You caught it or shot it and now you want to cook it. Each month, William “Wild Bill” Powell, owner of Texas Select Seasonings in Santa Fe, shows us how to prepare fish and wild game.
Share the bounty of fall hunting season at holiday gatherings
Fall hunting season has always been a special time as I share the bountiful harvests with friends, customers and relatives at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Each year, I make several game entrees to share. But one that’s a crowd favorite is my ranchero tacos with fresh avocado. It’s always welcome as a meal with rice and beans or as a snack on mini-tortillas with a glass of Texas red wine at an evening gathering.
The wild pepper I use — chili pequin — has a special place in my soul as I harvested these on my grandparents’ ranch in Alice, Texas, and have been growing and harvesting them since.
Grandma Garcia would make tortillas to go along with the fresh molcajete sauce and smothered meat. This recipe is equally good with other game meat, such as rabbit, wild pig and raccoon, as well as domestic chicken and cabrito.
Venison Ranchero Tacos
2 pounds cooked and shredded venison (or cabrito, raccoon or chicken)
12 to15 chili pequin pods minced or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 to 8 garlic pods crushed and minced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 (15-ounce) cans of tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can of whole tomato, chopped
3 cups canned chicken stock or stock from meat plus can
2 to 3 tablespoons Southwestern Sizzler seasoning blend
3 to 4 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté pequin and garlic in oil, then add all wet ingredients. Stir in dry ingredients and cook on high until sauce starts to reduce. Reduce heat to medium and adjust seasoning to taste. Cook on medium heat 20 minutes then add meat. Reduce heat to low and simmer meat covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as sauce reduces. Add additional stock if needed.
Serve on flour tortillas with fresh sliced avocado. Look for my rice and bean recipes online that use the same seasoning blend.
I usually rub my game with oil and season with Jalapeño Dusted all-purpose seasoning and roast in the oven at 350 F on a bed of chopped onions and garlic with a can of chicken stock until the meat is tender. Reserve strained stock to use in this recipe.
For more recipes, visit www.texasselectseasonings.com.