3 Quick & Easy Deer Recipes


The day is finally here!  I promised to share a few Quick & Easy Deer Recipes for using canned deer meat!  (I will post later about our favorite recipes from our non-canned deer meat.)

Quick Easy Deer Recipes

On Wednesday night this week, we had Open-Faced Roast Deer, so I wanted to walk you through this recipe completely, and then at the end I’ll share two more basic recipes briefly.

Open-Faced Roast Deer

Besides the taste (YUM!), my favorite thing about this recipe is that dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes!  I’d like to say 5 minutes, but since I have 2 toddlers I’m never able to do anything that fast.

IMG_9725First off, gather your ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Deer Meat
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Butter to Taste
  • 2 Packs of Gravy Mix
  • A Loaf of Bread

That’s it!  Sometimes I use milk in my instant potatoes.  This time I pulled it out and ended up not using it.  That will just depend on how creamy you want your potatoes.

Now you’re ready to start:

  1. Boil water for your instant potatoes.  I never measure these, but you can follow the directions on the box for about 3 cups of Mashed Potatoes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and butter to your water as desired.
  3. Empty the 2 cans of deer meat into a second saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mix the 2 packs of gravy mix into 2 cups of water.  Pour into a skillet over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Although the deer has made its own broth, most of it will boil away (as you can see in the above pictures), so I always like to make some extra gravy. This week I only made about 1 cup of gravy, but 2 cups is best!IMG_9736
  5. When the water for your potatoes boils, mix in potato flakes, a little at a time, until the potatoes are your desired consistency.
  6. At this point, the meat and gravy should be boiling.  Stir each dish one last time, pour the gravy over the meat, and bring to the table.  You are ready to eat!

    This is EVERYTHING you need for your meal!  Bread, Potatoes, and the Deer/Gravy Mixture.

Building Your Open-Faced “Sandwich”

First Layer:  BREADIMG_9740

Second Layer:  Mashed PotatoesIMG_9741

Third Layer: Meat & GravyIMG_9743

That’s it!  Enjoy your meal!  My family did!

Want to make it from scratch?

Now, I understand that many of you may not want to use all the processed food.  I understand!  We rarely use it ourselves, BUT the quickness of this meal makes it worth it to me.  I have, however, made everything but the bread “from scratch”, and it’s been an excellent meal.  It will just no longer be “Quick & Easy”.  However, if that’s something you want to try, you’ll just want to (1) Save beef broth from a previous meal or pick some up from the store.  You can use this recipe to make the brown gravy yourself.  And (2) Make the mashed potatoes from actual potatoes!  It just takes a little bit longer.  If you want to make your own bread, go for it!  I haven’t been that brave yet!

Now, you can also make this with beef, and it is *almost* as good.  I’ve used canned roast beef from the store, but it’s quite expensive.  I’ve also actually roasted an entire beef roast in the crockpot for 5 hours, and then pulled the beef & used the broth to make gravy.  It’s delicious that way as well!

Two Other Ways to Use Canned Deer:

  1. DeerBQ.  I have another recipe for DeerBQ that comes from baking the entire front quarter for several hours, pulling the meat, etc. That one ends up with a similar feel to NC or TN pulled pork BBQ, though the meat is definitely NOT pork.  THIS recipe is quite different, and I feel more closely resembles the chopped brisket that you’ll get in TX as barbecue.  To make it, your meal will be ready in FIVE minutes!  Simply dump the can(s) in a saucepan, and add barbecue sauce.  LOTS of barbecue sauce–like ¼ of a bottle.  As soon as you’ve heated it, just serve it on a bun with the sides of your choice.  So easy and delicious!
  2. Deer Stew.  Empty the deer cans into a large pot, and add veggies and a little extra water or beef broth.  Throw in whatever seasonings you like.  I use garlic, salt, and pepper, and every now and then throw in a dash of hot sauce or some chili powder for my husband who loves a little kick.  Cook until boiling, and until veggies are soft when pierced with a fork.  This will vary depending on what veggies you use.  (I often throw leftover veggies, like the potatoes & carrots from a roast, into the stew.)  You could also make it in the morning and put it in a crockpot for dinner.  On high it will be ready in less than 5 hours.  On low it will take about 7-8 hours.


