In our house we are very avid hunters. Goose, duck, deer, rabbit, turkey, partridge, fish… you get the point right? There is almost always a hunting season going on and very often a dead animal is making its way into my garage to be cleaned and processed.

I am not a huge fan of the ‘gamy’ taste that comes along with this ‘free’ meat. Venison (deer) is one of the meats that we utilize year round in our house. I will mix it with ground beef to cut some of the fat content or use it in my ‘special’ venison recipes (these are recipes that take the gamy taste out of the meat). It is senseless to waste and can be very delicious! Below I have included some family friendly venison recipes. These are my favorites. We tried both of these out on some friends and they didn’t know they were eating venison. I hope that they become staples in your house!

Venison Stew (can be made with beef stew chunks)

½ cup all purpose flour

2-3 teaspoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (divided)

½ teaspoon ground pepper

2 lbs venison meat cubed to bite size pieces (can use beef)

2 cups water

3 cups cubed red potatoes (I use a quart jar if using my canned potatoes)

2 cups chopped carrots

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

1 bay leaf

2 cups chopped green cabbage

2 cups beef broth

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups chopped tomatoes in liquid

½ cup chopped white onion

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup bbq sauce

In a baggie combine flour, 1 ½ tsp Mrs. Dash, and pepper. Add venison and shake. Place mixture into pan with enough veggie oil to coat the bottom. Brown each side. Remove and add into crock-pot. Turn crock-pot to high heat. Add all other ingredients and let cook on high for about 3 hours. Turn to low for another 3 hours. Enjoy! I think it tastes the best day 2!

Venison Stuffed Shells

18 jumbo shells (uncooked)

1 lb ground venison (you can use ½ and ½ with beef or use all beef)

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

¾ cup chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup dry seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 jar prepared pasta sauce

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook shells and set aside for stuffing. Cook in pan venison, mushroom, onions, and garlic till browned. Drain off fat. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella, bread crumbs, egg, Mrs. Dash, and nutmeg. Place ½ jar pasta sauce in the bottom of glass 13X9. Stuff cooked shells with meat mixture and set in pan. Top with the rest of the pasta sauce and rest of the cheeses. Back covered for 30 minutes. Then bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!!!

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