You and your family may prefer to have friends over for football and serve easy-to-prepare wild foods, rather than having a formal dinner. This casual meal uses your oven and crockpots for cooking. You’ll simply need a green salad, hot bread and dessert to round out your meal.

Turnip Green Soup

Before you think, “Ugh!” you’ve got to taste this delicious, spicy soup that everyone enjoys. In the South, serving turnip greens on New Year’s Day while watching football bowl games is traditional for good luck. You’ll need to use venison sausage that’s been put in casings and smoked, or you may try it with ground venison sausage that you pre-cook before putting into the soup.

 

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces frozen turnip greens
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 package Knorr vegetable soup
  • 2 cans Northern beans (do not drain)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or corresponding amount of Sweet ‘N Low (probably 1-2 packets)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 4 cups water
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 pound smoked venison sausage, cooked, drained and chopped (if you use ground venison sausage, fry it in a skillet with the onion and garlic powder, and drain well on paper towels before adding to the soup mixture)

Preparation:

Bring all ingredients to a boil in your crockpot by cooking on HIGH. Then simmer for at least 1 hour on LOW in your crockpot. You can keep it on WARM the rest of the day, if you like.

Sopping Shrimp Bake (see picture at top!)

The first time we made this dish, we decided that we could make this sauce and eat it on most anything – bread, rice, noodles. It’s yummy! Nothing’s more delicious than fresh shrimp (we prefer Gulf of Mexico wild shrimp for the best flavor). Try this Sopping Shrimp Bake, and we know you’ll love it like we do.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh shrimp, cleaned and deheaded
  • 1/2-cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons chili or cocktail sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon creole or cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2-teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2-teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2-teaspoon ground red pepper

Preparation:

Spread the shrimp in a shallow foil-lined pan. Combine the butter, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, creole or cajun seasoning, lemon juice, parsley, paprika, oregano and red pepper in a saucepan, stirring over low heat until the butter is melted. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, and chill for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve with French bread for sopping. Or, you can serve the shrimp and sauce over rice.

Venison Sausage & Spinach Calzones

This recipe is for one of the most-favorite-ever venison dishes. This recipe makes four, ample-sized calzones, but preparing twice or three times the recipe is very simple. (Children generally only will eat 1/2-calzone, as it’s very filling). The calzones are easily and quickly reheated, if you make them before the meal.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-pound venison sausage
  • 1 tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2-cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4-teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, according to taste

Preparation:

In a large skillet cook venison sausage with Italian seasoning over medium heat until no longer pink. Meanwhile, unroll pizza crust on a lightly-greased cookie sheet; pat into a 15-inch x 11-inch rectangle. Cut into four rectangles. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over half of each rectangle to within 1 inch of the edges. Drain sausage. Add spinach to pan, cook, and stir over medium heat, until spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the ricotta cheese, salt and pepper; spread over mozzarella cheese. Fold dough over filling, pressing edges with a fork to seal. (As you can tell from the photo, our calzones don’t look terrific, but they are delicious). Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Barbecued Wild Pork Without the Grill

Feral pigs have spread throughout the United States, and some states home way-too-many of them. After cutting up the wild pig, you can cook it this way. The use of root beer in this easy-to-prepare dish always fascinates children, since that’s often their favorite drink.

Ingredients:

  • 2-pound boneless wild pork roast
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried, minced garlic
  • 3 cups root beer, divided
  • 12-ounce bottle of chili sauce
  • 1/8-teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 8 Kaiser rolls, split, or hamburger buns

Preparation:

Place wild pork roast in a 3-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic and 1 cup of the root beer. Cover, and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours, or until the meat is tender. In a small saucepan, combine the chili sauce, hot pepper sauce and remaining root beer. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Remove the meat from the slow cooker, and cool slightly. Discard cooking juices. Shred the pork, and return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce.

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