# 10 Or the # 1 Thing to Know About Cooking Wild Game! Plus 2 Easy Recipes

Trophy Buck
cooking venison with bacon
Adding a little fat back in can improve the taste.

No. 10

Do not overcook lean cuts of wild game

Wild game is leaner than domestic meats. Wild game is very low in fat. What fats you do find, are subcutaneous. You will also find that there is very little to nonexistent marbled fat in the meat itself. While it’s true, marbled meats will seem, “Juicer,” remember that juiciness is really about the fat. It doesn’t mean that your wild game is going to be drier or something that resembles shoe leather. It does mean you will want to cook it differently from beef or even chicken.

Don’t be afraid to add some fat back into your game. One of my favorite recipes I created calls for 1/3 lb of bacon added to it. Who can go wrong with bacon? Adding fats back into lean meats can help with the cooking process. Over cooking lean cuts of meat never work.  Even if it’s a lean breast of chicken. Cook it until it’s done and no longer pink. The recommended cooking temperature is 165 degrees.

You will get happy smiles!

 Pheasant Breakfast Sausage

4 pheasant legs, meat removed, approximate weight, 16-oz. You may substitute breast meat.

1/3 lb of bacon

1 tbsp of dry rubbed sage

1 tsp of garlic powder

2 tsp of onion powder

½ tsp marjoram

½ tsp lightly crushed fennel or caraway seeds

Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse 5-6 times until combine or chop with a sharp knife.  Shape into patties and fry over medium/high heat until cooked thoroughly.

Then, try this recipe with any left over Thanksgiving turkey!

Breakfast Pheasant-Turkey Hash

8 ounces breakfast pheasant sausage

1 cup cooked turkey

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 cup red or green peppers, chopped

1 1/2 cups potatoes, cubed and partially cooked (5 minutes on high in the microwave)

2 cups left over stuffing

Salt and pepper, to taste

Add the sausage to a heavy skillet over medium high heat and cook until the sausage begins to render some of it’s fat, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the onions, peppers to the sausage and cook until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Cook until the potatoes are lightly browned.

Add the stuffing and turkey and stir occasionally. Cook until the hash is thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper and serve with fried eggs.

There is nothing more satisfying, than eating a well cooking meal consisting of the bounty from your hunt. Learning some new methods and ideas when cooking wild game will help ensure everyone will enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Bon Appétit!

# 7 of 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Cooking Wild Game

Pheasant pizzaThe perfect Friday night meal to have a City Slicker try wild game!

No. 7

If you cook it, they will eat it-

I have a few friends that I call city slickers (I used to be one too). Some of them hardly even leave the city! Many of them had never eaten wild game until they met me. I have to confess, I have served wild game secretly to them just to prove a point.

You can cook wild game well. So well in fact, that even those with even the most discriminating  palettes will not even be able to proclaim during a meal they are eating wild game. I have had the same trick pulled on me and yes, I knew it was wild game because it was poorly prepared. I now inform all my guests they are eating wild game before I serve it to them.  I also will offer an alternative along with a laundry list of all the benefits wild game offers that beef cannot. I learned the hard way, it’s always best to let people ease into trying something new. A perfectly cooked meal is hard to resist or cook something familiar like Pizza with a twist, like pheasant pizza! Trust me they will try it!

Pizza Dough

Pheasant Pizza

One recipe for pizza dough

1 clove garlic

2 Tablespoon of Olive oil

1/2 red pepper, sliced

1/2 large sweet onion, sliced

2 oz of Feta cheese

1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese

1 cup cooked and marinated pheasant in balsamic vinegar (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 550 or 500 (your ovens highest setting). Stretch out pizza dough on to a piece of parchment paper. Take your time and let the dough rest if it won’t stretch. Spread 1 Tablespoon olive oil over crust dough. Crush (I use a micro planer to make a garlic puree) garlic and spread over the crust on top of the olive oil. Top with mozzarella cheese, snap peas, red pepper slices, onion, feta and cooked pheasant.

Using a pizza peel (or cookie sheet), slide pizza directly on to the middle to upper oven rack and Bake for 12-15 minutes until crust is brown and cheese is bubbling. Paper will darken but your crust will be perfect! Drizzle with balsamic reduction and remaining 1 T of olive oil.

