The other day Kelsea Nore, NEBRASKAland’s intern, and I were discussing outdoor recipes to be included in the magazine. Kelsea was very excited about the possibility of submitting recipes to the magazine. Because I like to eat, I was in full support of her decision. So that day she stole two cookbooks. She promised she would bring food in, and I promised I would bring her meat to cook until she begins to hunt this fall (hint, hint).
Between our conversation and now, however, I have to make a confession. One of the venison hindquarters I was saving for her was made into some of the tastiest BBQ I’ve had in awhile using this recipe below.
Sorry for the act of thievery, Nore. Yet not sorry for what I stole. Because it sure was good.
Deer Shoulder BBQ
1) I don’t want this to sound too darn elementary, but it’ll be hard not to. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. While it’s heating, place the deer shoulder in a roasting pan that has sides at least three inches deep, because the meat will lose a bit of moisture as it cooks. How much exactly? I’m not sure, but it’s not enough to flow over a 3-inch roasting pan.
2) Apply garlic, salt, pepper and include enough water to cover the entire bottom of the pan. No more than a couple of cups. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. For how long? Again, I’m not exactly sure, but what I usually do is start it as soon as I wake up in the morning, allow it to cook throughout the day, and take it out at suppertime, somewhere in the 5 to 6 o’clock hour. The shoulder is done when the meat can easily be pulled off the bone with a fork. Once the meat is taken out, uncover it and give it about 15 minutes to cool, then completely separate the meat from the bone, also discarding any small pieces of sinew and fat that are found.
3) The meat should now be in relatively large chunks. Pull these apart until they resemble pulled or shredded pork. Dump any remaining fluid from the pan and place the pulled meat back into it. Add a little more salt, pepper, garlic, onions, perhaps some sliced mushrooms, finish it off with four tablespoons of butter and place, uncovered, on the grill. 4) As it cooks, constantly turn it over – you’re looking for a smoky taste to the meat, and time on the grill will aid this. Cook as long as you want. Five minutes, 10, 15 – the longer cooked, the crispier the edges will become.
This recipe should serve four to six people and works best when cooked with another deer shoulder and eaten while watching football. Add chips, maybe even a little barbecue sauce or sour cream, and the afternoon is set. It also makes a great potluck dish, allowing you to serve wild game to the masses. In the unlikely event that there is any meat left over, freeze in
sandwich bags and bring along on your next fishing trip. Place these on top of the cooler at sunrise, and they will be thawed by lunchtime, making a great midday snack.