When I first got The Hunter's Cookbook by Steve and Annie Chapman to review, I flipped through it to see what I was in for and was soon drawn in by the stories and anecdotes. As I read them I reflected on my childhood when my father, together with relatives and friends, would go on a deer, moose, bear, or wild bird hunt. It was always exciting to have him come home with his kill and immediately see my mother go into the process of helping him deal with the meat. Deer and moose had to “hang” for several weeks, while bear and birds had to be processed immediately. During most of my childhood we had no electricity so there was no way to freeze the meats; my mother had to can them in jars.
Once I got through reading the stories and reflecting, I set out to find wild meats so that I could test the recipes. Fortunately for me, a friend had venison in her freezer that I was able to get, and I could also buy some from a specialty store. The first recipe I tested was “Venison d’Paprika.”
I first cubed the venison into one-inch pieces and rolled them in a mixture of flour, paprika, salt, and pepper; then I browned them in a cast-iron skillet. (I have one that belonged to my parents and I know it has to be at least 90 years old!) Once the meat was browned, I removed it and put onions, paprika, garlic, marjoram, tomatoes, water, and wine into the skillet and simmered for 20 minutes.
Then I added the meat and cooked over low heat for about two hours. Just before serving it on a bed of noodles I added sour cream. Oh, my! The dish was delicious. The sauce was thick and the meat succulent; in fact the pieces were fork-tender. I’m sure this same recipe can be used for beef with the same tasty results.