It was a perfect setting for a tailgate party: We were parked next to the Lochsa River in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. My brother Michael Pantenburg, hunting buddy Phil Walker, and I had just emerged from a several-day backpack elk hunt in the back-country, and everybody was hungry.
by Leon Pantenburg
We were somewhere between the “Food is Fuel” and “Use the Dutch Oven to Cook Something Wonderful” philosophies of wilderness campfire cooking.
So this recipe, named “High Speed Venison,” because of its speedy preparation, was chosen. Mike set up the stove and Dutch oven on the tailgate of my pickup; Phil sliced up some back strap from a deer he’d killed, and I sliced onions. All this preparation took less than five minutes.
Ingredients for this dish go on every hunt. All you have to do is add venison, and you have a great, tasty meal that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. We’ve cooked this same dish in the parking lot of the motel in Orofino, Idaho; outside of a motel room in Lowell, Idaho, and at home, when a quick meal was in order.
A great, easy side dish is to slice potatoes and onions, add butter, and wrap everything in foil. Toss this package in the coals, turn occasionally and cook until done.
While the other two went down to the river to swim and cleaned up, I watched the food. Phil came back up to the truck, so I could go take a swim. By the time everyone was cleaned up, we were ready to eat.
- 2-3 lbs venison steaks
- 1 pkg beefy onion soup mix
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 onions, sliced
- 3/4 C milk
- salt and pepper
Trim the fat off the steaks and brown them in a skillet or cast iron Dutch oven. Mix together the mushroom soup, beefy onion soup mix and milk. Pour the mixture over your steaks then add the onions and bouillon. Simmer one hour. Serve over rice.