Home on the Range

OK.  So, yes this label says “antelope.”  And, yes, I’m going to eat this meat and so is my family.

I got this from my sister-in-law’s brother (still with me?) who lives in Montana where hunting is akin to, well, it’s something a lot of folks do up there.

A few years ago the thought of eating Bambi’s father (yes, I know, technically not an antelope, but I’m making a point so just go with me here ….) would have saddened me.  Not so much today.  While I still have no desire to, like, put on an orange vest and pull the trigger on one of God’s beautiful creatures, the free-range-organic-meat-lover-on-a-budget in me can certainly find the beauty in accepting the gift laid before me.  Thank you, Jeffrey Johnson.

My freezer is currently stocked with approximately 20 lbs of various forms (burger, steaks, roast) of antelope and I’m pretty stoked about it. 

What does antelpe taste like?  Pretty much the same as beef, but with a slightly stronger flavor.  It’s not “gamey” like venison or other game meats I’ve eaten, although I can smell the difference when I’m handeling it raw.  Once it’s cooked, however, I dare your taste buds to even notice it’s not a more familiar form of red meat.  So far my family has happily consumed antelope in the form of cheeseburgers, fajitas and spaghetti sauce.  Really the only give away is that the antelope meat is so lean (read: really free range) that there is practically no fat after preparation, even from the ground burger.  Good stuff Maynard.

I originally got online to see about gamey-blogs for good recipes, but as this meat isn’t really a stress for my palet, I’ve resorted to just treating it like what I already know.  If you know a hunter or can get your hands on something like this, I reccomend it.  The animal led a natural life and now I can feed my family the healthiest meat possible.  Not a bad deal in the end.

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Hamburger Helper

burger 1

OK.  So technically these are turkey burgers, not beef.  Why so many?  I’m making them for school lunches of course.

Spring break just ended for us and we’re in the home stretch now, but there are still 10 or so weeks of school left–that’s still 50 lunches times 3 kids to pack.  Whew.

One of our current faves is a burger for lunch.  Pictured above you see 8 patties (there are more that didn’t fit on the pan) that I made from a pound of ground turkey.  Little olive oil in the pan, dash of garlic salt on top and wah-lah: ya’ got yerself some burgers.

Once they’ve cooled, I can put the patties in the freezer (buns separate) and then pull them out for a fridge-defrost the night before.  20 minutes at the stove top for a dozen lunches = good return on my time investment!

burger 2

Out of a one pound package of meat, I can make 12-14 patties.  Slap these little honeys on a whole wheat bun with some ketchup and what do you know:  Lunch!

Here you see me placing my model burger in a reusable  food pouch.

burger 3

The pouch cost me about eight bucks–but they clean up in the dishwasher, and we’ve been using them all year long and they still look great.

(I made sure my kindergartener was going to be responsible with his lunch bag before I started sending such pricey accoutrements with him.  It’s important to be green, but once my daughter lost her lunch bag with a water bottle, thermos, food pouch and fruit container.  Thank goodness we recovered it or it would have come out of her college fund…)

My middle child will eat one of these a week.  The other two would eat it every day if I packed it up.  Throw in some veggies, fruit and a little cookie–now we’re talkin’!

Does the bun get soggy from the condiments?  Not enough to bug my kiddos.  You could see about a small container with a dipping style situation though if it’s a problem.

Sometimes when Mike’s been a very good boy, I send him to work with a burger too.