Camp Cooking: Venison and Breakfast Burger (June 2018)

Due to an increased amount of overtime and other obligations I have not been able to camp for the last couple months.  I got off work at 5 in the morning and headed out to move the camper into place, then I slept a good chunk of the day.  I didn’t return to the campsite until the afternoon.  I rarely use camper myself, in fact, the last time I slept in it was a year ago.  The camper is half my wife’s and half her mother’s but they were gracious enough to let me use it for a couple days.  All joking aside, after working 205 hours within 17 days I just needed to get away.  Since the wife and kids were out of town getting away to a campsite made the most sense.  I choose to use the camper because I wanted the comfort of a solid roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.  Plus, I brought Gracie, the family dog, along.  Gracie is getting up there in years and she prefers the camper life.

Once the camper was completely set up I spent some time relaxing with a book then fired up the grill.  Dinner was bacon wrapped venison and a veggie (and a bit of fungus) foil pack, breakfast the next day was a Breakfast Burger.

The venison was gifted to me by a bow hunter at work.  I marinated it in apple juice per a recipe I read online.  I can’t say I know what that did for the meat.  After the marinade, I patted it dry and wrapped each piece with bacon.  I then painted the steaks with olive oil and seasoned with smoked salt and black pepper.  Depending on how rare you like your meat will affect your cooking time.  I left the venison on the grill for around 14 minutes.

bambi

bambi

Foil packs are super easy to make and turn out great every time.  The only thing that can limit you on them is your imagination.  The foil pack I made had red potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and a jalapeno.  First cut up all the ingredients and place in a bag with a little bit of olive oil.  The olive oil helps keep the food from sticking to the foil, it keeps the season stuck to the veggies.  I used garlic powder, smoked bacon salt, black pepper, and Webber’s beer can chicken season, but you can use whatever spices you like and don’t be afraid to overdo it.  Spray the foil with a non-stick spray, place the veggies in it with some butter, then fold it up and throw it on the grill.  Remember that potatoes take around 40 minutes to cook this way, so place the foil pack on the grill first.

Just as good in the summer

Just as good in the summer

I love dark beers; some of my favorites are winter ales.  It has become common practice for me to stock up on winter ales so I have them to drink in the summer.  Goose Island’s Winter Ale is a smooth lightly spiced treat.  I also brought some Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, another beer only available during the winter months.  During a trip to Michigan where some friends, the wife, and myself ran in the Traverse City Running Festival I picked up some coffee liqueur from Journeyman distillery.  What I like to do with lighter dark beers is add a splash of the coffee liqueur.  It doesn’t take much to add a whole lot of flavor and a little bite.  If you like drinking stouts during the winter I encourage you to at least try a black lager during the summer.  You will be surprised how well they go down.

The mighty Ogre

The mighty Ogre

Another treat I allowed myself for the trip was a cigar.  I smoked an Asylum 13 Ogre.  It is a full-bodied cigar and maybe too much so for me.  I prefer something lighter like Drew Estate’s Java or a Schizo (which is made by Asylum).  I still enjoyed the Ogre for an hour and a half while watching the fire and listening to Big Finish audio play.

To complete my glamping experience for the night I watched The Ballad of Lefty Brown in bed.  I really love the traditional western where the hero must administer justice to the bad guys from the business end of a colt.  Lefty Brown throws a twist into that classic plot and it adds a lot more depth for it.  On top of an excellent plot, the acting is superb too.  I did feel like some of the story was missing as if the director was forced to make some cuts for time.  If your fan of the western genre then I certainly would watch this one.

Waffles as buns.

Waffles as buns.

I tend to stay on schedule on my days off so I stayed up late and woke up late making breakfast more of a brunch.  My Breakfast Burger is a simple recipe with ground beef and spicy breakfast sausage.  What really makes it stand out is the addition of blueberry waffles as buns (click here for my half-healthy waffle recipe).  This trip was the first time I have made the Breakfast Burger.  I love experimenting with burgers but they are all not winners.  For example, my Chorizo-Turkey burger needs some work.  The Breakfast Burger has exceeded my expectations.  It was really good.

Clear skys

Clear skys

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the weather.  It tends to rain more often than not when I’m camping.  Thankfully it was beautiful out the whole time.  I went to work Wednesday fully recharged.  Hopefully, I will not have to wait another two months before I can camp again.  I have a new bike that I am itching to put some miles on.