Category Archives: Food

Wild Game Cuts – Illustrated Guide

If you’re interested in how to butcher your own deer harvests, you might like this illustrated deer meat guide.

This illustration by artist Nadia van der Donk shows where the different cuts of meat come from on a deer.

A single deer can provide a lot of meat that can last for months if rationed properly. The hide can also be used for a wall hanging or carpet.

Butchering at home requires a lot more than a deer meat guide. You’ll need the right knives for skinning the hide, a hacksaw, wet stone and gloves for cleanliness.

Plus, the process can get a little dirty, so having a safe place to do it without risking a seriously messed up kitchen is key.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be much better off taking it to a deer processing facility or experienced butcher.

But, if you’re up for the challenge of learning how to do it, this handy guide will help out big time. You’ll know where the steaks, loin and roast section comes from. Perhaps only cut the area of the meat that you only want instead of dragging the whole deer back to your camp, which could be miles.

Getting a deer from the field to the freezer starts with properly field dressing the animal. Make sure to store and hang the meat in a cool and dry environment that is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


Shellfish Pizza Toppings

By Tiffany Haugen

Clams can be cooked many ways, but the key to thoroughly enjoying them is making sure all the sand is cleaned from the meat. Once cleaned, clams can be fried, chopped, minced, smoked and more. In fact, it’s the diversity of clam meat that makes it so delicious.

Field to fire recipe 1One of the keys to enjoying fresh clams is not smothering them with ingredients that will mask natural flavors. This pizza works with any type of clam meat, even canned clams. With the perfect balance of herbs, garlic, creamy cheese, clams and a crispy crust, this pizza goes together quickly on any night of the week.

This is a family favorite, one that, no matter how many mouths there are to feed, there never seems to be enough pizza to go around. You know that when the kids and grandparents love it, you’ve found something good!
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon roasted garlic*
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped clams
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cornmeal for dusting
Fresh parsley for garnish
1 prepared pizza crust**

In a small bowl mix olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning. Let sit at least 10 minutes at room temperature.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza crust to ¼ to 1/3 inches. Sprinkle cornmeal onto baking sheet, pizza pan or peel.

Spread olive oil mixture on to pizza crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top, followed by clams and Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven (if using a pizza stone, preheat with the oven) 12 to 14 minutes until cheese melts and crust is lightly browned. Top with fresh parsley if desired.

The beauty of clams is they can be prepared a variety of ways, including as a tasty and popular pizza topping. (TIFFANY HAUGEN)

The beauty of clams is they can be prepared a variety of ways, including as a tasty and popular pizza topping. (TIFFANY HAUGEN)

* To make roasted garlic, slice garlic heads in half, crosswise. Place on a large square of foil, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt. Enclose in foil and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven or grill 30 minutes or until garlic is golden brown and slips easily from skin.

Field to fire book cover** For a crispy pizza crust recipe, visit
Editor’s note: For signed copies of Tiffany’s new book, Cooking Seafood, send a check for $20 (free S&H), to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489. This and other cookbooks can also be ordered at

Enjoy Your Piece Of The Pie

Tiffany Haugen

By Tiffany Haugen

Now is a good time to start cleaning out the freezer to make room for spring fish and game. Shepherd’s pie is a versatile dish that can be prepared with a variety of ingredients and is a delightful comfort food on a chilly day. It can be created ahead of time to pop in the oven for dinner or baked and left to keep warm while waiting for the hunting party to return.

This one-dish meal is easy and sure to please everyone. This recipe works well with any ground or chopped venison. Some of the less popular cuts of meat such as neck and brisket also work well. Exterior rib meat, as well as meat between the ribs, can be stripped from the bones and used in  this recipe. The meat from between the ribs can also be removed and ground or chopped.

For the best end result, remove any sinew and silver skin  tissues before chopping meat. We’ve enjoyed the following recipe with elk, blacktails, muleys, whitetail, antelope and bear.

Tiffany Haugen likes to pull out game meat or fish from the freezer and
create a comfort-food staple: shepherd’s pie. (TIFFANY HAUGEN)

1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons spicy mustard

1 pound ground or chopped venison

1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup corn
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
½ cup chicken broth

In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes until tender. Drain water and add broth, yogurt and mustard. Mash potatoes with a masher or hand blender. Set aside. In a medium skillet, brown meat on medium-high heat and add chili powder. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the medium skillet, sauté onion and bell pepper in oil until soft on medium-high heat. Add corn, garlic and Worcestershire sauce, and continue to sauté. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and sauté one minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat after mixture thickens.