Pheasant breastYou can use Chicken too!

Balsamic Vinegar Pheasant

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup cubed pheasant breast

salt and pepper

Cut pheasant in to bite size pieces mix with the vinegar and marinate for 1/2 hour. Remove pheasant from marinade and saute pheasant over med heat just until cooked. Do not over cook! Pheasant will continue to cook in the oven with the pizza. If you want for more flavor,  reduce the remaining marinade-vinegar by cooking it slowly until reduced by half then drizzle it over the pizza when it is done cooking.

perfect pizza crust at home

# 5 Of 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Cooking Wild Game

Trophy Buck
Hunters Dream or Nightmare?

No. 5

Trophy Bucks are just that, “Trophies”

My dear husband has yet to get that, “Trophy Buck,” I am secretly hoping he never does. I have had friends give us meat from the prized buck and I have yet to say, “Wow, that was great” usually it’s tough and gamier than a normal. Plus, with Chronic Wasting Disease, I think we’ll pass.

Camp fire Hobos were one of my favorite recipes growing up. There is something about having your own package of food. My kids still love to get the lunchables, because of the packaging. I chose this recipe for Minnesota Bound because it is quick, easy and a fun way to introduce city slickers to wild game.

Filming for Minnesota Bound
Filming Day

The cooking portion of the episode is short and always in the very middle of the show.  It’s not hard to find.

You can use any kind of ground meat. We like venison or beef for the flavor. Mix it up and make it your own by adding some interesting ingredients! Enjoy an easy night off from cooking and dishes! That’s my Wild Chow!

Check out the latest Minnesota Bound Recipe-


Campfire Hobos

4 potatoes, sliced

4 carrots, coined

4 onions, sliced

1 cup frozen peas, divided

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 lb ground meat, beef,  venison, turkey or chicken made into 1/4 lb patties

Seasoned salt and pepper


Place 2 layers of tinfoil on your counter. Place one patty on bottom of foil, season with salt and pepper, then layer 1onion slice, potatoes, carrots, and peas. Place one scoop of mushroom soup over the top and repeat for each Hobo. Gather foil up and press together sealing the Hobos. Try to make a handle if you will be cooking these over an open fire.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until potatoes are tender. Serve directly from the foil for a fun no mess dinner!  Your kids will love you!

Filming for Minnesota Bound
These really are one of my favorite meals. As soon as the cameras stopped rolling, I was filling my face!

# 3 of The Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Cooking Wild Game: The Turtle and the Hare

She is running to get mama’s yummy Bluegill Chowder!! Christina Ericksdon

No. 3

Are you a sprinter or a marathoner?-

Being in fitness for a large part of my life has helped me gain a better understanding of body composition and how to win a race. It has also helped me be a better cook.

My daughter is a college track athlete. She is a sprinter and jumper, quick and fast. But to see her run the 800 or the mile, is like watching a sloth eat, slow and painful.

Her muscle make-up is mostly fast twitch muscle fiber or also known as white muscle fiber. It makes her fast. She can also jump far and high. Slow twitch muscle fiber (red muscle fiber) on the other hand enables some people to run very long distances like a marathon.  Wild game is the same way. Think of a duck, like a marathoner. He has to fly south for the winter every year. That’s some marathon. A rabbit, on a normal day, gently hops here and there until its startled and then it’s off like a shot, but only for a short distance.

Red meat typically has more red fiber muscle for long distances and lighter colored meat or “white meat is great for quick bursts of energy. Chickens legs are darker and have more flavors because the chicken struts around scratching for food all day and its breast meat is white because a chicken rarely uses their wings to fly. The next time you are preparing game meat, you will know which animals are marathoners. They will have a stronger flavor and this knowledge will help you with the outcome of your wild game dish.

Raw fish

Look at these crapie filets. They are very white and they don’t have much flavor.

cooking fishLook how white they turn as they cook.

Now think of salmon filets, they are coral colored and have a stronger flavor.

Pink Salmon

There are many examples of this from all the meats we eat. I hope the next time you are in the meat section at the grocery store or after a hunt, you will spend a moment thinking about the muscle fibers and how they will taste. This has helped me become a better cook.

