Venison Sausage Breakfast Burritos for the Week

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Breakfast burritos are something I could eat daily, and appeal to me for any meal, not just breakfast. They are also great to take camping, just remove paper towel first and heat in tin foil over fire or on a camp stove.

???????????????????????????????As a matter of fact, this recipe is the perfect reminder of the full-circle aspect of hunting: harvesting, processing, appreciating, and consuming. The photo to the left is of Joe’s late whitetail deer whose meat is in these breakfast burritos. The image is of the reflection of the mount in the living room window with our porch in the background. It’s neat to be sitting on the couch and looking at the window in front of me and seeing the deer that is behind me reflected. This recipe makes five venison sausage breakfast burritos that are sealed up and frozen until ready to eat. High in protein, these burritos are a combination of crispy hash browns, onion, salsa, cheese, and eggs wrapped inside a soft flour tortilla, and make a complete breakfast any day. Make these on a Sunday and breakfast is ready for the week. All these burritos require is a minute and a half in the microwave while wrapped in their paper towel.

     You will Need:

  • 4 oz. Venison Breakfast Sausage- here’s a post on making your own
  • 1/2 cup frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion (1/2 of medium onion)
  • 3 T. Medium Salsa
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, divided
  • 5 Taco-Size Mission tortillas (I use Mission Carb Balance)
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • Garlic salt + Pepper
  • 1 T. 2% Milk
  • Cholula hot sauce, four dashes, if desired
  • 5 Paper Towels
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ziplock bags

Yield- 5 Burritos

1. Spray griddle or frying pan with cooking spray. Add hash browns and season with garlic salt and pepper. Spray the griddle and hash browns again with cooking spray to coat. Cook 3-4 minutes, add in a tsp. of butter.

DSC01568 DSC01569Continue cooking 5 more minutes, and in the meantime, dice the onion. Add onion to hash brown mixture.

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2. Brown sausage in frying pan while onions and hash browns cook another five minutes. Keep an eye on the hash browns and stir occasionally.

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3. While sausage cooks, crack eggs into small dish and add in 1 T. milk.

Beat eggs and add in  the Tablespoon of milk, 4 dashes of cholula, and a dash of and salt and pepper.

4. Once sausage is cooked, spray frying pan again with cooking spray. Pour in scrambled eggs and stir gently                                     over medium heat for about 1 minute.

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Next add in onion/hash brown mixture and salsa, stir into egg mixture.

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Cook another minute until eggs are softly set.

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5. Next step is assembling the burritos: First measure out another 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar. Set out a cutting board. Grab a roll of paper towels, 1 gallon or 2 quart ziplock bags, and aluminum foil.

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6. Lay tortilla on cutting board and spoon egg mixture into center of burrito in line and top with another pinch of shredded cheddar cheese.

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7. Pinch in ends of tortilla and roll.

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8. Set tortilla on paper towel and pinch in ends, roll again.

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9. Set inside piece of aluminum foil and repeat.

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10. Place tortillas in ziplock bag and place in freezer. They should last without freezer burn for months like this. I cannot say truly how long, because ours are always gone very quickly! When ready to eat, unwrap tin foil and place tortilla still wrapped in the paper towel on a plate. Microwave for 1.5 minutes. Remove paper towel and enjoy a savory and delicious breakfast any day of the week.

Approximate Nutrition Stats from Livestrong:

nutrition burritos

Making Your Own: Bacon Infused Ground Elk + Camp

This fall Joe and I went (bull) elk hunting for a couple nights in the wilderness, where we set up camp and could day ride to scout and hunt for elk. While the weather patterns, and therefore the elk’s migration schedule, did not cooperate with our timing for the hunt this year, it was still so refreshing to get out into the backcountry on horses, see some elk, and spend time in camp. Joe did later fill his cow elk tag though, which was just in the nick of time, as we were down to our last two packages of burger from last year. These pictures tell the story:???????????????????????????????

Riding Slim out the first evening to go scout.

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The stove was a great deal from an estate sale!

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Kitchen

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View of steep, rocky bowl over Taz’s neck where a small herd of elk were, waaaay up at the top. Getting an elk packed out on the horses would not have been possible so we passed.

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Sunset from our evening spot.

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Morning of our final day. Last year at this time there was about a foot of snow in this spot.

After one week of hanging, it was time to butcher Joe’s cow. There are many reasons why I like processing our own meat, and I am thankful we have the space and supplies to do so at the family shop.