Assemble in six individual serving dishes or in an 8-inch by-8-inch casserole dish. Place meat on the bottom layer, then veggies and top with mashed potatoes. Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown. Dust with additional chili powder if desired.

Editor’s note: For 100-plus more great recipes and signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Big Game, send a check for $20 (free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489, or order online  at

Smoke Birds If You Got ‘Em

By Tiffany Haugen

The family had just come off a great pheasant hunt and we had lots of birds. Our boys loved their smoked meats and wanted some pheasant jerky. With my Camp Chef Smoke Vault at the ready, I thought, “why not?”  But instead of cutting up the birds and making jerky, I smoked them whole.

Whole pheasants are easy to deal with in the smoker and there’s virtually no waste. Once the bird is smoked, the meat can be cleanly picked off the bones. The remaining bones make an amazing smoky-pheasant broth boiled up with onions, carrots and celery. Take special care to keep the temperature consistent since these delicate birds can quickly dry out. Adding a layer of cheesecloth helps keep moisture in, as would wrapping the birds in bacon before smoking.

This basic recipe can be added to, depending on flavor preference. For an Asian flair, add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 inches of freshly grated ginger and 1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice. For a hotter bird, add an additional 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili powder. Have fun with it and take notes so you can recreate your recipe again next season.
1 quart water Tiffany Haugen says pheasant jerky can be infused with an Asian ?avor via soy sauce or kicked up with some heat. (TIFFANY HAUGEN)
3 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon white pepper
Two to three whole pheasants
In a large bowl, whisk brine ingredients until salt is dissolved. Wrap birds tightly in cheesecloth if desired. Submerge birds in brine so they are completely covered. Birds and brine can also be placed in a large sealable baggie. Refrigerate eight to 12 hours, turning birds at least once during this process.

Remove birds and empty all cavities of brine. Do not rinse birds but discard brine. Place birds on a rack to air-dry for 15 to 30 minutes (placing wet birds in the smoker can make a mess).

Place birds in a preheated smoker (180 to 210 degrees). Smoke four-and-a-half to six hours, depending on bird size. Birds can be eaten directly from the smoker. To retain more moisture in the birds, place them directly from the smoker into a sealed container or baggie and refrigerate until cool.

Smoked pheasant can be eaten as is or added to a variety of dishes. The tender white meat can also be vacuum-sealed and frozen for up to three months.
Editor’s note: For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Game Birds, send a check for $20 (free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order online at Looking for more pheasant recipes? Follow this link to watch Tiffany cooking pheasants multiple ways: 

Add Orange Crush to Your Bird

By Jeremiah Doughty

I was helping out with a youth pheasant hunt this past season and was paired with a father and two sons. Both sons had just finished their hunter safety course, so this was their first hunt. As we hunted, both boys filled their game bags and became excited to eat their pheasant. The dad killed their excitement with a simple phrase. “We don’t eat pheasant; it’s gross,” he said. Both boys hung their heads as we walked back to the car. Being a wild game chef I asked the boys what their favorite chicken dish was; they both replied it was orange chicken. I told their dad that I would create a simple orange chicken recipe that he could recreate with the boys’ birds. I went home and worked for three days until I came up with this dish, a recipe that changed Dad’s mind.


2 pounds pheasant (can also use turkey, chicken or chukar)
1 cup flour
¼ cup corn starch
1 egg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ cup cooking oil (I love avocado oil; it has the highest flash point and doesn’t burn or smoke until 500 degrees)

Chop pheasant into 1-inch cubes – nice bite-sized pieces. In a plastic bag, mix all dry ingredients, close bag and shake to mix.
Add egg to medium bowl and beat until yolk is mixed with whites. Add pheasant and coat with egg wash. Add pheasant to bag in batches and shake to fully coat; remove and set aside until all pheasant pieces have been coated. Let rest for five to 10 minutes.

While chicken is resting, add oil to wok or skillet and heat on medium.
Once the oil is hot add the pheasant in batches, cooking fully and crispy, about four to six minutes per batch.
Once all the pheasant has cooked, set aside and start on your orange glaze.


1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest

In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce,orangecrush sugar, white vinegar and zest until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix smooth, then set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok or skillet.
Next, add ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in crushed red pepper and rice wine; stir for 15 seconds to mix. Add orange juice mixture to wok or skillet and bring to a boil, stirring often so as to not burn sauce.
Once sauce comes to a boil, add cooked pheasant and stir until evenly coated. Remove from heat and place on a bed of brown rice and then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. CS
Editor’s note: For more on the Wild Chef, Jeremiah Doughty, check out his website (, like him on Facebook (, follow him on Instagram (fromfieldtoplate) and Twitter (fromfield2plate).


