness. One of the primary authors of this act, Howard Zahniser, uh, defined it this way, “A Wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.

BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Mark:   01:43            

It’s really protective overlay that’s applied to certain areas in our country; certain areas of public lands. They could be national forest parks, wildlife refuges, any number of different places. Um, one of the criticisms that has been made in the past about it is the reference to quote man himself as is a visitor who does not remain. But I think that’s the critical element of it and why it is really unique. So if you think about it, there are very few places where there are no buildings, no roads, no machines, and the only really semi-permanent structures I can think of would be these throne toilets. Basically a seat to sit on and do your business and the fire grades to control where you, where you do fires. And that’s specific to the Boundary Waters where we’re at today. And I think that’s a pretty special thing in something that is, that is needed in this world.

Mark:   02:52      

There are 765 of these Wilderness Areas in the U.S. they comprise just over 109 million acres total, which is under 5% of the u s landmass. And the Boundary Waters, Canoe Area Wilderness is just over 1 million acres itself. So, the question is why are these areas important? Well, if you hunt or fish, I would say there’s no better place to do those activities. It’s still and quiet and in essence allows you to travel in time to a, to a place in a, in a time where we didn’t have a lot of these modern mechanizations. And uh, again, that’s, that’s a pretty special thing. And when you talk about doing hunting and fishing and forging activities in a place like that, that’s pretty special. You know, I was, um, the fall before last I was antelope hunting out in Wyoming had a wonderful time, great people, great place. But there were a lot of roads, a lot of fence lines marking up in really chopping up this crazy, this patchwork of public and private lands and oil derricks all over and um, had a great time, really beautiful place in its own right. But if I was given my choice on where I’m going to hunt and fish, I’ll take a wilderness area where those, those, um, aspects of man and development are, are not seen readily while you’re doing the activities. The Boundary Waters is, is, is one of those places. There’s over a thousand lakes in this, in this wilderness area, and 1500 miles of canoe routes. The water in this area is so clean that many people will actually just dip their water bottle over the side of the canoe to take a drink. I would personally recommend using the filter for potential of giardia any other potential risks to, uh, to your digestive system.

Mark:   05:02     

But that just gives you an example of how clean this water is in this wilderness area. So if you want to lose yourself and really catch some great fish and maybe shoot a grouse, this is the place took to do it. So why is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness threatened? As I mentioned at the open here? Well, currently there is a Chilean mining conglomerate that’s trying to cite a copper mine within the watershed of the Boundary Waters, Canoe Area Wilderness. And you may say, so what’s the problem with that? We’ve got mines and in areas a wilder is all over the country. Well if you look at the facts, it becomes a little concerning. Research shows that 100% of this type of copper mine experiences pipeline spills and accidental releases. So what are they spilling or releasing? Oftentimes it’s one of the main byproducts of copper mining and that is sulfuric acid.

BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Mark:   06:08           

So if a mine were placed within the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and when not, if it had a spill, that acidic slurry of byproducts would go right into these waters, these pristine waters. So what’s happening today? Right now? Well, just a couple of weeks ago, um, letter came across my desk that I saw, which was from the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, the chair of the House, Interior Environment Appropriations Committee, and the chair of the subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. It’s a lot of a lot of terms there, but they sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior and in it they, they basically called out a lot of activities that they’re, that they believe are rather dubious. The current administration in its pushed to greenlight, this Chilean companies, mine in the boundary waters has ignored so much data and fact around the risks that this mind would pose to this area.

Speaker 2:   07:22      

Some of those are, there’s a $900 million recreation industry in that region of the state, which, which obviously is driven in large part by the pristine beauty of this wilderness area. It is the most visited Wilderness in all of America. And polls show that more than 70% of people in Minnesota Support Protection of the this wilderness from mining inside of its watershed.

Mark:   07:51        

So some of the things that they have, they have done not only ignoring those facts is the Administration has recently cancelled the environmental review that was underway to determine the risks that mining would pose to the wilderness and the waterways. And now they’ve decided to renew the leases that are held by this, this Chilean company and its predecessors for the last 50 years. But they never exercise the use of it and it had expired, but now they decided to renew them.

Mark:   08:24               

So the bottom line is if you like to hunt and fish, or if you’re aspiring to hunt and fish and forage a wilderness area, like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is about as good as it gets anywhere in the world.

BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Mark:   08:37       

And if that’s important to you, I’d recommend letting your elected officials know what you think about these moves to put our wild heritage at risk for the benefit of a foreign conglomerate who will really take then move on, leaving us to clean up the mess.

Mark:   08:54               

So let’s get to today’s episode. On a happier note, we were traveling in the boundary waters, Canoe area wilderness, this beautiful place today. And we’re going to take you there. And it’s a throwback. This recording is actually a throwback to a trip I took in the fall with a great group of guys. We went, uh, went up to go grouse hunting and to uh, to do some fishing. I was joined by Miles Nolte who at the time was the editor of Gray Sporting Journal. He is now with meat eater, LuKas Leaf, who’s the executive director with sportsmen for the boundary waters. Rob Drieslein who is the President of Outdoor News and John Hennessy, or a Wild Game Jack as he is known who is an outdoor writer and wild game cook.

Mark:   09:42  

Again, we hiked through these really amazing areas and paddled across some, uh, some wonderful waters. The weather was great, a beautiful fall evenings and you’re going to notice there’s water flowing. You can hear it a lot. Uh, and that is because there were some heavy rains right before we got up there and we had rivers flowing everywhere, including right through the middle of our camp, right where we were sitting when we recorded this. So a lot of, a lot of wind and water. But I hope you enjoy the conversation and taking it to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness today.

Mark:   10:47               

Okay. We are here in the Boundary Waters of a northern Minnesota and the boundary waters canoe area wilderness and got a group of guys here. Why don’t we go around. Miles went, you, uh, introduce yourself.

BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Miles Nolte:   11:00     

I am Miles Nolte. I’m the angling editor for Gray’s Sporting Journal and a fly fishing guide based out of Bozeman, Montana.

Lukas Leaf:   11:11               

Lukas Leaf here, sporting outreach director for sportsmen for the boundary waters

Jack Hennessy:   11:18               

Jack Hennessy, freelance outdoors journalists and wild game cook.

Rob Drieslein:   11:23    

Rob Drieslein managing editor, president of the Outdoor News publications out of the twin cities enjoying a trip in the Boundary Waters.

Mark:   11:30     

Excellent. So we’ve been up here now I’m second am second day, second day in the boundary waters. And we came up, um, to do a little fishing, a little hunting. And uh, that was the goal. And I want to, I guess start by by talking about the context of why we’re here, which is these are public lands and public lands are a critically important part of hunting.

BWCAW Hunting and Fishing

Remainder pending…

Podcast: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Outro: 29:36

Thanks for listening to the Modern Carnivore podcast on Wilderness and the BWCAW. You can continue the journey by going to modcarn.com.

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Venison Heart Tartare

Venison Heart Tartare

Venison Heart Tartare

WARNING!!! CONSUMING RAW OR UNDER-COOKED MEATS, POULTRY, SEAFOOD, SHELLFISH OR EGGS MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

THE FOLLOWING RECIPE CONTAINS RAW MEAT AND EGGS. AS WITH ANY FOOD, IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF THE SAFETY OF THE INGREDIENTS YOU ARE USING PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE.

white-tail-deer-heart

Now that I got that out of the way I will say this. If you hunt your own meat, and butcher your own game, and you are certain your meat has not been contaminated, this recipe will blow your mind.

The Heart Meat

The heart is one of my favorite cuts of meat. One of the best ways I have ever eaten heart is in tartare. Heart tartare is a preparation of the meat without cooking it in anyway. Because the heart is so lean, the meat can be tough to cook. By serving it raw you get the full flavor of the animal that you hunted.

There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when making tartare. Cold is king, the meat should be very cold, if not frozen, when preparing it. You can make tartare with fresh killed animals but just to be safe I always freeze my venison before making tartare. I will vacuum seal a heart and leave it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. The heart I used in this recipe was from last October.

The Preparation

To mince the heart you have several options. You can thaw the heart and run it through a meat grinder with a coarse blade. Another option would be to pulse it a few times in a food processor. Whichever way you do it, you don’t want to turn it into a paste. You will want some texture.

For that reason I like to cut mine by hand. This can be accomplished by cutting the meat while it is still frozen. Take the heart fully frozen out of the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight. It will thaw very slowly and still feel frozen, but you can cut it very easily with a good sharp knife.