One thing I like about processing our own meat, in addition to the price, (manual labor is good for us all) is that it enables one to fully experience the hunting process. Once the fun adrenaline from the mountain has worn off, and before the meat is prepared and consumed, there is that important middle step of processing. Bone, trim, cut, repeat.  The rewarding, although at times monotonous job, is such an important part of making a meal from the mountain. I don’t feel like the experience of hunting is complete until one takes part in the meat processing.

It would be great for our society if more Americans could experience the processing of their meat and food, in order to really understand the sacrifice of an animal, see exactly where their food is coming from, and understand just how that piece of meat on their plate got there. When I eat the elk Joe shot this year, my mind is like a film reel, remembering the location where it was harvested, what the weather was like while gutting and loading it (awful), and my arm cranking of the meat stuffer as we packaged the burger.

Finally, processing our own meat allows for a little creativity in trying new things. When we make our ground elk burger, we usually mix in a little beef fat that we get from the local butcher with the elk meat, which makes for great tasting and still very healthy meat.

This year, Joe decided to make about 15 lbs. of “specialty” elk burger with his cow elk. While at Smith’s last week, I bought a 3 lb. package of bacon end and pieces at his request. Instead of using beef fat, the bacon its place.With a 5:1 ratio of elk meat to bacon, and after grinding the meat twice, the texture of the burgers turned out really good, and the bacon bits throughout the meat are tasty. Joe feels that a second packge of bacon could be added for those bacon-lovers out there.

Bacon Infused Ground Elk Burger:

If doing the processing yourself, you will need:

  • 15 lbs of elk meat
  • 3 lbs bacon ends and pieces (could go up to 6 lbs.)
  • Game processing bags for ground meat– 1lb. capacity
  • Clean plastic tub or gallon ziplock bags
  • Mixer & Grinder, plus a stuffer with burger attachment (LEM brand is what we use)

1. Grind 15 lbs of elk meat into burger and place into plastic tub to hold.

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2. Grind up the 3 lbs. of bacon ends and pieces.

3. Combine ground elk and ground bacon in mixer grind a second time together. Now, you can either continue on and bag your burger, or place it in the plastic container or ziplock bags and refrigerate/freeze until you are ready to bag the meat.

4. Pull out the game processing bags and tape or ties to seal them.

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5. Place meat into stuffer with burger attachment and and stuff meat into bags, tape closed, label, and freeze.

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6. Thoroughly clean all meat processing attachments and counter top.

And remember, everything tastes better with bacon ; )

Weekend with the Elk + 10 Tips for Camping in Mountains with Horses

Imagine riding into your camping spot, and along the way seeing some elk here and there, and then arriving to your location to find you are surrounded by 600 head of elk. That is precisely what happened last weekend when Joe and I and the four best friends headed to the mountains. The elk sightings began before we even hit the trail. While driving to the trail head a herd of about 15 came at a dead run over the top of a huge ridge and across the road in front of us, and finally came to a stop in the pasture on the other side. I have never seen elk with their tongues hanging out and panting like dogs, like these were. They were given a run for their lives.

Here is a glimpse of the weekend: Yolanda and Taz taking a break before crossing the Wiggins Fork. We had to step off the horses here anyway to walk down the steep hill to the river bottom.  DSC01326 Wiggins Fork- We crossed the river and rode along the opposite ridge before climbing over the top. DSC01328 Do you see the drive line? Sheepeater Indians, a branch of the Shoshone, used this as a drive line for hunting. We passed another structure further up the trail coming home. DSC01334Camp ???????????????????????????????View through my binoculars of some of the hundreds of elk across the valley from where we were camped. To the west, there was another small group and we could see one spike still with his horns from last year.??????????????????????????????? Ponies eating their cubes with elk watching from above. ??????????????????????????????? Time for human supper! We always carry this grate for cooking, it’s lightweight and portable. DSC01343 Note from Joe- Always double your paper plates if you don’t want greasy pants!  DSC01345 The herd moving in behind the tent at dusk. During the night they stampeded by us. DSC01349 Sliver of moon.  ??????????????????????????????? Waking up to Taz grazing by our heads. When I opened the front tent door, a group of about twenty elk stood 50 yards away, along with a single mule deer and our three horses. DSC01351 Boiling drinking water from the creek for the day. Last summer with the strict fire bans across our area and much of the West, I bought this jet boil for hunting season, and the day before our elk hunting trip the ban was lifted and we didn’t take it. So we tried it out on this trip, it really does boil fast. I used Folger’s coffee “tea bags” and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee too. DSC01352 Elk watching us and the horses with curiosity. ??????????????????????????????? On the way out. ??????????????????????????????? 10 Tips for Camping with Horses in the Mountains

