by Jack Woods
I have spent years in the outdoors. Over that time, I have accumulated many recipes from simple home cooking recipes, camping, and survival meals and some very unusual meals that seem truly desperate. When I asked for this topic, writing about outdoor cooking, I figured I could simply list out a few of my better recipes geared for the Modern Survival Online reader. Not so…
In no time, at all I found out quickly by simply searching the Internet that there was no shortage of recipes out there for exactly that purpose. Not wanting to sound like everyone else on the net, I decided to gather, together some of my more unusual, but successful meals. Here are some of those meals that I have tried in my life, and was pleasantly surprised by them all.
The more unusual recipes have been given to me by some of my more unusual backwoods characters that I have met over the years. Those grey bearded men, the trappers, and woodsmen that I have encountered in my many travels over as many years. Now some of these recipes can be substituted for what ever is readily available, but these recipes are tried and true recipes for the game they are designed for.
First the Fish
Fish Balls (Canned for the Prepper)
This recipe is many years old and no one knows where it comes from. I have updated it by using modern kitchen equipment to speed up the process, and ease the labor.
- 1 ½ pounds of ANY WHITE FISH, cleaned and boned, cut into small pieces.
- ½ cup light cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch.
Place the fish pieces a few at a time into an electric blender. I use a coarse blend and a purée and mix the two. This can be adjusted to suit your particular tastes. The old recipe calls for a purée I prefer a more coarser chop. Suit yourself. The purée helps to bind the fish afterwards, when forming the fish balls. Repeat this procedure until all of the fish is blended.
Put all of the purée into a large mixing bowl, and beat in the salt and pepper, and the 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch. Slowly add the left over cream to the mixing bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Next place the entire bowl of mixture in the fridge to cool. After the mixture has cooled (About one hour), remove the bowl from the fridge. Next, using a tablespoon of the mixture at a time roll the fish mixture into golf ball sized balls to be boiled in water. Using a large saucepan full of salted water, bring to a boil then set low to simmer, and add the fish balls to the water for 5 minutes at a low simmer.
Place the finished balls into sterilized jars, and add the STRAINED water from the cooking process to cover the fish balls completely in the jars for later use. Seal and store them in a cool place as you would any canned goods.
Later, these can be served by cooking them in a simple shrimp sauce, dumping the fish balls into the sauce and heating it over a low heat and served with rice or potatoes.
Pan Fried Trout in Sour Cream
This is a great recipe for the campers, especially if you have had some cream go sour on you and you do not know what to do with it. Try this on your next fishing trip.
- 4 fresh trout (about ½ pound each) cleaned with head and tail left on.
- Season the fish with Salt
- ½ cup flour
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon Vinegar
Preparations; wash the trout in cold water. Pat dry inside and out with a dry clothe. Rub the salt into the cavity of the fish, roll in flour, and shake off any excess. IN a heavy iron frying pan, melt 4 of the 6 tablespoons of butter over high heat. When the butter turns brown and gives off a nutty aroma, lower the heat and place the trout into the pan two at a time, so as not to cool the pan to quickly. Cooking time should be about 8 minutes per side.
Stir in the remaining butter, and scrape the drippings from the pan, then deglaze with the sour cream adding a little at a time. Cook the cream about 5 minutes while stirring constantly, DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL. Stir in the vinegar, and simmer for 5 more minutes, then pour the sauce over the fish and serve, with your favorite side dish.
Roast Stuffed Duck
This is an awesome way to serve duck and it is easy to do too.
- 2 Ducks, oven ready
- 2 Tablespoons red wine
- Salt and pepper for the birds
- 2 Oranges, peeled, and quartered
- 10 Prunes, soaked in water
- 4 Tablespoons of butter
- 2 squares heavy tin foil
Pluck and wash the birds in cold running water. Place them in a stainless steel pot and cover with cold water and the red wine, and let stand for at least 2 hours to marinate. Remove the ducks from the water and pat them dry, seasoning them generously inside and out with the salt and pepper. Stuff the ducks loosely with the orange slices and prunes. Lace the openings with a skewer, and string. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Place the ducks in the center of the foil, smear with butter and wrap the foil around the ducks, enclosing them completely. Cook for one hour then remove the foil from the ducks and broil until golden brown.
