canned venison
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Posted on Friday Nov 25, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
I've been making canned venison for two years now. I got 7 quarts from the october hunt and about to go on my november hunt. Looking for a way to spice it up in the jar. I usually just do cubed meat and water pressure cook for 90 minutes at 12 psi. Do you know of anything I can add into the jar to give it a different flavor?
Posted on Friday Nov 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Are you salting the mixture when you can it? That will make anything taste better.

You can try adding a jalapeno pepper to each jar when you pressure can. I'll look around and see what I can find.
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Posted on Friday Nov 25, 2011 at 7:09 PM  
sometimes i add salt, sometimes not. cant usually tell the difference. i was reading about making tamales with canned venison, do you have a tamale recipe you could share?
Posted on Saturday Nov 26, 2011 at 2:56 PM  
I'll have to get my laptop to wifi node to search for some tamale recipes. I know I have some, but the search functions of XP are limited, compared to Vista or Windows 7.
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Posted on Monday Nov 28, 2011 at 4:31 PM  
Here's a canned vension recipe:


* 1 pound cubed lean venison
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 4 slices onion
* 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper (optional)


1. Place the venison into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic; toss to combine. Place venison into canning jar along with onion and bell pepper. Jars should be filled to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe rim with a clean, damp cloth, and seal with lid and ring.
2. Place jar into a pressure canner filled with water according to manufacturer's directions. Affix lid and bring to a boil with the pressure valve open. Boil for 5 minutes before closing the pressure valve. Bring to a pressure of 10 psi, then reduce heat in order to maintain this pressure. Process for 75 minutes, watching gauge closely so the pressure stays at 10 psi. After 75 minutes, turn off heat and allow the canner to cool until the gauge reads 0 psi.
3. Once the pressure has subsided and the canner is safe to open, remove the jar to cool on a rack. The jar will seal with a pop as it cools; refrigerate the jar if it does not seal. Properly sealed jars may be stored in a cool, dark area.

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Posted on Monday Nov 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM  
John Currence's Recipe for Venison Tamales

Makes 12-14 Tamales

2 cups bacon (about 1/3 lb.), chopped
3 lbs. venison stew meat (shoulder), cleaned of sinew, cubed, seasoned with salt and black pepper
1 cup flour
Onion powder and paprika, to taste
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium jalapeño peppers (more if you like it spicier)
8 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 cup tequila
3 Tbsp. lime juice
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce

1/4 cup lard
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups masa harina
3/4 cup hot chicken stock
1/2 cup red onion, diced small
1/2 Tbsp. garlic purée
2 cups roasted corn kernels
3/4 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat. Cook the bacon, remove from pot, and reserve.

2. Season venison a second time with salt, and dust it in the flour (lightly seasoned to your liking with salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika). Make sure the venison is very lightly dusted, not clumped with flour, or the flour may burn while the venison is cooking. Over medium-low heat, brown the meat quickly in small batches in the bacon fat. Remove and reserve.

3. Depending on how much fat remains, you may need to add up to 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil to cook the onion, celery, carrot, jalapeño, and garlic. Stir them in and sauté until softened.

4. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Then return the reserved bacon and venison to pot, and stir in red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and cumin. Add tequila and lime juice, and bring to a simmer while stirring. Add chicken broth and return to a simmer. Cover Dutch oven and simmer over low heat for about 3 1/2 hours, checking periodically to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Add water if needed.

5. When venison is tender, remove from heat and allow to cool.

6. Pour off any excess liquid (reserve for later) and either: (A) pull apart venison with two forks for a chunkier version and stir in fresh cilantro; or (B) place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until chopped, then mix in cilantro. Add reserved liquid to achieve a smoother consistency, as needed. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco hot sauce to taste.