I hope you enjoy my recipe for Bluegill Chowder. You can substitute just about any fish for the bluegills. For all the pictures and previous blog about cooking with fish, follow this link:


Bluegill or Fish Chowder

1 lb of uncooked pan fish, cut into bite size pieces

1 large onion, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots coined

2 potatoes diced


3/4 cup butter, divided

1/2 cup flour

1 bottle of Clam Juice

1 quart half and half

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook celery, onion, carrots in 1/4 cup of butter for about 5 minutes in a large sauce pan. Add potatoes, clam juice, and enough water to just cover the veggies and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add raw fish to veggies and cook until fish is no longer gray and cooked through, remove from heat. Careful not to over cook or your fish will fall apart.
  3. In separate pan, melt butter and add flour. Cook until mixture resembles sand. Stir in half and half and cook until thickened about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in half and half mixture into veggies and fish. Return to heat and heat through, being careful not to boil. Serve immediately.

Wild About Berries; Wild Berry Parfaits

Easy Desserts

I love fresh berries. They are bursting with flavor and they are really good for you! As most of you know wild berries are smaller than the berries you can buy in the store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them as an addition to a recipe that calls for store-bought berries. Wild berries are just as tasty or even more flavorful than store-bought berries. I add them to all my recipes when they are in season. Going out to pick them is a different story…they usually don’t even make into the house because I’ve eaten them all!

Here my daughter and I are make some very easy berry treats.


The easy treats are sometimes the best! I say, less stress is always the best.

If you have the time, which I don’t, please make your own pudding! It will go from great to fabulous. If we are going to get fat let’s do it right!

This recipe can be changed to add your own ideas. As always, I love to hear how you made it your own!  Be creative.

Easy Berry Parfaits

4  tall glasses

4 cups crushed cookies or cake pieces (ginger, animal crackers, angel food cake, pound cake)

4 cups pudding (any flavor)

1 1/2 cups fresh-cut pineapple

2 cups fresh whole berries (wild or not)

Whipped cream

Start with cookies or cake and layer the bottom or each glass. Next, top the cookies with pudding. Then add the pineapple and berries.  Add more pudding, cookies and fruit until you have reached the top of the glass. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Home-made Fresh Berry Soda

4 wine glasses

2 cups of fresh and wild berries

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups of club soda

Ice cubes

1 cup of simple syrup (recipe at the bottom of page)

Smash berries in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over the top of the berries to help them release their juice. Let them rest for 20-30 minutes. Press the berries through a fine messed sieve.

Pour ice and club soda into each glass. Pour in 1/4 cup of simple syrup into each glass. Spoon in berry juice and stir gently. Serve immediately.

Simple Syrup

Combined 1 cup water 1 cup sugar in a sauce pan. Cook until sugar is dissolved. cool.

Minnesota bound State Fair Granola Recipe

Minnnesota Bound with Lisa Erickson
Cooking granola for the Minnesota State Fair

Hello everyone! So glad you stopped by to see me! I have been so busy with some super fun cooking demos and coordinating events for Trollhaugen Ski Area, that I haven’t had a lot of time to post some new recipes I have been working on. Well that’s about to change!

Thank you for all the interest in the granola recipe. As you saw on MN Bound, it’s super easy! I love granola and it’s a healthy snack that travels well.

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup bran cereal

1 cup rice cereal

1/2 cup almonds

3 tablespoons butter

3/4-1 cup Maple syrup

In a large bowl, mix oatmeal, rice cereal, and almonds together. Heat maple syrup and butter in a sauce pan until mixture comes to a boil. Pour over cereal and stir to coat.

Bake at 300 for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until granola is golden brown. Let cool and break into pieces. Add your our special touches. I love dried fruits, and white chocolate pieces.

Keep in an air tight container. If granola becomes stale, just remove dried fruits and chocolate re-toast in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes!

Coming up soon are some brand new recipes from The family camping trip to Yellow Stone National Park. All my recipes are tried and tested on adults and kids! Coming from a busy mother of 4, I dont have a lot of time for shenanigans! I know many of you dont either. We all want easy good food for our families!

