Slow & Easy

Cold-weather comfort food

Slow & Easy

Dehmer, Kurt
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Slow-cooker tactics. 

Hunters happen to be a handy bunch. Tips and tricks from antiquated issues of Field & Stream or Outdoor Life prove as much. What other group of folks would think to use a chew can as a decoy anchor, a spent shotgun shell as a watertight match container, or a used pair of panty hose as a base layer? Therefore, it isn’t a far stretch of the imagination to think that it had to be a hunter who came up with the idea for the slow cooker. There is perhaps nothing better for cooking wild game than this little marvel, and the best part is that after a full day afield, or more likely at work, the house smells great and dinner is ready. For those lucky few who filled tags this past season, here are a couple of surefire ways to prepare that critter.

The Roast with the Most
There is nothing glamorous about pot roast. It’s a poor man’s food, but not unlike biscuits and gravy, this sustenance of the impoverished happens to be one of my favorites. When made with the neck or other roast cuts of wild game, it may very well be one of simplest and best-tasting “redneck” soul foods I’ve ever eaten.

Ingredients
1 roast: deer, elk, antelope, moose, etc.
1-Tsp. kosher salt
1 large onion, chopped
1-Tbsp. olive oil
1-Tsp. black pepper
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 dash Frank’s Red Hot
4 carrots, chopped into two-inch chunks
7 large white mushrooms, sliced
7 chunks Daily’s bacon ends and pieces, chopped
1 22-oz. dark beer

Procedure
In a hot skillet, fry up the bacon ends and pieces until they are almost crispy. Add the bacon to the cook pot, and then caramelize the onions, garlic, and ‘shrooms lightly in the bacon drippings over a low heat. Place the onions, garlic, and fungus in the cooker and then add the olive oil, potatoes, and carrots to the skillet. Fry these items just enough to soften the outside—five or so minutes should work. Scoop into a bowl and set aside. Next, lightly brown the roast on all sides in the same skillet. Add the roast, and any remaining juices to the cook pot, then the carrots, and taters. Follow this with the remainder of your dry ingredients, then the beer. I prefer Moose Drool for this roast, but Cold Smoke is a fine choice as well. Any dark beer will serve the purpose here—feel free to use your favorite. Set the cooker on the lowest setting possible, and then enjoy the rest of your day. I like to pull the roast with tongs, the veggies with a slotted spoon, and leave the juice in the cook pot. Depending on the cooking duration, size, and species of the roast, I’ll add a dash of regular flour to the juice to make a gravy. I’ll even add a dash of Red Hot, then pour over the meat and veggies. Serve the whole mess in a large bowl, accompanied with a great slab of buttered homemade bread. Don’t forget to save enough beer to wash it all down with.

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