Here he is, the buck that wanted so badly to come home with us, that finally got his wish;)
Check out this mule deer. Isn’t he handsome? This was almost the hunt that didn’t happen. I drew this mule deer tag several months before I knew I would have to have surgery on my hip, so after finding out the hunt would be taking place after the surgery, I was concerned about my level of mobility and debated very seriously about not going. After many discussions between ‘Team R & R’, they formulated a plan for me and my limited mobility. If you don’t know Ryan and Robby, you may not know when it comes to hunting, these two are very determined individuals. They take it to a new level, for not only themselves but for EVERYONE. I’m saying this because most people aren’t like that. You hear the terms ‘mentally tough’ and ‘SITFU‘ (my personal favorite) get thrown around a lot and it seems most hunters feel they are determined and tough and will do whatever it takes to get the job done…for themselves maybe, but not always if they are helping on someone else’s hunt. Very few people are willing to put in that kind of work for others. It would have been very easy for both of them to say that this hunt would be too much, too soon, for me, but I don’t even think that thought ever occurred to them. I never felt like I was a burden, or Robby was less dedicated to my hunt than Ryan, or myself. Robby and Ryan spend HOURS coming up with my hunting plan, and Robby scouted like crazy to find the perfect spot for me with my level of mobility. How can you even begin to show your appreciation for that? Ok, now that you know what badasses’ Team R & R are, I will get on with my story:)
This is a really simple recipe. I am not Martha Stewart (but wish I was!). If I can figure out how to cook something in a Slow-Cooker, that’s what I’m going to do. I tried to keep things short and sweet for this recipe. This is definitely do-able for a weekday meal. I wasn’t sure how ‘gamey’ the antelope was going to taste so I decided to err on the side of more seasoning then I usually use. Ryan had cut up the meat into fist-sized pieces, probably with the intentions of being able to grill them? but he was going to be leaving the next day, so I knew I would have to figure something else out for them. I am lazy, and it was late, so I figured I would marinate it for the night and figure out what to do with it the next day.
Step 1: Marinate– This is probably not a true marinate in the sense of the word, so don’t freak out on me foodies. You will be rinsing about half of the meat off, so if this seems like a lot of seasoning don’t worry.
1 plastic zipper gallon size storage bag
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. fresh diced garlic
4-5 big shakes of Ms. Dash (sorry, I didn’t measure)
5-6 grinds of the pepper mill
1/2 c. diced dried onion
Step 2: Set it and forget it- Put Meat and seasoning in the Zipper bag.I left it in the fridge for 3 days, every day I shook it around to ensure the seasoning would cover all the meat.
Step 3: Crock-Pot- pull out 1/2 the meat covered in seasoning and put in slow-cooker. rinse off the other half and put it in the slow-cooker. Mix them together.
2 c. baby carrots
4 c. of small potatoes. Finger potatoes or red. I used a potato’s I got from Costco that were small yellow and kinda brown/purple-colored potatoes. You can use fewer potatoes, but we like our potatoes here in Idaho 😉
2 c. of beef bullion/water mix.
Step 4: Set and Forget, Again!- Cook on low for 8-10 hours. It should be done by 8 hrs. but will be ok to go to 10 hrs. if you are not home yet.
Step 5: Make the gravy- Sometimes I use the drippings, but remember how I said I was lazy? Today I used a package of brown gravy. I even made it in the microwave 🙂 I heated up 2 c. water in a measuring cup (4 c. size) for about 3 min. then added the packet of gravy. It set up right away and was a little thick so I added about 3/4 cup of the slow-cooker drippings and it was perfect. Because I’m lazy, I didn’t even transfer the gravy to a gravy boat. Can you believe that?!
Step 6: Add some salad– I used a bag salad, because you know why, haha.
This is a no-brainer recipe, I know a lot of women out there are thinking, DUH! I find though, a lot of us are intimidated by how to cook game meat because of the strong flavor that can accompany certain game, especially deer, and don’t want to ruin the ‘free meat’ because it’s really like $25/lb 😉 I often struggle with meat being dry in the slow cooker too. I know it’s because I’m impatient and have to keep messing with it, lifting the lid to look at it and stir it. My slow cooker meals work best when I leave the house and can’t mess with it;)
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