- 2 Large Grouse cleaned and cut into serving pieces
- ½ Pound Salt Pork
- 4 Wild Onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Pound Moose meat or stewing meat cut into strips
- 3 Quarts water
- 1 Cup young tender cattail shoots cut into 1 inch lengths. (Obviously a spring recipe)
- 4 small discs of Bannock Buttered and Fried (to serve under the soup)
Wash the birds in cold water and cut into serving pieces. Place the bird into a large soup pot for cooking. Next, melt two Tablespoons of butter, in a fry pan adding the salt pork and onions to cook until the onions are caramelized. Then put the onion and salt pork mixture into the pot with the bird pieces.
Place the strips of Moose meat on top, and cover with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is about to fall off the bone. Remove the birds, and the moose strips, from the pot and set aside for later, you may cover these with foil to keep warm. Then continue cooking the soup broth for another hour. After remove the soup from the heat and strain through a sieve into a large sauce pan, and add the cattail shoots, and cook for another 15 minutes or until shoots are tender.
Prepare the bannock and fry in melted butter until golden brown. Cut each disc of bannock into four slices, and add to the bottom of a soup tureen. Pile on the bird pieces and cover with soup stock. The moose strips can be used as a side dish or added to the soup.
Yellow Line Yummies
No sense wasting those critters you ran over, coming home from bingo night. The next recipes may not sound appealing to some, however I assure you they can be very decent fair for an open mined prepper. They are a collection of odd recipes by some of the best survivalist that ever lived, those people who lived through the last depression and our pioneers, and ancestors from the distant past. The first recipe is one of my favorites, just for its unusual ingredient. It is a real survival recipe, and is always good to know you can turn anything into a gourmet meal if you have the patience.
French Fried Skunk
If you want to serve something out of the ordinary to your guests, this will certainly fit the bill. How about French Fried Skunk, the meat is usually darker then rabbit, so you can call it wild turkey if you like.
The best thing of this animal is its usually around every night during the warm months, and is found all over the country roads, from north to south. Here is how you prepare it.
- 2 Skunks, skinned and cleaned (soaked in a salt brine)
- 1 Tablespoon salt in water to cover.
- 2 Cups vegetable oil for frying later
- 2 egg yokes beaten
- 3 Cups milk or cream
- 1 ½ Cups of flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
Clean and wash the skunk, making sure to remove the scent glands. Cut the skunk into serving pieces. I usually cut them into 6 pieces shoulders ribs, and hindquarters. You can also cut them as those chicken houses do it, where every piece has a little chunk of solid meat on it still. Prepare a soup pot with enough water to cover the meat, while not allow the water to boil over during cooking. Next, boil the Skunk for about 35 – 40 minutes until tender. Removes any scum from the surface of the water as you cook it. In a separate bowl, combine the other ingredients together for the batter. Mix the egg yolks, the milk, flour, salt, and baking powder, and beat into a batter. This should resemble cake batter. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer to around 360 degrees. Dip the pieces into the batter and fry them in your hot oil until golden brown. Drain well and serve with seasoned fried potato wedges on the side.
Baked Stuffed Raccoon
This is best with a freshly killed raccoon. As with our previous recipe these critters are abundant throughout the lower 48 states, and even up into lower half of Canada. Here is a great recipe for them.
- 1 Medium Raccoon (skinned and cleaned of course)
- 4 Large Onions
- 4 Strips Salt pork
- 2 Cups Beef Stock
- 5 Large Tart Apples
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 1 Cup dry Bread Crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Skin and clean the Raccoon. Wash well removing as much of the fat as possible. Place in a large soup pot and cover with salted water, simmer for 30 minutes. Next peel, core, and dice the apples into a mixing bowl. Melt the remaining butter into a small saucepan and add some cinnamon, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Remove the Raccoon, and let it cool.