1. In mixer, beat lard and butter with baking powder until light in texture.

2. Slowly add masa harina until fully incorporated.

3. Beat in hot stock (dough should reach the consistency of thick cake batter).

4. Stir in onion, garlic purée, corn, and cumin. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Tamale Assembly
You will need:
15–20 dried corn husks
1 large bowl warm water

1. Soak corn husks in warm water for 10 minutes.

2. Lay one whole husk flat on a cutting board. It should be about 4x7 inches. In the center of the husk, place about 3 1/2 to 4 Tbsp. -tamale dough. Press it out into a rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. (This should leave you about 1 inch from the edges.) Spoon about 2 Tbsp. venison filling along the center of the dough.

3. Grab the husk on a long side and gently roll it over the top. The dough closest to you should meet the dough on the other side, sealing in the filling. Use the husk to roll the tamale tightly. Then grab the ends and twist gently, like wrapping a piece of candy. Tear a corn husk along the grain to make threads to tie the tamale ends. Or simply fold the ends under without twisting; the tamales’ weight will hold them in place.

4. Repeat until all dough is used. Put tamales in a steamer basket and steam for 35 minutes, covered. (There will be leftover filling. Warm it and eat over rice, or place on fresh tortillas, cover with sliced green onion and queso fresco, and toast until cheese melts.)

John Currence is the executive chef/owner of several restaurants in Mississippi, including The City Grocery. In 2009, he was awarded a James Beard Award for Best Chef (south).

Allen's NOTE: queso fresco doesn't really melt. It's kind of like goat's cheese, just not as strong. It will soften and spread out a bit, but won't truly melt.
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Posted on Monday Nov 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM  
This one isn't "venison", but I suppose you can sub venison for the beef, if so desired. I like that there are A LOT of tips with this one. Be warned, making tamales is a labor-intensive task.

Grandma Salazar's Tamales

Pork and/or Beef Tamales

Recipe Source: Maria E. Salazar

Required Time: 2 days (the ultimate in slow food)


Ingredients (using 6 pounds of meat makes about 10 dozen tamales and will take over a large American freezer, so feel free to cut this recipe in half or more, but don’t decrease onions or garlic)

3 pounds pork roast

3 pounds beef roast

2 large onions

4 cloves garlic

1/3 to ½ cup chili powder or more (depends on heat of chili powder and spice tolerance of tamal eaters)




8 cups masa harina

2 cups shortening or lard

Corn husks (2-3 packages for full recipe)

Day 1:

Cook meat (pork or beef, or both in separate pots) in a large pot of water (or in a slow-cooker filled with water) with an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for the day, 4 hours minimum. The more broth you can generate from the meat, the better!

After the meat is cooked (so that it falls apart and shreds easily), remove from pot, set aside to cool, and puree the onion and garlic with the broth. Season broth mixture to taste with chili powder and salt.

Shred meat finely with two forks (you can even chop it after shredding), and store covered in refrigerator separately from broth.

Soak corn husks in water overnight.

Day 2:

Rinse and clean corn husks thoroughly. Drain well and pat dry.

Season shredded meat with chili powder, salt, and cumin (optional) to taste. As you season the meat, add a small amount of broth to moisten meat, but it should not be runny.

For every 2 cups of masa harina (meal), add ½ cup of shortening or lard, 1tsp. of salt, and enough chili powder to make a pink dough. Add broth mixture a little at a time to masa and mix with your hands to get a smooth, spreadable consistency. If you run out of broth, you can use hot water, but you will wish you had plenty of broth. (If you use about 6 pounds of meat, you will likely use about 8 cups of masa harina in total).

Assemble the tamales: spread masa about 1/8 inch thick on corn husk with fingers, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2 inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Use about 2 Tbsp. of shredded meat to fill the tamal (like a cigar). Fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under, and place tamal folded side down. Grandma Salazar tears thin strips of the corn husks to tie a “little belt” around each tamal to keep it secure. Although this isn’t necessary, it does look the nicest and makes each tamal a little gift to be opened.

To cook, steam fresh tamales for 15 minutes or until masa is no longer sticky.

