New Castle News

November 23, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Authors share recipes deer to them

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — If you want the most knowledgeable information about a subject, go to the authority.

In this case, the expert on cooking with venison — deer meat — is Ellwood City’s Steve Loder. He and his wife, Gale, are the authors of “Quality Venison Cookbook — Great Recipes from the Kitchen of Steve and Gale Loder.”

Steve certainly has the know-how and experience for tackling such a project. He has been hunting since he was 12 and at age 14, started cooking with his father, who owned a restaurant in upstate New York.

“We wanted to make a difference in the way people view cooking venison,” Steve told me, adding this is the hunter’s bible for venison.

Through the years, Gale kept a scrapbook of wild game recipes and Steve has a hunter’s journal.

The purpose of this latest writing venture is to tell and show people how to process their own deer and handle it from field to freezer. And all of this comes from a lifetime of cooking venison.

“It’s easy and there are shortcuts.”

I was amazed that there were so many ways to prepare the meat and am pleased we can share a few of the recipes from the book in Culinary Conversation.

It’s deer hunting season, and if you prepare venison the same way year after year, you may be missing out on some interesting variations.

The book is available through the websites of both Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at  You also may email Steve or Gale at

He applauds the merits of venison, which he said is rich in nutrition.

“And the quality of meat makes the difference.”

The spiral-bound, hardcover book is actually a compilation of 350 recipes that came from three previous books he and Gale wrote, and 74,000 copies were sold. He has also done close to 200 book signings.

The fact that there are 350 recipes for venison boggles my mind, but Steve said he often modifies recipes using beef.

He also mentioned that the stew recipe is one of his favorites and it’s enjoyable both at home or deer camp.

“Reheated and served a second time, it is even better, if that is possible.”

I also learned that venison has 1/4 the fat of lean roast beef, 1/2 the fat of lean ham or salmon and 1/4 the saturated fat of lean roast beef.

Thanks to Steve and Gale for sharing.

On another note — speaking of sharing, it’s also that time of year to let us know about your favorite Christmas cookie recipes. During the next few weeks, Culinary Conversation will feature all kinds. We hope to hear from you.

Steve’s Favorite Venison Stew With Roasted Peppers

In a 5-quart crockpot, add cubed venison, green onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef broth and cream soup. Stir to blend well. Add roasted peppers, dry onion soup mix and mushrooms; stir. Pour 4 cups water into a large bowl, stir in 4 teaspoons flour and blend out lumps. Add flour and water mixture to crockpot along with parsley flakes, black pepper, salt and jalapeno peppers, if using and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours or until carrots and potatoes are soft, and venison is tender.

Gale’s Easy Venison Parmesan

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Spray a 6x10-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add stewed tomatoes and top with venison steaks. Add remaining seasonings; top with tomato sauce. Sprinkle 1 cup of Parmesan cheese across top. Bake venison at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Party Venison Steak Tidbits

Place steaks in a 6x10-inch glass baking dish. Combine remaining marinade ingredients in small bowl and mix well. Pour over venison to marinate 4 or 5 hours or overnight. Broil venison in the oven 10 to 12 minutes, turning once or charcoal grill steaks to medium rare. Heat marinade in small saucepan to boiling and simmer 5 to 6 minutes. Serve venison steaks cut into thin strips or small cubes with toothpicks using “hot” marinade as a steak dip.

Venison Loin Mozzarella

Add bread crumbs, salt and black pepper to a paper bag and shake to blend. Then add loin steaks; shake well and press bread crumbs into the steak. In a large skillet that has a lid, add venison steak, frying over medium heat for 5 minutes, timed so as to brown but not burn. Turn steaks and again time for another 5 minutes. Repeat turning procedure for 10 more minutes total — to keep venison steaks medium rare. After 20 minutes total cooking time, top steak with mozzarella and cover for 2 more minutes so cheese melts. Top with peppery olive pasta sauce, which can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.

Peppery Olive Oil Pasta Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan with a lid, over medium heat, lightly brown mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil. Cook 5 minutes or so, stirring lightly. Add red wine, oregano, Italian seasoning and basil; stir. Add tomato, pepper or picante sauce and olives. Stir well, simmer on low heat, covered for about an hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over venison loin mozzarella or over your favorite pasta cooked to package directions.