A delicious-looking cooked quail


By Tiffany Haugen

A couple months remain to get after quail, and both mountain and California valley quail offer plenty of opportunities. They’re also some of the best eating upland birds around.
Due to their low fat content, game birds can be challenging to cook. Cooking them to proper doneness without drying them out is difficult unless a moist cooking method is used. Oven cooking bags offer a foolproof way to cook any lean cuts of meat and work wonders on grouse and other game birds.
Here’s a quick, flavorful meal our family loves. Add fresh herbs to boost the flavors as desired. Once the bird bones are picked clean, they make a nice soup stock, which we really like this time of year.

6 to 8 quail (or 2 to 3 grouse), dressed
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, quartered
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place one-eighth of lemon in each quail cavity along with some of the onion slices and all of the garlic. Place remaining onions and lemons in oven roasting bag. Place the bag into an oven-safe casserole pan. Cover the outside of the birds liberally with salt, pepper and butter. Lay birds atop onions and garlic. Add wine to the bag. Seal bag and make several slits on the top for steam to escape.

Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven, 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 150 to 160 degrees. To brown birds, carefully slice open the bag down the center, tucking into the sides of the pan during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes. Serve birds with gravy from the bag, as is, or thicken on the stove to make “pan-gravy” style.

A delicious-looking cooked quail
Editor’s note: For a signed copy of Scott and Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Game Birds, which features 150 bird recipes, send a check for $20 (free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489, or order online at


By Tiffany Haugen

Ever crave the robust flavor of smoky fish but don’t have the time to slow-smoke your catch? Less messy than grilling, smoke-cooking over chips is an easy, tasty solution. Smoke-cooking can be accomplished in many ways. A smoker, gas or charcoal grill or camp fire will all get the job done. But for a super-simple presentation, just
place fish, skin side down, right on top of your chips. In no time, those chips will be smoking and the fish will be cooking.
When smoke-cooking, I like to use an internal thermometer to ensure perfect doneness and keep cooking worry-free.
Suggested woods for smoke-cooking fish include maple, alder, apple or cherry.

½-pound salmon fillet, skin on
2 tablespoons sour cream
or Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or

1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
¼ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Lemon slices

In a small bowl, mix sour cream or Greek yogurt, dill, zest, sugar, onion, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. On a large double layer of foil,place about 2 cups smoker chips/chunks. Poke five
holes with a sharp knife under chips/chunks. Place salmon, skin side down, on chips/chunks. Spread creamy mixture on salmon and top with lemon slices. Close foil around fish and place in a hot grill or on a rack over an open fire. Cook fish 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is no longer opaque and reaches an internal temperature of at least 135 degrees. This is a great preparation while camping.
Any fish can be used as well as any seasonings. The key is making sure the skin is on the chips/chunks to prevent them from getting
on the meat.

Bear With A Mediterranean Twist

Bear is one our family’s favorite – if not the favorite – wild game meats. Taken care of in the field and in the kitchen, many dinner guests of ours couldn’t believe they were sinking their teeth into bear, not beef. Annually, we consume two to three bears a year, and rarely make sausage from any of it. The first time we had a traditional pita with hummus and tzatziki while traveling through Europe. It was a memorable experience and one we wanted to bring home. The amazing spices and flavors compensated for the fact we had no idea what kind of meat we were eating. Later we learned it was goat. We’ve since had it with both black bear and grizzly,
and both were excellent.

Bears in pitas
1 pound bear, cut into small chunks
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pureed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram,
finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Marinate bear in refrigerator up to 24 hours. Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat, add bear with all marinade. Bring to a quick boil, letting marinade reduce for five to 10 minutes. Strain off marinade and discard. Serve bear in a warm pita with lettuce, tomatoes, hummus and tzatziki.

1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups cucumber, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Dice cucumbers and place on several paper towels; pat
dry to remove extra water. In a medium bowl mix all
ingredients and keep refrigerated.

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne or hot pepper sauce

Place all ingredients in a food chopper and puree until smooth. Add water if necessary to reach desired consistency. Keep refrigerated.

