The any-weapon general deer season opens on Saturday, Oct. 22. For hunters, it is the most anticipated season of the year. The Utah Education Association used to host an annual conference the Thursday and Friday before the general deer season opener. My dad often reminisces about those long weekends for the deer hunt: getting the camping gear ready with his own dad, loading up in their vehicle to drive in search of a great spot for setting up the tent, early morning campfire percolated coffee that is mostly just hot water and a cup full of coffee grounds but somehow tastes so good in the cold, and witnessing the sun rising up in a way you never do at home. My dad often joked that UEA wasn’t created for the continuing education of teachers, but instead was for anticipation and preparation of the general deer season.
Things are somewhat different now. The deer season is limited in the number of tags they issue. Many years, a lot of people won’t draw a permit to join in the general season. I have missed my fair share of seasons for that exact reason. I still find a way to participate though, even if it’s just joining friends around the campfire for that early morning cup of coffee grounds that somehow just tastes so good.
Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.
- 2 lbs (around one liver) venison liver, cleaned and cubed
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 cup whiskey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Before cleaning and chopping up the liver, let it soak overnight in a mixture of four cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Thoroughly rinse liver after soaking and remove any connective tissue, arteries, or veins. Cube liver into bite size pieces.
- In a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat, crisp the bacon. This usually takes between five and seven minutes. Set the bacon aside and reserve the bacon fat in the pan.
- To the bacon fat, add onions, celery, carrots, and apples. Cook until soft, about five to seven minutes.
- Add the liver and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook for additional ten to fifteen minutes, until the liver is cooked through.
- Pour the one cup of whiskey into the mixture and let it reduce for five minutes.
- Add the liver mixture to a food processor. Don’t forget to add your bacon back in at this point! Blend until smooth.
- Slowly drizzle the cup of heavy cream into the food processor and process until mixture is creamy and smooth.
- To serve, toast a slice of baguette, top with a little butter, the pate, and then top with pickled vegetable of your choice. Pickled vegetables include cornichon pickles, pickled onions or beets, cucumber or radish slices.