Store in freezer. Steam frozen tamales for 20 minutes. (This is a real treat a few days or a few weeks later. After you’ve recovered, it’s almost like someone else made them for you!).

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Posted on Monday Nov 28, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Here's another one. I didn't cut/paste all the extra info, but you'll probably want to read it, as they mention that venison is a little too dry to use by itself for tamales. That's why there is still some pork in this recipe. Also, I highly doubt that you have a molcajete. You can use a mortar and pestle instead, if you have one. If you don't have that, grind the dry spices in a coffee grinder, and mince the garlic by hand.

You can see the original here:

The Cortez Family Recipe

(6 to 8 dozen tamales)

* 1 package dried corn husks
* One leg of venison (about 8 pounds, deboned)
* Side of pork (8-10 pounds, deboned)
* 1 small onion
* Salt
* White vinegar
* Bacon grease
* Flour
* 2 or 3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
* Black peppercorns
* Cumin seed
* Fresh garlic
* Cloves
* 1 pound pure lard
* 5 pounds prepared masa
* Chili powder
* Equipment Needed
* Meat grinder (electric or hand-powered)
* Molcajete or mortar for grinding spices
* Several large pots and bowls

Prepare the Wrappers

Soak corn husks 2 to 3 hours before rolling. Change water several times to eliminate clinging dirt. If you’re short on time, hot water works faster.

Prepare the Meat

Boil venison and pork together in a large pot. Add a small onion (sliced), 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar to take away the wild smell. Deboning can take place before or after this step. Cook about 1 hour or until meat smells done. Save broth; run cooked meat through grinder.

Make the Stuffing

Unless you have an enormous pan, you’ll need to make picadillo stuffing in several batches. The procedure described here will fill a 12-inch skillet. Repeat as necessary until all the meat is used.

Heat a few spoonfuls of bacon grease in a skillet. Add a little flour, brown and stir. Add one 8-ounce can tomato sauce; cook and stir over low heat until you have a thick paste.

Grind spices in a molcajete. Use the list below as a starting point, then adjust to taste:

* 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
* 2 teaspoons cumin seed
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 dried cloves

Add a little water, stir, and pour the spices over the sauce in the skillet. Add approximately 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and stir vigorously to blend all ingredients.

Add a little of the broth you saved from cooking the meat. If it smells too gamy, use water instead. Begin adding ground meat a little at a time, stirring after each addition to distribute the sauce throughout. Add more liquid as needed. You want a fairly dry mixture (think of taco filling), but don’t burn the bottom. When you have as much picadillo as you can stir, remove from heat and start a new batch.

Mix the Masa

Heat lard in a saucepan until soft, almost melted. Put masa in a large mixing bowl. Add heated lard and 2 tablespoons each salt and chili powder. Mix dough with hands until ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Spread, Stuff and Roll

A corn husk suitable for tamale wrapping will be 4 to 5 inches wide at one end (the “top” or open end of the tamale) and taper to a point at the other (this “tail” folds over to keep the filling inside).

Spread a thin layer of masa on a husk. Start at the top right edge and go about two-thirds of the way across and down. Use a spoon, butter knife, tortilla press, oiled fingers or any tool that works for you. (Chances are none will work on the first attempt, but keep trying.)

Put a line of picadillo, about 1 rounded teaspoon, along one edge of the masa layer. Roll the husk, wrapping the dough around the filling, and fold up the tail.

An assembly line works well here. One person can spread masa, one can fill and roll, and the last one can stack tamales in the cooking pot.

Find some short, wide husks and make a few chatos — little slabs of masa with no filling — to go at the top of the pot. As the tamales cook, you can open a chato now and then to see if the masa is done. And yes, they’re also good to eat.

Tips for Better-Looking Tamales

One surface of the corn husk will be rough, with prominent veins. The other will be comparatively smooth. Put your masa on the smooth side.

Make the masa layer just wide enough to wrap once around the filling. The husk will go around more than once, but you don’t want the dough to overlap the edge.

