By Josh Boyd
Fall is upon us, and crisp autumn air has begun to blanket the countryside in many parts of the nation. For an avid deer hunter, this conjures thoughts of falling leaves, frost-laden food plots, and rutting whitetails. However, the thought of a freezer fully stocked with fresh venison is never far behind.
The beauty of a filled tag runs far deeper than the size of a buck’s rack, or the perfect shot that ended a hunt. The sustenance provided by a successful harvest is where the true trophy of our endeavors lie.
We often seek out new and unique ways of preparing this bounty for the table, thumbing through cookbooks in search of the perfect recipe that we are after. If you find yourself in this situation in the weeks and months ahead, consider giving venison goulash a try. This dish is easy to prepare, rich in taste, and can be scaled to feed an entire family, as well as any number of guests who decide to join you at the table.
Preparing Your Ingredients
As with any dish, the ingredients used during the preparation of Venison Goulash all carry their own specific value and serve a vital role in creating a delicious final product.
Before cooking begins, gather the following ingredients:
1 pound ground venison
3 teaspoons minced garlic
Small onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp. oil
6 cups pasta (of your choice)
2-15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Brown Ground Venison
With all of your ingredients gathered, you will now be ready to brown the ground venison that is to be used in your dish. Turn on a stovetop burner to medium-high heat. Place your onions, along with an appropriate amount of cooking oil, into a pan that is of the suitable size for the amount of meat that is to be cooked.
You will now sauté the onion within the pan, adding garlic only when the onions have softened. Once your garlic has been added, continue the sauteing process for one additional minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
At this point, you will add your ground venison into the pan in which you have been working. Cook this venison until it has been properly browned, while stirring frequently to ensure that no clumping of meat occurs. Once browning is complete, drain any excess grease from your pan.
Prepare Pasta of Choice
You will now select a pot of adequate size for your pasta to be placed within for boiling. This pasta can be of nearly any variety that you prefer and can be varied at times, to cater to individual tastes.
First, fill your pot with water to a level that completely submerges any pasta that is to be used. Next, add your pasta of choice into the pot, and place the pot on a stove-top burner. Set the burner to medium-high heat, and allow the water within to come to a boil. Stir the pasta within the boiling water until cooked thoroughly.
Once all pasta has been evenly cooked, turn off the stovetop burner. You will now drain all water from the pot while retaining the pasta.
Homemade Pasta Sauce
In a medium-size saucepan, combine the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Warm the tomato mixture over medium heat, stirring to mix them together thoroughly. Add the oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder sauce, you may omit the red pepper flakes. Stir in these seasonings, and let your sauce simmer for fifteen minutes over low heat to blend the flavors.
Assembling the Dish
In a large soup pot, mix your meat mixture and pasta. Next, add the pasta sauce that you just prepared. Stir the ingredients together, mixing them thoroughly, and making sure that the pasta is entirely coated in sauce. You will then let your goulash simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. After simmering is complete, your dish can be topped with cheese and served.
Simple, Yet Tasty
One of the most favorable characteristics of venison goulash is that it can be prepared in a relatively quick manner, and with little in the way of specialized ingredients. However, do not be fooled into thinking that quick and simple equates to a second rate dish. Venison goulash tends to be a crowd favorite wherever it is served, and will almost certainly be thought of fondly at your dinner table as well.