Heart-tartare-fixings

I like to trim the heart first and cut away any fat or connective tissues that are present. When you cut a heart in half you will see small strands inside the heart known as purkinje fibers. They help the heart contract. They need to be removed because they are tough and unpleasant to chew on. Once you have trimmed the heart, make ¼ inch slices. Then cut the slices down to ¼ inch cubes of meat. I have found that this gives the meat just the right texture.

At this point you just mix it with the seasonings you have chosen and serve it up very cold. Traditionally it is  served with onions, capers, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  The great thing is once you have tried it you can make it your own and season it with whatever you like. This is my favorite version, but experiment to find what you enjoy best and give it a try.

heart-tartare-finished-plate

Venison Heart Tartare

1 Deer heart, trimmed of all fat and connective tissue

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 quail egg yolks

1 tablespoon of capers

1 tablespoon of pickled ramps, minced

1/2 tsp ramp salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

Stir the ingredients together, plate and enjoy.

 

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Venison Katsu Curry Recipe

Venison Katsu Curry Recipe

Katsu-curry

This Katsu Curry Recipe is so easy to make, and it tastes amazing to anyone who loves the flavors of a curry.

From Tuna Casserole To Curry

During the mid-nineties I was in the Navy and ended up being sent to work at a base clinic in Sasebo Japan. It’s a core city in the Nagasaki prefecture. At the time I had little idea of what defined good food and was really only focused on one thing: having a good time. I wanted to get through my time in Japan so I could go home and get on with my life. To this day, that attitude stands as my biggest regret.

I made a lot of great friends while I was there, and I did explore a little bit of the culture and food, but not nearly enough. At the time, my greatest accomplishment in a kitchen was figuring out how my mom made tuna casserole. I know that I missed a great opportunity to really dive into the culture and food of a pretty amazing place.

Beer, The Ultimate Appetizer

One of the things I did do while I was there, was drink a fairly decent amount of Japanese beer. So much so that when I got home from Japan in 1998 I steered clear of them. I had not really had a Sapporo or Asahi since then, until recently.

Most evenings back then included a few beers, and after that food always sounded like a good idea. One of my favorite things to get was the Katsu curry at a place called Hokka Hokka Tei. Hokka Hokka was kind of a fast food joint serving up some common Japanese foods. It was kind of like a Chipotle, only for Japanese food. It was really high quality and tasted great, but you had to order and then go.

From Fishing To Food

The Katsu curry I used to get was this brilliantly fried pork cutlet that had a great crunch. Underneath the cutlet was a pile of slightly sweet and sticky rice smothered in a Japanese curry. After a few beers and a night of singing karaoke that Katsu curry was one of the best things I remember eating during my tour. Unfortunately, when I came home from the Navy I had no Idea how to make it and had almost forgotten all about it.

Then a couple of weeks ago my buddy Rick called and said we should get together. Our initial plan of ice fishing fell through, so instead we decided to meet for lunch. We chose a place called Masu, which serves up Japanese foods and sushi.

Rick ordered a Sapporo and since I hadn’t drank one in nearly 20 years I decided to join him. It came with a shot of the restaurant’s house-made ginger whiskey and instantly I had a craving for some Katsu curry. It just so happened that this place was serving Katsu curry as their lunch special. Three hours later and a few beers into the day I was on a mission to make some Katsu curry at home.

A New Kind Of Katsu Curry

japanese-curry

It didn’t take long for me to come across multiple recipes online that pointed towards something called S&B golden curry sauce mix. It is basically an instant curry sauce, but it’s flavor is wonderful and it tastes exactly how I remember the Katsu Curry In Japan.

I have made Katsu in the past which is just a cutlet of meat that has been pounded flat and breaded in panko bread crumbs and then fried until golden brown and topped with Tonkatsu sauce.  Tonkatsu is a sweet and savory sauce that adds balance to the dish. There are recipes for making your own online, but you can find Tonkatsu at most Asian grocers.

So, pull some venison chops out of your freezer and take a food journey to Japan. Let me know how it goes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Katsu-curry

Venison Katsu Curry

For the Cutlet

4 venison chops (pounded to about ½ inch thick)

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup oil for frying

 

Place the venison chops between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound them flat to about ½ inch thick. Coat each cutlet in flour then dredge in egg wash and finally coat with panko bread crumbs. Fry in 325 degree oil for about 2 minutes on each side.

