“Have some more sloppy joes. I made them extra sloppy just for yous” ~Lunch Lady, Billy Madison

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Red ale in sloppy joes is magic. The idea was one that came to me on a whim only just this afternoon during my drive to the post office to submit my application for the Master Hunter program with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

With a freezer full of venison from Oregon’s fall hunt and a passion to create recipes that bring out the best flavor in wild game, this recipe is easily adaptable to any wild game or red meat and perfect for weekend bowl game parties. If you’re looking for a team to cheer on, those Seattle SEAHAWKS are pretty killer!

Red Ale Venison Sloppy Joes // makes 12 sandwiches

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 lbs venison – shoulder or shank, cut into 1-inch cube
Coarse sea salt
2 cups sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bottle red ale (I used Silver City Red Ale)
2 tablespoons coarse ground Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 (24-ounce) can diced San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
12 soft buns

In a large Dutch oven medium-high heat, add the olive oil allowing it to get hot. Working in batches, add the venison and brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside, repeating until all the meat is browned.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and garlic along with a pinch of salt, and cook about 6 minutes. Add the ancho chile powder, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, and coffee and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring about 2 more minutes.

Add the red ale and scrape up browned bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven with a wooden spoon. Once reduced by half, add the Dijon, Sriracha, and honey and simmer about 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer.

Return the meat to the pot and add the oregano and simmer 1 hour. Serve over fresh buns and enjoy!

xo,

“Good wild rabbit is fresh and succulent…it needs onions, wine, and thyme.”
Jane Grigson, Good Things

Simple, peasant fare.

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I lived in Sunnyhill between 2009 and 2012. For me it has always been a place lit with possibility. I saw the sun rise as we worked the land. I watched the sky fall down on hot July evenings filled with laughter and good friends. During the time I lived there, I thought in the way of the invincible young, “I will never live anywhere else.” But I do, and that is why I find myself on the rivers fishing, in the mountains hunting, and in the hills foraging.

What started in the region of Languedoc as a modern day pot of beans and meat, cassoulet is easily considered one of the top 10 most prescriptive dishes around. Resurrected four times already in my home with different variations of vegetables to meat and broth, I’ve finally settled on a delicate balance of ground pork, rabbit, and lamb shank anchored by winter roots and good wine. The kind of comfort food we all craved when the ingredients grew robust in the garden or were the result of a late summer harvest.

Cassoulet of Pork Sausage, Lamb Shank, & Rabbit // serves 6-8
Inspired by Mark Bittman

2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 whole rabbit, quartered
1 lamb shank, skin removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 leeks, trimmed, washed, and thinly slide
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Sea salt
Coarse ground pepper
2 cups diced tomatoes, with juices
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
4 cups cooked white beans, rinsed
2 cups red wine
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 bouquet garnis

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, add the sausage, and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain excess fat. Heat the olive oil, add meat, and cook, turning as needed, until deeply browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pain and drain excess fat.

Bring the dutch oven to medium heat and add garlic, leeks, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and their liquid, the reserved meat, and herbs and bring to a boil. Add the beans; bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Retrieve the meat from the pot, and remove bones and skin. Chop into large chunks and return to the pot with the cayenne. Cook another 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

xo,

“Christmas waves a magic wand over the world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
~ Norman Vincent Peale

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With all my love, thank you for a beautiful year!

Haley’s Baileys // for a crowd

3 pints organic whipping cream
1 quart organic half and half
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
Fifth of good quality scotch whiskey
10 teaspoons instant coffee
5 teaspoons vanilla

In a large chilled metal bowl whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in remaining ingredients. Serve with fresh brewed hot coffee. Refrigerate up to two weeks.

xo,