Stuff the raccoon, and sew up the cavity. Place the Raccoon breast down, with the legs folded underneath trussed with string like a roast chicken then place in the roast pan. This is best done with a roasting rack. Drape the salt pork over the back of the raccoon with toothpicks to add flavor. Place the onions beside the raccoon, and season all with salt and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes to brown the meat, then reduce the temperature in the oven to 325 degrees F and add the 2 cups of beef stock and cook for at least one hour or until tender. Making sure you baste every 10-15 minutes with the beef stock to keep the meat from drying out.
My Wild Game Cooking Tips
For anyone that needs a simple Bannock recipe check out my article on: How to Make Delicious Survival Bread [[ link will be added adfter the article is published ]]
Preparing Wild Game
I would like to leave the readers with a few tips on preparing wild game. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have some of these tips passed down to me by experienced outdoorsmen, many of the tricks I unfortunately had to learn the hard way though. I want to pass these tips on to you readers, and I hope this makes you appreciate wild game as much as I do.
Some people unfamiliar with proper game handling or preparation will complain about a gamey flavor of their deer. Often they mistakenly blame it on the deer’s age, thinking it was because he was old, this is hardly ever the case with bucks or bulls. Old bucks never get that old in nature. Granted some late season bucks can be a bit worn and tired beat down by the rut, but they started out in their prime.
The beginning of the season these deer were in top shape with plenty of fat on their ribs, but by the end of the rut, the ones in the 4 -7 year range are beat and tired. Some of these bucks will not make it through the winter, after losing to much weight; they often die from the extreme weather. Those people that complain about gaminess have usually been fed an improperly butchered animal. Because game animals such as Deer, Elk, and Moose require a completely different way of handling then Beef or domestic animals do.
The game animal should be bled immediately upon killing it. The blood is what is responsible for the liver taste in some wild meat. What one should also do to prepare a feast of game meat for the more squeamish eaters is soak it in brine over night. The brine can be just simple salt water, with some pickling spice. I use this for the deer family, and for game birds, you may even add some sugar to the salt-water brine. The salt in brine uses a capillary action to draw out the blood from the meat, and works as a way of killing bacteria too.
Thus, the blood will not leave that liver flavor and no… the salt-water brine does not leave a salty flavor either, that is a myth. Although you should remember to rinse the meat after brining it, and pat it dry with a clothe before cooking it, especially if you are trying to brown the meat in a pan for a stew or even a roast. Even a commercial abattoir, will bleed a domestic animal immediately, often while they are still kicking.
Next, the fat on deer is not regular fat, its tallow, and just like sheep’s tallow it is best removed or cooked over an open flame to melt it away, it can taste very waxy to most people. Now when boning out a deer, I try to remove as much of this tallow as you can, if not all of it, most of it. Also, after back at camp or home, and you are wrapping the game in butcher paper, try to trim off all silver skin with a fillet knife.
This is easy enough to do with a little practice. The silver casing is what is wrapped around the individual muscles of these animals. This is absolutely, necessary to remove it before cooking any. This sinew is far too chewy to be eaten, and it shrinks up during the cooking process, like a snare drum. Some hunters leave the outer silver skin on as a protection against freezer burn, and then they removing it just before cooking. In fact, this skin is so tough to chew it was used in the making of bowstrings by the Native Americans for thousands of years… that is how tough it is.
Poor butchering technics also often miss the foul scent glands of these animals. The glands are on all wild deer and pig species. A butcher who is only use to domestic buttering, may not be aware of these glands and where they are located. These scent glands if not removed from the meat especially before grinding it into hamburger or sausage will contaminate the final product, making it inedible.
During the high point of a Rut even if you get your skinning knife on one of these glands it can contaminate the rest of the animal simply by running your blade along it after while skinning it out. This is often the case with the tarsal gland near the rear bend in the leg of the deer. There is also a strong gland in between the major muscles of the hindquarter.
I hope some of you will try these recipes, and let us know what you think of them, and the very least keep them for the future, for when times get tough.
You never know when a skunk might be the only thing you have to eat.
Happy prepping everyone, from