Rachel  🙂


Note:  I plan to make recipe cards for each of these meals, but it will probably be a few days before they are up!  I apologize!  I will update here when I get those up.  In the meantime, feel free to browse some of my other recipes at http://www.myselfathome.com/printables.

How to Can Deer Meat

My favorite way to eat deer is from a can, and anytime I mention Canned Deer Meat to anyone, they’re either instantly curious or instantly repulsed.  I’ve yet to meet someone who has ever had canned deer meat, outside of my family.

I was born in West Virginia, where my Dad, Papaw, uncles, and anyone male loved spending their time deer hunting.  I don’t remember all the different ways we ate deer back then, but we’ve been eating canned deer meat for as long as I can remember.

My husband killed his first 2 deer in 2015, and my mom took care of all the processing for us!  We had canned deer for quite a while from that.  Since then, though, he hasn’t hunted, because he hasn’t wanted to spend the money on a hunting license.  So we’ve been missing out on a lot of yummy meals!


A couple of months ago, a wonderful church member killed a deer, and he dropped it at our local processor, paid the processing fees, and gifted it to us!  #BestGiftEver.  The processor can do lots of things, but we had him to keep it basic on the front/hind quarters (LEGS), so we got them from him, all cleaned, sealed up and frozen.  They were huge!  Like, as wide as our upright deep freeze!  Since it was Christmas time, we kept it frozen until a few weeks ago when we were ready to do the canning.

I’ve never done the canning before, so we asked my Mom to bring her pressure canner and come show us how.  To be honest, she did most of the work.  That’s what moms are for, right?  I’m kidding about that; we just didn’t have much room for all of us to work at once in our kitchen.

About 3 days before my Mom came over, we moved the meat from our freezer to our refrigerator to let it thaw.  By the time she came, it was mostly thawed, but had a few small frozen spots in the middle.  As for the rest of the process, it was really pretty easy:

  1. Sterilize the jars & rings.  We just boil them for a few minutes.
  2. Cut the meat.  We began by cutting the meat up into small cubes, about 1″ wide.  We discarded any of the white filmy substance that was on the outside of the meat.
  3. Fill each canning jar with the raw meat.  Stuff them full!  As they cook, they will settle a bit in the jars.
  4. Add salt.  My mom usually sprinkles some brown gravy mix in each jar, which would contain some salt as well.  We didn’t have any gravy mix, so we just used a little bit of salt.  The taste is the same!
  5. Put lids & rings on each jar, and place jars in the pressure canner.  There should be water in the canner, according to its directions.
  6. Seal the pressure canner, and begin cooking.  Be sure to follow instructions for your canner on this step!  You want to seal the canner, and then slowly bring up the pressure.  Once it’s at full pressure, cook your meat for about an hour.  (YES!  It cooks AFTER you put it in the can!)
  7. Gently slide pressure canner off of the heat source.  Allow to cool and de-pressurize.  Do NOT open the canner until the pressure is completely down!  It is very dangerous.  When you do finally open the canner, lift the side of the lid that’s furthest away from you, so that the steam comes out away from your body.  This is very important, as the steam will be very hot and could cause burns!
  8. Gently remove cans from the canner.  Line them up on a dish towel on your counter.  Within an hour or so, you should hear each lid “pop” as it seals.  If you aren’t listening for the pops, it’s okay.  Just make sure each lid has sealed before you put them away.  If one does not seal, the meat will ruin–so you’d want to put it in the fridge and use it in a meal right away.  You can tell the lids have sealed because they will be slightly domed inward.
  9. That’s it!  Your meat is finished and ready to put away with the rest of your canned goods.  It will remain good for at least a year–though ours never lasts that long!

All in all, it’s a pretty simple process.  The hardest part is cutting the meat up.  We LOVE canned deer meat for so many reasons, but the biggest reason is that it makes for several fast and easy meals!  As a busy mom, or even a not-busy mom, it’s always great to have a meal on hand that you can prepare in 15 minutes–and canned deer meat makes that possible!

Stay posted for a post on my favorite quick recipes for using canned deer meat!  They are delicious and easy!

Rachel  🙂