 

For the gravy

1 sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 carrots, diced

½ cup diced onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 brick of Golden Curry

3 cups of water

2 tablespoons of butter

 

In a medium sized sauce pan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and sweet potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the brick of curry and stir until it dissolves.

To finish the dish pile up some rice in a bowl and cover with the curry. Cut the venison cutlet into strips and place on top of the curry. Top with tankatsu sauce and serve.

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A Different Kind Of Trophy Shot

A Different Kind Of Trophy Shot

A Different Kind of “Trophy Shot”

A couple years ago, I went hunting for the first time and as I walked through a beautiful prairie, I panicked at a sudden thought: What if I actually hit a bird?

Obviously, shooting birds is a big part of pheasant hunting, but despite seeing photo after photo of hunters holding birds, rabbits, and the heavy heads of deer, I failed to give deeper thought to actively holding dead game in my hands. Going into my first hunt, I was so focused on learning about guns, where to hunt and who to hunt with, that I had skipped over the anticipation of a successful hunt.

Connecting To My Food

Like many people, I’ve been contemplating my relationship with food. I feel that ultimately, pursuing free-range game on public lands will help fulfill my need to feel good about the meat I’m eating. I want to advance my outdoor skills, to regularly walk off-trail through gorgeous tracts of woods or grasslands in the fall, and of course, pursue wild game that I can consume.  

Luckily, I didn’t get a bird during that first hunt. You would think that would be a disappointing result, but honestly, I was relieved. It gave me a chance to think about what to do when I finally got a bird.

Picturing Success

Ashley-first-pheasant-modern-carnivore

Ashley Peters holding her first harvest.

As you can see (above), I wasn’t exactly overjoyed when I finally did shoot a pheasant. Once I held it, I was a little shocked at its beauty and, although I should have expected it, the warmth of a recently deceased bird also caught me off guard.

I went to bed that night wondering if I had made the right decision to become a hunter. Hunting is a lot of work and my reward was a slight feeling of guilt at having brought down such a gorgeous, winged creature.

That was before I cooked the meat though. I had been given fancy recipes for how to cook the pheasant, but I went with a tried and true favorite: cilantro-lime tacos. To me, the pheasant tasted like a cross between chicken and turkey, but the good feeling that came with it was totally new. While making the tacos, I had flashbacks of the beautiful day we had. I knew exactly where the bird had come from, I knew what it had been eating, and I knew that my license fees were going to create habitat. Seeing the food on my plate resonated with me and I found myself inspired to get back into the field and do it all again.

Ashley-learns-cooking-wild

Ashley Peters learns about cooking wild pheasant with Chef Lukas.

With a full belly, I finally felt what I had been seeking: satisfaction.

Most non-hunters who want to start hunting aren’t usually just looking to kill something – they want a better way to feed themselves or their families. Looking back on my perceptions of hunting as a non-hunter, I have a few suggestions for choosing photos targeted towards attracting new folks.

The Trophy Shot Reimagined

  1. Focus on showing the processed meat or a prepared meal. It’s much more relatable to the average person, who may not currently be a hunter, but could be someday. (refer to the example above)
  2. If you do show the animal, try showing just part of it. For example, the antlers, hooves, or fins. People are less sensitive to these images. Here’s an example by my friend Aaron.
  3. Get photos of people smiling as they talk, walk or load up gear. Hunting is very much about camaraderie and this is a good way to visualize it.Pierce and Alex in Part Three of Awaken The Hunter Within by Modern Carnivore
  4. Include as much scenery as possible and explain what the landscape means; many people may not know how to read a landscape for clues about where wildlife live and why they live there.
  5. Think about getting shots that the average non-hunter can picture themselves in or with people that look like them. This is part of the reason it’s so important to use photos of your target audience. Below is a picture of how some friends and I camped out for a pheasant hunt. Most people can relate to camping and it’s just one more step to head over to the field with a shotgun to chase roosters.trophy-shot-modern-carnivoreEditor’s Note: This is the first in a series by Ashley Peters where she shares her experiences of starting to hunt as an adult woman. She looks at the amazing opportunities, the challenges and also the things that need to evolve and change if we’re to bring new people into these hunting and fishing adventures.

 

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