1. Hobbles- Take hobbles for your stock and know how well they can use them. If it’s the first time you are putting them on a new horse, as we were with Slim, monitor them until you see how they do, or practice at home first. Some horses need encouragement to move forward if they are not used to wearing them. Similarly, know if your horses are skilled hobble-hoppers and will leave the country in them.  It is no fun running through the woods chasing hobbled horses, trust me. Some horses cannot handle mormon hobbles and do better in the kind that look like handcuffs and have just a chain link between them, like Strawberry. See what works for them.

2. Feed situation- Know the feed situation for the area you are going into. Prepare for how many nights you will be out and how much stock you have. Weed-free alfalfa cubes are about $10 for a 50 lb. bag from feed stores and can easily be packed in. We packed in one bag (split in half into another empty feed sack) in order to feed our four horses for one night. Give horses the option to drink before bed if they cannot access the water themselves during the night.

3. Keep at least one animal secured during the night- Even if you know your horses and their habits, keep at least one animal secured during the night if you are leaving the others out hobbled or in an electric fence corral. Secure horses on a high line, in a sturdy corral, or to a tree. Electric fence can get stampeded through and some horses can really move on hobbles. You don’t want to wake up and be left on foot to search. Strawberry cannot do mormon hobbles and we left her chain link pair at home, so she was chosen to be kept in a small corral overnight.

4. Headlights- Headlights are valuable to have as they enable you full use of your hands to check on horses at night or to go catch them in the dark.

5. Bring your glasses and sleep next to them- This is really only for those who wear contacts and are blind without them, which would be me. I always bring my pair of glasses and sleep with them next to my head. When you have to get up in the middle of the night to catch and re-tie horses or check on what that noise was, you want to be able to quickly see what you are doing. I don’t want to be blind if I have a bear in camp at night.

6. Banamine- Always pack a dose of banamine with you. Yolanda almost died four years ago on my first multi-night elk hunting trip with Joe. We were fifteen miles into the wilderness. We left from Brooks Lake, and on day two of the hunt the horses munched on some green grass during lunchtime. Two hours later, still an hour from our camping spot, Yolanda promptly stopped in the trail and laid down with me still on her. I got off in a hurry and luckily she didn’t break my rifle when she rolled on it. She coliced on that green grass and I spent the next three hours walking in circles with her while she sweat and shook and then finally took a crap. I was lucky she pulled through it and always carry a syringe of banamine. You can buy it from your local vet.

7. Bear Proof- Bear proof your camp for the safety of you and your stock. Check your saddlebags for any food or scented items and store them away with your food during the night, either hung from a tree with a lash rope or in a designated bear-proof pannier. Listen to your horses at night, they will make some noise if an intruder enters camp. If your horses are restless or making a fuss, get up and check. I sleep with a .41 and bear spray next to my head (alongside those glasses and my headlight), and Joe’s pistol between us.

8. Trash- Have a plan for packing out your trash. Especially if there is a fire ban! Bring a plastic grocery sack if it’s an overnight, or a real trash bag if longer. Also, remember to pack out aluminum foil, tin cans, and other objects that don’t fully burn. Make sure bags are heavy enough that they won’t rip in the panniers and make a mess. Also, for multi-night trips make sure to hang your trash at night, or secure it safely in a bear-proof pannier with the rest of your food.

9. Feet and Shoes- Check the condition of your horses feet in the days before heading out overnight. Make sure no shoes are missing, and check to see if any trimming is needed.

10. First Aid- Many items in a human first aid kit can also be used on horses to stop bleeding. I always carry a small survival kit and a full human first aid kit in my saddle bags. I choose not to carry additional first aid for the horses, but a homemade kit would be easy to make. I have in the past had to duct tape frozen water bottles to Yolanda’s leg overnight to prevent swelling while in camp. While working as a camp cook I carried a ziplock bag with antiseptic spray “Blue coat” and gall salve, as those were the two most common injuries that routinely occurred with those horses. Common sense and precaution will help prevent many injuries, but accidents happen. Have a plan and have some first aid gear for where you are and what you are doing.