Pack and Steam

The final step is to steam the tamales. You’ve already cooked the meat twice; this last cooking is mostly for the masa.

To make steam, you’ll need water in the pot. You don’t want to drown your tamales in the water. A steamer with a basket will solve this problem, but a regular pot will work if you pack it right. In either case, tamales should be cooked standing up with the open end toward the top. This allows the steam to circulate for even cooking. Add a little salt and chili powder to the water to keep salt from leaching out of the masa and give the tamales a healthy reddish tinge.

Packing Tamales in a Pot

Line bottom of pot with leftover corn husks. Place molcajete upside-down in center and stack tamales in a circle around it. The tail ends may be underwater, but the wrapping will protect them.You can also use a coffee cup. Keep stacking tamales on this foundation, much as you would stack wood for a bonfire, leaving a space in the center so that heat can rise. Layer them up until you’ve filled the pot. Lay the chatos across the top, put the lid on, and cook for 15 minutes on high. Reduce heat to simmer and cook another 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t run dry.

Once cooked, tamales can be refrigerated or frozen. They’ll reheat quickly in a steamer. Try them while they’re hot — there’s nothing like a fresh tamale right off the stove.

“They just slide down one after the other,” Romana says. “You never know when you’ve had enough.”

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Posted on Monday Nov 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
This came from a game recipe website. I'm going to have to bookmark this and search it later. You can browse this at:

Venison Tamale Pie Recipe

1 pound ground venison
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ten oz cans enchilada sauce
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 – 2.5 ounce can black olives, sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 twelve oz can evaporated milk
1 four oz can diced green chilies
4 ounces Mexican blend cheese
sour cream, optional
nonstick pan spray

Oven Temp: 425°
Recipe Cooking Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Pan Type: 9" x 13" tamale baking pan

Venison Tamale Directions

Preheat Oven. Spay pan with non stick pan spray.

In a large skillet cook the ground venison, onions and garlic until the meat is no longer pink in the middle.
Drain well; add the enchilada sauce, thawed corn, olives, first amount of salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and simmer the venison uncovered for 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan combine the cornmeal, water, evaporated milk and second amount of salt.
Mix well and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the diced green chilies.
Remove 2 cups of the cornmeal mixture, cover it with plastic wrap and set aside.
Spread the remaining cornmeal tamale pie mixture into bottom and up the sides of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and pour the meat mixture over crust and spread out evenly. Top venison tamale pie with the reserved cornmeal mixture.
Return to the oven and bake tamale pie for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and top pie with the shredded cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted.
Top this venison tamale pie recipe with sour cream if desired.

Recipe Serves: 6 – 8
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Posted on Tuesday Nov 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Had to edit a few, hopefully these will help.
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Posted on Sunday Dec 4, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Thanks I'll give those a try. That canned venison recipe sounds like what I was looking for but dosent call for any liquid in the jar with the meat and seasonings. Do you think thats right? I usually fill with hot water after meat is in the jar.
Posted on Sunday Dec 4, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
I would definitely fill with liquid. Preferably the broth from cooking the meat.
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Posted on Monday Dec 5, 2011 at 7:14 PM  
My wife cans alot of venison and beef every year, she does not add any liquid to the jars. It will produce its own liquid as it processes. She makes the best stroganoff that I have ever tasted with canned venison. All she puts in the jars is meat and 1 Tbs of salt per quart when she cans it. I will have to show her these tamale recepies they sound good.
Posted on Thursday Dec 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
I've canned quite a bit of venison and I never add any liquids. As Dave has mentioned, it produces it's own juice and that's plenty.

As far as additives, I've added slices of onion & garlic or BBQ sauce depending on what I wanted to use it for later on.

Also, since your able to store the canned meat for long periods, you still need to flip the jars every few months or so. The meat on top will tend to dry out if it's not immersed in liquid once in a while.

Also, try to store them in a dark cool area.

Good luck!
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