Cooking Wild Recipe: Big Game Kebabs

Big Game Kebabs:  A fun, easy way to serve supper on a stick!

With a new hunting season just around the bend, here’s a fun, easy way to put those lingering packages of game meat to delicious use before they expire in the freezer.

Everyone loves a backyard barbecue and kebabs are always a big hit, especially when tender morsels of venison and colourful chunks of fresh vegetables of the season are paired together on a stick.

The possibilities are endless when creating kebabs, not just with the wide array of vegetables that go great on a skewer but also with your choice (or choices) of game meat for if you don’t have enough of any one type of venison — moose, deer, elk or other; you can use a combination of mixed meats to make up the needed measure.  Note — bear meat is delicious done kebab-fashion but unlike members of the venison family, bear (like pork) must be cooked thoroughly before eating to safeguard against trichinous.

There are two ways to do a kebab party — one is to assemble all the fixings, light the grill and let everyone load up and cook their own skewers to personal liking. The other is for the chef do the creative work. The first method is good for a large party where the grill will, no doubt, need loading several times around. The second is best for a smaller, more intimate meal where you know the choices of you dining partners.

You can use stew-cut meat if it is top quality. If not, opt for other cuts that can be cubed such as de-boned roasts or steaks. Marinating tenderizes meat and instills exciting flavours and aroma. A couple of hours will do but meat that is marinated all day or overnight in fridge will have more intense flavour.

Meats and vegetables can be skewered together on the same stick in an eye-pleasing arrangement — which is how I like to do it — but some “kebabers” prefer to thread meats and veggies on separate sticks, cooking to different degrees of doneness.

It’s hard to figure exactly how much meat you’ll need per person for appetites are always big when kebabs are on the menu. I suggest at least one-quarter pound of meat per diner for, in my book, it’s better to have extras (which make a delicious cold snack) than to see someone gnawing on an empty stick hankering for one more bite!

  • 1 pound boneless venison cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Onion wedges
  • coloured pepper chunks
  • small whole mushrooms
  • Zucchini chunks

Marinade

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Crushed chilies (optional)

Mix marinade ingredients in glass bowl, add meat, turning to coat all sides. Cover, marinate in fridge as mentioned above, turning occasionally to ensure an even soak.

Remove meat, transfer marinade to small saucepan and cook until thickened. Set aside to use as basting sauce.

Thread meat onto metal or wooden skewers alternately with vegetables. If using bamboo skewers, soak at least an hour in cold water to prevent them from catching fire during cooking.

Spray grill racks with non-stick food spray or oil before loading. For well-done meat leave space between kebabs so heat penetrates all sides. For rarer meat, place close together.

Grill three inches from coals, turning frequently and brushing with basting sauce until glazed and cooked to desired doneness, about 15 to 20 minutes. Note — kebabs can be grilled on an indoor electric grill or broiled in the oven if weather dampens your outdoor party plans.

Serve on a bed of rice or to eliminate plates, slip cooked fare off skewers directly onto a big bun and devour! Serves four.

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