Ice Fishing Contest…Blue Gill Chowder

Ice fishing Lisa Erickson style
This is how I ice fish on a sunny day!

Perfect day for ice fishing. We didn’t catch anything other than a tan! Actually, my son Lee, tried to pull a huge northern up out of the hole. It broke the line before he was able to get it out of the water. Oh well, we had a fabulous time any way.

Good friends came and joined us.  We won a cooler and a t-shirt in the raffle!!

Ice Fishing with Lisa Erickson Minnesota Bound
Ice Fishing with friends

Many people turned out this year. The winning fish was a 7 1/2 pound Northern!

Ice Fishing with Lisa Erickson
Ice fishing Crowds

We needed to have a little fun too! Still can’t believe there were hardly any bites! I was looking forward to Bluegill Chowder or any kind of chowder!

Lisa Erickson On a 4 wheeler
Fun Ride!

I guess it is okay to pull some fish out of the freezer for some yummy winter soup!

Sunny Chowder
This soup is a hundred times better than clam chowder.

Sorry, I don’t care for clams. We used to call them elephant boogers when we were kids. Just can’t seem to get past the rubbery texture.

This recipe is easy to add clams…if you prefer or bluegill( or sunnys ) filets, crappies ( pan fish ), or walleye– but only if you have a small amount that will not feed two people. I do not recommend wasting such a lovely fish like walleye, in soup!

Making soup
Melt the butter and saute the celery and onion together.

My secret weapon. Clam juice.

Cooking with Lisa Erickson
Shhhh don’t tell….

Here is the recipe…enjoy!

Blue Gill Chowder


1lb of thawed uncooked pan fish

1 large onion, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots coined

2 potatoes diced


3/4 cup butter, divided

1/2 cup flour

1 bottle of Clam Juice

1 quart half and half

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook celery, onion, carrots in 1/4cup of butter for about 5 minutes in a large sauce pan. Add potatoes, clam juice, and enough water to just cover the veggies and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add raw fish to veggies and cook until fish is no longer gray and cooked through, remove from heat. Careful not to over cook or your fish will fall apart.
  3. In separate pan, melt butter and add flour. Cook until mixture resembles sand. Stir in half and half and cook until thickened about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in half and half mixture into veggies and fish. Return to heat and heat through, being careful not to boil. Serve immediately.

Wild Venison Burgundy as seen on Minnesota Bound

Super Value Minnesota Bound
Minnesota Bound meets Wild Chow in the Produce Section!


Hello everyone! Thank you for letting me take a month break from posting. I enjoyed a little vacation and some family time.

In the mean time, I have created lots of new recipes and I am very excited to share them with you all! But first I have some great news to share. We filmed 3 new episodes for Minnesota Bound last week and the first one airs tonight at 10:30pm!

Venison Burgundy By Lisa Erickson
Filming in the kitchen

I love this recipe and our family has been eating a variation of it for 30 years.

Lisa Erickson
Having Fun!


Lisa Erickson and Ron Schara
Cooking Venison Burgundy

Wild Venison Burgundy

By Lisa Erickson


3 lbs venison or beef steak, cubed into 1” pieces

2 cans golden mushroom soup

1 envelope onion soup mix

1 ¼ cups dry red wine, like Merlot

1 Pint Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced


In a large bowl combined stir all ingredients together and pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours uncovered, on the middle rack of the oven. Cover with tin foil and bake an additional 2 ½ hours. Serve with egg noodles and green beans!

For more recipes by Lisa Erickson, please visit http://www.wildchow.com


Cooking Pheasant 101: Do Not Over Cook

The Common Pheasant, the most important bird f...
Look at this beautiful ring neck pheasant!

I must of spent 10 years eating disgusting pheasant, then 5 more, trying to hide it in the freezer from my husband so he wouldn’t attempt to cook it himself (Sorry honey it was just plain bad). I tried many different recipes, but they all had one thing in common, a long cooking time. I thought, if it’s tough, I should cook it even longer. The only reason I thought that way, was because every recipe I found had a long cooking time or it called for a marathon cooking session in the crock pot with loads of fattening clop dumped in with it. I thought others had it all figured it out-NOT! I tossed every single recipe in the trash and I was determined to make this beautiful bird taste good!

