venison and beef enchiladas

I was asked over a year ago by a reader if I could share a few venison recipes.  Well, while we do eat a lot of venison, I often to stick to the usual suspects when it comes to recipes (roasts, steaks, stews, stroganoff, etc.)  This year, though, I think I'll be doing a lot more experimenting because we have quite a few pounds of ground venison now filling our freezer, since Dan got a buck in early September with his bow and we paid someone else to process it due to the warm temperatures.  Ground venison is an interesting type of meat...and I mean interesting in a true Minnesota Nice fashion.  To be more direct, I'm generally not a fan.  It tends to be gamey and a little tough (which makes sense considering that it is often ground from cuts of meat that are less than desirable).  In the past, I've tried making chili and tacos with ground venison and the leftovers have ended up going to the chickens.  

I think I'm learning the trick, though, to making ground venison work for me.  The key is to always mix it with beef (or pork).  So, two nights ago, I experimented with a venison and beef enchilada recipe and the results were great!  There was very little gamey taste and the texture was not an issue at all!  So, if you also find yourself with a freezer full of ground's a recipe you may want to try.  Of course, if you don't have access to venison, you can simply use ground beef.  Our enchiladas ended up falling apart because of the type of corn tortillas I used, but they still tasted delicious! 


Venison and Beef Enchiladas

1/2 lb ground venison

1/2 lb ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1 small green pepper, diced

1 jalapeño, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

salt/pepper to taste

8 ounces queso fresco

corn tortillas

green or red enchilada sauce (I used a jar of my salsa verde)

sour cream

Brown the meat along with the onions, green pepper, and jalapeño in a large skillet.  After a few minutes, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt/pepper.  Once the meat is fully cooked, add about 2/3 of the quest fresco, loosening it into small pieces.  Stir to melt and incorporate.  

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pour some of the enchilada sauce into a pie plate or shallow dish.  Dip a tortilla into the sauce and coat both sides.  Scoop 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the meat mixture (depending on the size of the tortilla) onto the tortilla.  Gently fold the tortilla and place it with the seam-side down into a medium-sized casserole pan. Continue to fill the tortillas until you have filled your pan or used all of your meat mixture.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the folded tortillas and sprinkle the rest of the queso fresco on top of the enchiladas.  Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and your hot sauce of choice!

Serves 4.