By Tiffany Haugen

Editor’s note: For more bear recipes and signed copies of Scott & Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking
Big Game, send a check for $20 (free
S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box
275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order
online at


Yellowtail caught out of the Pacific provide a protein-packed alternative to ground beef for your grilled burgers. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)


By Albert Quackenbush

6 to 8 yellowtail fillets
2 medium-sized onions
4 scallions
2 jalapenos
2 eggs
2 limes
Camp Dog Cajun or your favorite seasoning
2 percent shredded Mexican cheese
Tapatío or your favorite hot sauce
Prep time: 20 minutes
Place aluminum foil over the top section of your grill. Fire up the grill to a medium heat. Start by cutting the limes in half and squeezing the juice into a large bowl. Set aside.
Chop up the yellowtail into medium-sized chunks. Don’t go too small because you don’t want it turning to mush. Add the diced yellowtail to the lime juice and mix thoroughly. Leave it there to soak. Go wash your hands (my wife would be very unhappy if everything in the kitchen smelled like fish).
Chop the onion into medium-sized chunks. You want some good bite here! Set these aside in a separate bowl. Slice up the scallions and the jalapenos. Mix them in with the onion.
Add one egg to the yellowtail mix (set the other aside in case you need it).
Measure a half-cup of breadcrumbs and pour into the yellowtail bowl.
Measure out two tablespoons of seasoning and add it to the mix. Pour the vegetables into the bowl of yellowtail.
Pull up your sleeves and start mixing everything by hand. Get it worked in good and, after a bit, make a patty. If it holds together well, you are ready to grill. If not, add the other egg to bind better.
Make about eight patties and wash your hands. Sprinkle a good dusting of Camp Dog or other seasoning over the top of the burgers.
I use PAM, but you can use vegetable oil or olive oil on the foil. Spray it on and then carefully place your burger patties, seasoning-side down; this gives the outside a spicy crust. Then once they are all on there, sprinkle some more seasoning on top. Close the grill cover and wait three to four minutes, depending on how thick you made them.

Yellowtail caught out of the Pacific provide a protein-packed alternative to ground beef for your grilled burgers. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Yellowtail caught out of the Pacific provide a protein-packed alternative to ground beef for your grilled burgers. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

After those minutes are up, carefully flip the burgers as they can still fall apart. Wait another two minutes and cover the top of each burger with a little cheese. Wait until the cheese melts and you are ready to eat!
Once on the plate, pour a little Tapatío or other hot sauce over the top of your burger. They might already be spicy enough for you, but I like mine with some kick. Share with friends and enjoy. CS
Editor’s note: For more on the author, go to

Juicy yellowtail fillets shouldn’t be overcooked. Just make sure you don’t leave thinner cuts of fish on the grill for too long before flipping them. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)


By Albert Quackenbush

2 tuna fillets (any size will work)
1 large lime (cut in half)
1 scallion
1 jalapeno
Sea salt
Crushed black pepper
Camp Dog Cajun or your favorite seasoning
Prep time: Five to eight minutes
Preheat your grill to where it will sear the meat as soon as it hits the grate. I hope you aren’t one of those people who must clean your grill each and every time. Leave it seasoned! If you do so, the tuna fillet won’t stick to the grate.
Take a large bowl and squeeze the lime to get all of the juice out. If you are having trouble, use a fork on the inside and twist. Add in a half tablespoon of sea salt. Don’t add any more than that right now. Dissolve the salt in the lime juice as best you can.

Appetizer prep: Take one fillet and slice off between six and 10 half-inch cuts (or more depending on how many you have over). Lay them in the lime juice; by the time you get to the other end, you can flip them from start to finish. Take them out and lay them on a small plate. Don’t add any more seasoning to these.

Main dish prep: Place a fillet in the bowl for about 30 seconds per side. You really don’t need more than that. Flip, repeat and then take it out and place them on a plate (repeat if you have more than one fillet). When you have all fillets on a plate, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper over the top of half of them, flip, and repeat. For the others, cover them with the seasoning, flip and repeat.

Appetizer: Use the top rack of the grill and lay down each slice of tuna. Close the grill for 30 seconds, open and flip them over. Close the grill again, and 30 seconds later you have tasty tuna apps. I ate mine right off the grill – they were so good!

Main dish: Lay the remaining fillets on the grill, with the heat still medium-high. Let them sear on one side for 20 seconds and then turn the heat down. My fillets were super thick, so I left them on one side for six minutes. Flip them and leave them for another five or six minutes. If they are thinner steaks, reduce the grill time. Overcooking will certainly dry them out!
While the tuna is being grilled to perfection, chop up the scallions and jalapeno. Mix them together – these will garnish the top of the steak. Add a drizzle of soy sauce on the plate, if you like that flavor.
I like my tuna medium-rare, and that is precisely how they should come out. Garnish with the scallions and jalapeno, serve with some salad, or maybe a side of fruit, and dig in!

Juicy yellowtail fillets shouldn’t be overcooked. Just make sure you don’t leave thinner cuts of fish on the grill for too long before flipping them. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Juicy yellowtail fillets shouldn’t be overcooked. Just make sure you don’t leave thinner cuts of fish on the grill for too long before flipping them. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)