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Deer trimmings makes TACO SOUP
Submitted By:  SCE

Submitted by Spring Creek Enterprises
Don  Schnable 417-273-4859   

BRYAN BOCHERT  SCE bbochert@hotmail.com  417 273 5411
Venison trimmings can be the base of versatile taco soup

LITTLE ROCK -- Many times a deer hunter or a person handling the cooking for a deer hunter winds up with some odds and ends of venison, deer meat to many Arkansans, on hand.

This may be trimmings or just leftovers from cutting the meat into suitable package amounts. A handful here, a couple of handfuls there and pretty soon there is enough for a stew, a soup or some chili.

Here is one cook’s broad and flexible treatment of the leftover venison situation. Starr Lane of Guy said this also works well with ground venison or deer hamburger meat. She calls it venison taco soup. A couple of innovations in the ingredients make it a main dish out of the ordinary.

Venison Taco Soup

Cut the deer meat, with connective tissues removed, into very small pieces, smaller than stew meat, or use ground meat. Dice an onion and brown both meat and onion in a skillet sprayed with Pam or another cooking spray.

Dice a potato or two and add to a quart of water in a crock pot. Use another potato and more water if you are preparing for a crowd. Put in the browned meat and onion. Add one package of taco seasoning mix and one package of dry ranch dressing mix. Add a can of Rotel (your choice of mild, medium or hot), a can of diced tomatoes, a corn of whole kernel corn and a can of pinto beans. Stir well.

Turn the crock pot on low heat and go about your business for a few hours, coming back to give the pot a stir every half hour or so.  It can cook three to four hours, and longer cooking won’t hurt anything.

Serve in bowls with corn bread, biscuits and sides of fruit or a salad.

All sorts of options can be used, too. Lane said, “I just use what I have on hand, but the taco mix and the ranch dressing mix are what makes this soup special.”

Kidney beans or black beans can be used in place of the pintos. If you are fixing it for a crowd, two or three different beans are an option.

A diced or sliced carrot or two or three can go into the pot. Dice a bell pepper if you have one on hand. If your preference is for a more tomato tasting soup, add a can of tomato sauce or paste.

Salt and pepper the soup, but go easy on the salt until you taste the soup. The taco and ranch dressing mixes will at least partially offset the amount of salt you think you need.

The finished soup can be served over cooked rice, becoming more of a gumbo-type main dish. A cook may choose to add raw rice to the crock pot at the beginning of the cooking too.

This is a hearty dish that will find favor with even the finicky folks who claim not to like wild game meat.

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