My aha moment came from a desperate craving for wild game, walnuts and blueberries (I’m really into the, “eating like our ancestors” thing). Yes, I know it’s a weird combo, but it was the healthiest combo I could come up with. Some of you who know me well, know I’ve been touting this for years. I haven’t posted that  “Aha” recipe yet, but be sure and look for it in the near future. Wild game is so healthy! Hopefully I will have time to post about why its so healthy soon too.

Pheasant meat is very soft and tender. The bird doesn’t fly much (compared to duck) so It’s breast meat is relatively tender. The leg meat is difficult to remove from the little bony tendons that run the length of the shin bone, but don’t skip out on this great piece of meat because it is super flavorful. I filmed how to scrap the meat of the pheasant leg on the up coming edition of Minnesota Bound with Ron Schara that will air on Nov. 20th. The recipe is called Pheasant Breakfast Sausage. Look for it under Minnesota Bound Recipes.

Lisa Erickson Cooking with Minnesota bound
Here I am with Ron Schara, discussing how to fillet fish.

Pheasant is best when it is flash cooked. Cook it until it is just done -no more! This makes it a fabulous meat for a week night or when your in a hurry and don’t have alot of time to wait for dinner to cook, which is me-most of the time! Last night, my husband was out hunting grouse with Leo our 13 year old. It was his first time hunting grouse and I had 2 whole pheasants ready to go in the fridge from a previous hunt at a game farm earlier in the week, in case they got skunked. They saw 5 birds, but were unable to bag any and came home empty handed. They still had a great time walking the woods and spending time together. Bummer for me because I love grouse!

I flash cooked the pheasant and served it on a bed of wild rice that I had cooked earlier. Then, I made a pan sauce with horseradish,  yogurt (yup you guessed it, I chose yogurt because it’s a healthier choice), onions, and lemon. All this took less than 25 minutes. The boys ranted and raved over how good the pheasant was (even my dad, who had also stopped over and is the pickiest eater I know– loved it!). My favorite part was that our other son George (10) helped me cook it!

Pan Fried Pheasant with Yogurt Cream Sauce and Wild Rice

¼ stick of butter

4 Pheasant breasts and leg meat removed from the bone seasoned with salt and pepper. Reserve entire carcass for homemade pheasant broth.

1 onion sliced thin into rings

1/3 cup water

1 clove of garlic smashed

1 ½ tablespoons of bottled horseradish cream

½ of lemon, juiced

½ cup Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons of chopped parsley or lemon basil

Melt butter over med-high heat in a heavy bottomed fry pan. When butter begins to turn golden on the edges of the pan add pheasant and cook until edges of pheasant begin to turn white and flip. Continue to cook and when the other side is lightly browned, remove from pan and place the pheasant cutlets on a holding plate and cover with foil. Watch carefully so the butter does not begin to burn. Try not to use a Teflon pan; otherwise you will not have much for pan scrapings to make a lovely colored pan sauce.

Add onions to pan and cook until they are slightly soft. Add water and scrap up bottom of pan dripping (also known as frond) add the garlic, horseradish cream, and lemon juice. Return the pheasant to the pan and cover until pheasant pieces are just cooked completely, about 3-4 additional minutes. Off the heat and add yogurt, parsley, and stir to coat pheasant pieces. Plate with wild rice pilaf, pheasant, onions and pan sauce, serve immediately as the rice can cool quickly.

Wild Rice Pilaf

2 carrots peeled and chopped

1 onion chopped into large pieces

2 tablespoons of butter

6 cups pheasant stock or chicken stock

8 oz of raw wild rice

Place wild rice and broth in large covered sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest for an additional 10 minutes. Dump off remaining broth and fluff and leave rice covered. In a separate fry pan saute carrots over medium heat until they begin to soften about 5 minutes add onions and cook until the onions are transparent about, 3 more minutes. Stir the carrot and onions into the wild rice and keep covered until ready to serve.

For those of you that live in the Twin Cities area, tune in to WCCO radio and listen in as I discuss cooking pheasant with Ron Schara and Mike Max tonight at 7:15-30.